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How to Paw-fect the Dog Walk

How to Paw-fect the Dog Walk

A walk to remember: How to paw-fect the dog trot

‘Hey, Luna! Wanna to go on a…?’ *Head tilts* *Tail wags* *Spin spin spin* *Starts whimpering*

You don’t even need to say the ‘W’ word to see how out-of-this-world excited your fur-baby gets about the mere hint of heading outside. It’s no surprise. Getting out and about does your ball of energy a whole lotta good! Not only is it great for their physical health – it’s also a winner for their overall wellbeing. The mental stimulation alone helps them process their environment – making them very smart (dog) cookies.

Experts recommend healthy dogs walk once a day. But how can you make sure your four-legged friend gets the most out of their daily jaunt?

Read on to learn how to paw-fect the dog walk.

Get prepped – it’s walkie time!

When it comes to getting out of the gate, dogs are relatively low maintenance compared to us fussy humans. They won’t need to brush their hair or hunt for their headphones. But for a comfortable and controlled adventure, you’ll need to gear your pup up with a suitable collar or harness, and a leash.

Now, dogs come in all shapes, sizes and – importantly – strength. So they’re walking get-up will need to suit them. Here are some common dog walking accessories to mull over:

  • Collar: Ideal for clipping on their ID tag (how else will they get into the nightclubs?). But be careful. When pulled, a collar can hurt your pup’s neck. And if it’s too loose? It can slip off altogether.
  • A simple leash: If your doggo is a star walker, this is a good option. But simple doesn’t have to mean boring… check out these hemp leads from Pupperdog!
  • Front clip harness: Clips at the front reduce pulling– making them perfect for dogs that tend to take you for a walk.
  • Head halter: If your dog’s pulling strength truly tests you, try a head halter. They cause no harm – and significantly reduce pulling.

What to take with you

Keys, wallet, phone? More like bags, bottle and biscuits. When embarking on a doggie adventure, there are a few essentials your dog needs on (your) hand. So here’s what you’ll need to carry for Your Royal Dog-ness.

Doggy bags

Two steps out the front gate and… it's poop time! This is their way of marking their territory (and a sniff of physical activity gets things moving too!). So always have a doggy bag in reach. Not only does picking up poop please the neighbours, it also keeps other animals and humans safe from diseases and bacteria. To really poo it right, find a funky dispenser from Park Barkers and from use non-plastic bags from Beco Things.

Water bottle

Do you and your fur baby plan to strut your stuff for more than 30 minutes? Then take some water with you. Pretty please. Dogs don’t regulate temperature like us, so they can dehydrate easily. And all that panting? It’s their way of sweating – even more reason to keep their hydration up. For a leisurely lapping of liquids, a portable water bottle with a bowl built in is the winner, winner, dog’s dinner.

Treats

You never know when your dog is going to pull out some good behaviour – so you’ll want to reward their impressive performance quickly, before they forget what they did! In other words, be sure to carry some treats when you’re on the streets. A nom nom is always good for getting – and holding – their attention when a magpie’s stalking or another pup is being playful.

Some good treats for a dog on-the-go: Kibble, dog cookies and jerky.

Where to set off to?

Imagine this: You only get to venture into the world once a day. You’d want to keep it interesting and explore somewhere new from time to time. Right? Well, the same goes for dogs. The loop of the local streets will get their hearts thumping, but they’ll get used to the smells and the pee spots pretty soon. Essentially, they’ll miss out on novel mental stimulation and walks will become a lot less exciting.

*Tail goes limp* *Falls in a heap* *Huge sigh*

So why not mix it up every now and then? Here are some places to visit this weekend:

  • Dog park: If you’re dealing with a party animal who likes to tail wag with other pups, a dog-friendly park near you will pep them up.
  • Dog beach: Who loves frolicking in the salty water, then rolling in sand so every inch of your fur is covered? Dogs. (And who washes them down? Humans.) There’s no place like the beach to stimulate all your dog's senses.
  • Off the beaten track: This one depends on the athletic prowess of your pooch. But if they’re up for the challenge, find a mountain trail to climb.

But be mindful

Walking your dog is a walk in the park. Right? What could go wrong? A few things. But if you’re mindful, you can avoid any spot of trouble you trot across. Here’s what to watch out for.

Extreme conditions

You may be surprised, but experts agree that the maximum temperature for dog walking is 25 degrees Celsius. Otherwise, they risk heatstroke. Don’t forget the hot pavement too. A fiery surface can cause damage to their little trotters. To check the temperature, place your hand or barefoot on the pavement for five seconds. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your dog.

A good solution? Dog booties – how cootie! Luckily, the Aussie climate doesn’t dip to nippy enough temperatures to affect your pooch’s prowls. But on those icy mornings, who doesn’t love an excuse to dress them in a doggy jumperor raincoat?

Other dogs

Your dog might be the friendliest fluff ball to bounce around the dog park. But you never know how other dogs will react.

So as a rule: ask before approaching anyone else’s dog. Simple.

A distracted dog walker (you)

There’s nothing better than bopping along to your favourite playlist or phoning a friend as you walk your dog. But left without supervision, pups can be cheeky – eating wayward food scraps, or, dog-forbid, peeing on a passer-by. So, stay engaged and be ready to react quickly.

Overexertion

If someone put you on a leash and made you exercise with them all day, we bet you’d hit your limit. And day after day, it would affect your energy levels and physical health. So we must remember – even though they booty shake at the ‘W’ word – our pup’s energy isn’t endless. Keep your walks under an hour, with a break or two. And if there are multiple dog-walkers in the family, keep track of your pup’s steps with a doggy pedometer.

What to do after?

Okay you’ve returned home. Your pooch is pooped! And likely a little worse for wear. Before they run rampant inside, give them a hose down or a quick polish of the paws. If food is a distant memory to them, give them a little pick me up treat. And then let them rest. What’s the true wonder of a stimulating walk? A tired tucker who will enjoy a deep, relaxing and restorative sleep. Ready to hit the pavement again tomorrow!

Want to find more fun dog walking accessories? Petmarket’s dog collection is chock full of weird and wacky widgets to put a pep in your pup’s step.

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