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05/11/2019 - Dogs
Are you one of the majority of dog owners who don't walk your dogs daily?
There are some dogs for whom a daily walk isn't appropriate or necessary, but for most dogs a walk should be part of their daily routine and is essential for their health and wellbeing. It's also good for owners too, with dog owners who walk their dogs regularly having lower levels of obesity, heart disease and stress.
Now is the time to re-visit your walks, and get in to the daily walking habit. Remember the walk is for your dog's benefit more than yours - it may be the only time they have been able to see more than a few feet in front of them all day so let them look around if they want to. It's also their opportunity to check their pee-mail and catch up on the neighbourhood comings and goings. Let them sniff!
Top Tips for Enjoyable Walks
1) Put your dog back on the lead if you see a dog on lead approaching. They will be on a lead for a reason e.g. recovering from illness, being fearful of other dogs, elderly or infirm and do not want to interact with your dog. Legally, you are at fault if your dog approaches an on lead dog.
2) If you do not have a reliable recall, use a long line (attached to the back of a harness, never the collar or a harness which tightens when the dog pulls) to allow your dog freedom to run and explore but without running off or causing a nuisance. Enroll in recall classes to teach recall, or hire a secure field where they can run free without worry.
3) Enjoy the journey. Rather than walk a specific route and be in a hurry to keep walking, go out for a set time e.g. 30 minutes and then turn for home. If your dog spends that 30 minutes sniffing and you're barely past the end of your road, then no matter. That sniffing will be mentally tiring and very enjoyable for them.
This article was produced by Sian Ryan of Developing Dogs and published in the FenScene Magazine Pet column which is co-sponsored by Isle of Pets (that's us ), Developing Dogs and the Isle Veterinary Group - Small Animal