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Dog Walking Hacks

February 15 2018

February 22nd is Walk Your Dog Day! Those daily strolls are important for sanitary reasons, but they also benefit Fido in many other ways, by providing him with exercise, stimulation, a change of scenery, and a chance to spend some quality time with his human buddies. Regular walks will be good for you, too! We do have a few tips that can make taking Fido out a bit easier. A McHenry, IL vet discusses some dog walking hacks in this article.


Clip a carabiner onto the end of your furry pal’s leash. That way, if you want to stop and chat or make a phone call, you can easily secure Fido to a tree or post. (Note: never leave your canine companion unattended, even just for a few minutes.)


Does Fido have a habit of jerking on his leash? When your dog pulls on the leash, immediately stop walking, and then turn around and go the other way. Do this every time your pooch pulls. Training, as you can imagine, can get a little tiresome, but it will be well worth it in the end.


Designate a specific jacket for taking Fido out. Keep the pockets stuffed with all of the things you may need, such as waste baggies, treats, a flashlight, spare keys, and a phone charger. Now you’ll only have to grab one thing on your way out the door!

Waste Baggie Stash

Remember to pick up after your pup! Keep a stash of waste baggies around your house and/or car. That way, if you run out, you won’t have to go back in.

Change of Scenery

Do you like taking your pup to doggy parks, or checking out new trails with him? Keep a bag for Fido in your car. Include waste baggies, paper copies of his vaccination records, treats, a first aid kit, and a doggy water bottle with an attached bowl. You’ll always be ready to hop into the car and go!

Paw Wipes

Fido has a special way of leaving paw prints on our hearts. He also leaves them on our floors! Keep a paw-wiping mat, pet wipes, or a washcloth near the door, and teach your canine buddy that he’ll get a treat after his feet are clean.

Our Advice on Dog Walking Hacks in 2024

How do you deal with dogs that are reactive or aggressive towards other dogs or people while on walks?

For dogs that are reactive or aggressive towards others on walks, using a controlled approach is key. Begin with positive reinforcement training to reward calm behaviors. Consider a short, sturdy leash for better control and maintain a safe distance from triggers. Gradually expose your dog to these triggers from a distance where they feel secure, slowly decreasing it over time as they become desensitized. In some cases, consulting a professional dog trainer or behaviorist for tailored strategies and support can be beneficial to manage and improve their reactions effectively.

What are some effective ways to train a dog not to pull on the leash, besides the turning around method mentioned?

To train a dog not to pull on the leash, implementing a rewards-based system can be effective. Use treats to encourage your dog to stay by your side, rewarding them when they walk without pulling. Introduce a “heel” command, rewarding your dog for maintaining pace beside you rather than ahead. Also, consider using a no-pull harness that gently discourages pulling by redirecting their movement. Consistency and patience are key, with short, frequent training sessions to reinforce these behaviors without overwhelming your dog.

How do you keep your dog safe and under control when walking in areas with heavy traffic or near busy roads?

To keep dogs safe and under control in areas with heavy traffic or near busy roads, always use a sturdy, non-retractable leash to maintain close control. Opt for a well-fitted harness that offers better handling and reduces strain on the dog’s neck. Training your dog to follow commands like “stop,” “stay,” or “heel” is crucial for navigating busy areas safely. Always stay alert, avoiding distractions such as mobile phones, and choose walking routes with sidewalks or paths far from the road. Visibility aids like reflective vests or leashes are also recommended for both owner and pet during low-light conditions.

What are some tips for walking multiple dogs at once, if you have more than one pet?

When walking multiple dogs, using individual leashes for each dog is advisable to prevent tangling and to maintain control. Consider a coupler or splitter for dogs that walk well together, allowing one handle to control two leashes. Start with training each dog individually to walk without pulling before attempting group walks. Matching dogs by size and energy level can make the walk smoother. Implementing commands like “heel” consistently across all dogs ensures they understand expected behaviors. Lastly, always be prepared with enough supplies, such as water and waste bags, for all your pets.

How do you keep your dog entertained and mentally stimulated during walks, especially if they are high-energy breeds?

To keep high-energy breeds entertained and mentally stimulated during walks, integrate variety and challenges into the routine. Change your walking routes frequently to introduce new smells and sights. Use interactive toys or treat-dispensing puzzles to engage their minds while on the move. Incorporate training sessions into walks by practicing commands and tricks, offering treats as rewards. Schedule playdates or visits to dog parks for socialization. Consider using a long lead in safe areas for more freedom to explore. These strategies can help expend both physical energy and mental focus, keeping your dog satisfied and well-behaved.

Please contact us, your McHenry, IL pet hospital, for all your dog’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!