Did you know that Walk Your Dog Week starts October 1st? Of course, for many of us, every week is Walk Your Dog Week! Those daily walks are important for more than just sanitation purposes: they offer Fido exercise and mental stimulation, and let him enjoy a change of scenery. Read on as a local McHenry, IL vet discusses walking your dog.
While collars are fine for many dogs, some pups do better with harnesses. Brachycephalic dogs, for instance, which are those pups with the cute pushed-in faces, lose their breath very easily, and are better off with harnesses. Ask your vet for specific advice.
We recommend dedicating a certain jacket, and perhaps a set of sneakers, to walking Fido. Keep essentials, like waste baggies, a portable phone charger, earbuds, spare keys, and treats in the pockets. That way, you don’t have to waste time gathering everything you need.
Always put your canine pal’s safety first. On very hot or cold days, keep Fido’s walks short and sweet. At night, stick to familiar, well-lit routes, and bring a flashlight with you. If you are walking on the side of a road, keep your dog to the outside, as he will be harder for drivers to spot.
We recommend that all dogs know basic commands, such as Sit, Stay, Come, Heel, and Lay Down . This is very important for safety reasons. For instance, if Fido jerks the leash out of your hand, you want to make sure you can call him back. If your furry friend hasn’t mastered these basics yet, take him back to school!
Does your pooch have a habit of trying to walk you, instead of it being the other way around? The next time Fido hauls on his leash, immediately stop, turn around, and go the other way. This training can get a bit tiresome, but it will be well worth it!
Fido’s furry feet are quite delicate. Your canine pal can get painful blisters and abrasions walking on hot surfaces in summer. In winter, snow, salt, sand, and ice can all do a number on your dog’s paws. Keep your pup on soft ground as much as possible, and use paw balm or wax to protect his feet.
Is your dog due for an exam or vaccinations? Contact us, your McHenry, IL animal clinic, anytime!