Pet Walking Essentials

Dog going on a walk

Leashing up for a walk with your pet might seem like a simple task. After all, a leash and a collar are all you need to start pounding the pavement, but there but there are a few essentials that can help make your walks together more comfortable, productive, and safe.

Why walks are important

Walks are important for our pets in many of the same ways they are important for us. They provide cardiovascular exercise — helping improve heart and lung function, in addition to maintaining normal blood sugar levels. They can also help overweight pets to drop a few pounds a reach a healthy weight. Walks also provide your pet with the mental stimulation they need for overall health and wellness. There are plenty of sights, sounds, and smells to keep your pet busy while on a walk — especially if you switch up your route from time to time.

What should a dog walker carry with them?

If you’re walking with a dog, it’s important to carry several things for a more enjoyable experience.

First, a fixed length leash will help ensure you’re abiding by any local bylaws, and keep your pooch from running off or getting tangled up.

Second, a properly fitted collar with up-to-date identification will ensure your pooch finds their way back to you, should they happen to give you the slip.

Next, an ample supply of waste bags are another walk must-have, and are not only useful for cleaning up after your pet, but can be used to remove items from your pet’s mouth, should they happen to pick something up that they shouldn’t while you’re on your walk together.

Treats are another essential item for walks, especially in the early days when you are teaching your pet how to behave while out on a leash. Don’t forget a small supply of fresh water, along with a travel bowl for them to drink from. Toys can also be an incentive for getting your pet to walk politely while out and about.

While some people scoff at the idea of pet clothing as simply a frivolous marketing ploy by the pet industry, gear for inclement weather such as rain and snow jackets is actually very practical, and can help to keep your pet feeling comfortable while out for a walk. Winter boots make walking on salt much more pleasant, and a properly-fitted life jacket ensures your pet is safe, should you be out around water.

Protecting your pet on walks

Protecting your pet while out on walks is pretty easy, as long as you’re paying attention to your surroundings. Keep an eye out for potential hazards, such as potholes, sharp objects, and other pets. If a stray dog heads your way and is looking like they might attack, try to keep your dog calm while using your body as a shield between them in order to prevent an altercation. Preventing an encounter in the first place makes it much easier to control a situation and keep your pet safe.

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