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Choosing a Path for your Dog Walk

 

Guest writer Alexis, a Wet Noses Pet Sitting Dog Walker

As a dog walker I always wonder what path should I take on a walk. There are essentially two type of paths to walk on, hard surfaces like roads and sidewalks, then there are nature paths that may be made of grass and dirt. Each of these types of paths have their own positives and negatives. For both paths it is extremely important to have the correct harness and leash for your dog walk. Below are some tips I found helpful while taking dogs out for walks on both types of surfaces.

Notes for Walking on a Street

Try to avoid walking your dog at night, but if you must wear reflectors on both you and your dog.

  • Convenience – Many people like the convenience of walking their dog out the front door and on to the street. It takes less time then driving to a dog walking trail.
  • Nail file – Some of you might not know this, but walking your dog on a hard surfaces works as a natural nail file. As they walk their nails scrap against the ground slowly filing them down.
  • Cars – You must always be mindful of your surroundings and most importantly cars on the road. It can be dangerous walking in the street while cars are zipping by. So and avoid listening to music or talking on your phone.
  • Heat – When summer rolls around hard surfaces can become extremely hot and hazardous for your dogs paws. I suggest walking your dog earlier in the morning when it is the coolest. Test the surface by placing the back of your hand on the ground and holding it for 11 seconds. If its too hot for you then it is probably to hot for your dog.

Notes for Taking Nature Trail Path

Always be sure to take a marked trail that allows dogs, which you can check very easily online.

  • Shade – While not all trails are the same, most of them have more shade then walking on the street. This can help during those hot Summer months.
  • Paws – Walking on grass or dirt is softer compared to walking on the roads or sidewalks. This can give relief to a dogs paws and make your walk much better. Still be aware of twigs and debris along the way.
  • Wildlife – When walking your dog on a trail, be aware that wildlife can jump out at any time and frighten or excite your dog. It is important to always keep a tight grip on the leash when walking on a trail.
  • Bugs – Trail are nice because they involve nature, but that also means dealing with bugs. If your dog yelps on a walk then investigate the area they immediately look to afterwards. If bitten be sure to clean the wound and   watch it for any rash or swelling. If necessary you should take them to the vet, for safe measure.

No matter where you go for your dog walk, there is no doubt they will appreciate the time our of the house in the fresh air!

Need Help Walking Your Dog?

If you do not have enough time to walk your dog, or are wondering if your dog needs more walks, take a look at our 8 Times When You Need a Dog Walker. Our dog walkers are experts at picking the path your dog will love! Contact Us if you would like to get your dog out more more walks right away!

I Love Walking Dogs for Wet Noses Pet Sitting

Ok, maybe it seems a little obvious because I own a dog walking company, but the fact is that I do love walking dogs. Even in the rain and the snow, in the heat, at dawn and at dusk. My favorite time to walk a dog is during the summer after the sun has gone down when the weather is warm, but not as hot and there are fewer bugs. But really, it is not about me, is it? It is about the dog!

Some people do not enjoy going for a dog walk, (which is part of why we have a job) so our Wet Noses Pet Sitting get many chances to walk a variety of dogs around Fort Collins and Loveland. Some dogs are small, some are large. Some dogs walk nicely by our side and some dash from one end of the leash to another. Some dogs watch everything that goes by with their heads held high and some have their noses glued to the ground, sniffing each scent we come across. No matter which dog we walk they all have one thing in common: they all are thrilled to be out with us on a wonderful walk that day! Dogs are not prone to hide their feelings and they are pleased to show us how much they enjoy going on a walk. Whether they prance or plod along we know as the dog walker that we are in the company of a dog that is thrilled to be with us, and we are thrilled to be with them! There are few things better than knowing that when you go to work that day you are going to be spending it with animals whose days are made better by your appearance. I would not want to do anything else!

The Benefits of Regular Dog Walks

As dog walkers, we at Wet Noses Pet Sitting are pretty excited about the benefits of regular dog walks, both for you and your dog.  There is nothing like a peaceful stroll down the trail or through your neighborhood to start or end the day, or even give you a break in the middle of the day.

Benefits for your dog:

  • Regular exercise keeps your dog physically healthy and in good shape.
  • Walking helps keep dogs limber and their joints functioning well.
  • When spending regular, focused time with your dog you are more likely to notice any problems that might arise.
  • Dog walks involve some level of training which is mentally tiring, plus all of the sights and smells is exhausting!
  • A tired dog is a good dog!

As dog walkers we have seen the difference when we go into a house and start walking a dog on a regular basis.  In one particular home we started walking the dogs twice a day when the client was injured.  Prior to this the dogs were just let out in the small yard on a regular basis.  Within days of us taking the dogs on regular walks their behavior improved in the house, they slept better and they seemed much happier.  Within a few weeks the dogs were much better behaved on their walks, their coats looked better and they were much more relaxed in general.  After a month the client was well enough to take care of the dogs herself but she noticed the improvements in the dogs and has continued to have our sitters walk the dogs once a day.  It has been two years since we first started working with her furry friends and we are happy to say they are in great health and are happier than they have ever been!

Get out and walk your dog today or call us and have a Wet Noses Pet Sitter walk your pup!  Remember, any walks are better than none, this is not an all or nothing activity.  If you only have the time or the resources to walk your dog a couple times a week then start there.  You might find that the benefits outweigh the cost and provide the incentive to increase the number of walks in the future.  Happy dog walking!

Reasons to Walk Your Dog Today!

 

Getting outside everyday to walk your dog provides them with mental and physical stimulation, socialization and training opportunities, and positive attention.  Putting your dog outside in your fenced-in yard will not force your dog to exercise and more often we see dogs will resort to boredom barking, trying to escape the yard, or becoming your best (or worst) landscaper.  Simply having a large back yard is not going to satisfy your dog’s need for exercise or mental stimulation.  According to the Clinician’s Brief, “Generally, people walk their dog for 4 reasons: elimination, mental stimulation, exercise, and training. Dogs like to go for walks to get outdoors, sniff and engage with their environment, exercise, and perhaps socialize with people and dogs outside the home. There is no reason that a walk cannot encompass and meet all the needs of both humans and dogs.”  And, we at Wet Noses Pet Sitting completely agree, it’s time to get outside and walk your dog!


3 types of walks

There are three kinds of walks that we suggest as a varied routine.

  1. Exploratory walks allow your pet to sniff, smell, and generally meander through its surroundings.
  2. Purposeful walks are to relieve herself or retrieve an item.
  3. Long walks to tire your pup out give her an outlet for all that pent up energy.

Varied mental and physical stimulation will allow your dog to be at her most trainable and calm.

Socialization – a bonus!

During a walk is a good chance to work on leash manners and while you’re out walking, your pooch is most likely going to meet other dogs. This helps your dog learn normal behaviors and etiquette by taking social cues from other canines.  It also helps your dog build confidence so that when she meets new friends she isn’t afraid.  Giving your dog lots of opportunities to work on socialization and training will help your companion be on her best behavior in a variety of situations without anxiety or fear.

Tired dog = a good dog

Getting out regularly to walk your dog gives them a sense of well-being.  They love the positive attention and quality time. Plus, dogs who are taken for daily walks, are less likely to be destructive, obsessive, have separation anxiety and/or dominance issues, among many other behavior problems.  A tired dog is a happy dog.  And a happy dog makes for a happy owner.

Remember, your dog depends on you for her quality of life. By taking advantage of different types of walks to stimulate her mentally and physically, providing opportunities for socialization and training, and spending quality time with your canine companion, you will help your furry friend be balanced, healthy and happy for a lifetime. If you have questions about dog walks or need help waking your dog regularly contact us at Wet Noses Pet Sitting!