It doesn't take more than a simple internet search to realize not all pet dogs are getting the kind of care and attention they really need and deserve. But you want to do things right and ensure your dog's needs are tended to daily.
According to health expert Dr. Mercola, dogs need daily walks for four main reasons: elimination, mental stimulation, physical exercise and training.
In this post, learn tips to ensure each walk you and your dog take together will be meeting each of these needs in full.
Tip 1: Bring everything you may need with you.
In some ways, a pet isn't unlike a child. They need you to think of the things they might need that they won't think of themselves. Packing a small "walk bag" in advance can save time and keep you both safe, healthy and in good graces with your neighbors.
Consider adding these items to your walk bag: collapsible dog water bowl, bottle of water, dog treats, doggy doo bags, extra leash, flashlight for night walks and some type of defense against stray dogs (spray, stick, et al).
Tip 2: Bring your phone, but put it in your walk bag.
According to CNN, the average adult spends more than 10 hours per day staring at screens of various sizes. That is a lot of time!
There are a couple key reasons to take your phone on walks - but put it in your walk bag. The first reason is for safety, pure and simple. You may need to call for help, so it is good to have it handy.
The second reason is also for safety - you shouldn't walk with your phone out, or stop to check it while you are walking your dog. Your inattention could be damaging or even fatal. (Remember the guy who was staring at his phone in San Diego and walked off the side of a cliff? Whoops!).
Needless to say, you don't want this to be you and your dog. So keep your phone close by, but safely tucked away. This will also give you some "you time" to just be with your dog and enjoy each other's company.
Tip 3: Be aware of your dog's limitations, if any.
If your canine sidekick is a collie, shepherd or other traditionally "working" breed, it may be your limitations you need to be concerned about.
But an older dog, a very young puppy, a dog with short legs (dachshund) or heat intolerance (Great Dane) could really suffer if you aren't aware of and sensitive to their physical limitations.
Tip 4: Make your dog walks part of your daily routine.
Dogs, like people, need things to look forward to. If your dog knows that you always take walks together at certain times each day with a dog walker, you can bet he or she will be looking forward to these daily outings.
Also, keeping to a set schedule as much is possible is a great aid for potty training and general dog training. Plus, it can avoid that most dreaded of incidents - the "indoors accident."