**I am by no means a vet, or a professional dog walker--this post is just for fun and to get you thinking about proper dog walking etiquette! Always consult a vet if you have questions about your specific dog.
1. Before I leave, I make sure I'm prepared--I stuff my pocket full of poop bags. I usually bring three just in case. I've never had to use all three, but sometimes I've had to use two. It's actually kind of a running joke because I'll find poop bags in my pockets at the most random times!
2. I walk Peyton on a short leash. If you've ever had a Lab, you know they are FULL of energy. My husband and I have worked with him for countless hours on walking next to us and not dragging us along. Some days are better than others. We use the Command Collar to help with this and use as a training tool. It's worked well for Peyton, but find what works for you.
3. When walking, I do not allow him to walk on private property--aka, other people's lawns and yards. It seems obvious, but I've seen countless people let their dog walk through (or worse,pee or poop) in my yard. Don't do it. If it's public property (a park or field or whatnot) I'll let him walk in the grass if he wants, but never on private property.
4. Always, always, always, clean up after your dog. Poop bags are cheap. Many cities have bag dispensers along popular walking paths. There is no excuse here, people!
5. If you see other dogs while on your walk, give them some space. Depending on the size or type of dog, I sometimes cross the street, or just change to the street instead of the sidewalk (depending on the street). Always ask the owner before approaching a dog you don't know. Many dogs (Peyton included) get more anxious meeting other dogs when on a leash. I also give other people some space too even if they're not walking with a dog. Not everyone is comfortable around dogs, and Peyton usually gets a little nervous around new people. If they ask to pet him, that's fine, but usually we say hi and just keep moving!
|Walking with the husband and Peyton|
6. If it's it's too hot out, don't go for a walk. Keep in mind the temperature of the pavement on your dog's paw pads, the risk for heat exhaustion, etc. I use the general rule that if you put the back of your hand on the pavement and you can't leave it there comfortably for 5-10 seconds, it's too hot. Take your walk in the morning or later in the evening! If Peyton needs to burn off energy when it's hot out, we usually get the kiddie pool out in the back yard and let him play for a bit. He LOVES water.
7. Have fun! Taking Peyton on walks is one of the highlights of my day. It's great bonding time with him and great exercise for both of us!
Thought about using a dog walker?
Need a dog walker for when you're at work or unable to walk your dog? Rover connects you with qualified dog walkers and pet sitters in your area (there are even dog walkers listed in my small Oregon town). What I like about Rover is they offer insurance for all services booked through their website! They also do general background checks on all dog walkers and pet sitters. You can book a sitter for puppies to older dogs and everything in between! If you're concerned about your fur baby's safety, they have this page with lots of tips to calm your fears. Definitely check them out if you're looking for a dog walker!
Not only do I love hanging out with my pup, but reading books with dogs in them as well! Looking for some good book recommendations with dogs as characters? Here are some of my favorites:
Happy Dog Walking and Happy Reading!