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Do’s And Don’ts Of Walking Your Dog

January 15 2024

It’s Walk Your Dog Month! Dogs need to be walked daily, not just for sanitary reasons, but for exercise and mental stimulation as well. In fact, those strolls are crucial to your pet’s health and well-being. A local Clinton, UT vet discusses taking Fido out for a walk in this article.

If I Have A Yard, Do I Still Need To Walk My Dog?

Absolutely! 

To be fair, you may not need to walk Fido as much if you didn’t have that outdoor spot. If you have a yard, and are taking time to play with your pet, Fido isn’t likely to become extremely distressed if you miss a walk here and there. You and your pup may also want to skip those walks when the weather is bad. And if you just want to let Fido relieve himself before bed, then you can just let him out.

However, it could become detrimental if you skip walking your pet too often. However, your canine buddy needs exercise and stimulation to stay healthy. Staring at the same scenery all day, every day isn’t very exciting for your pooch. That can lead to boredom, which can lead to other behavioral problems. In the event that your canine companion gets bored, he may dig or chew to amuse himself.

What Are Safety Tips For Walking My Dog?

There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to safety.


Here are some of the  big ones:

  • Don’t let Fido get ahead of you when crossing driveways, parking lot entrances, or intersections. He should be kept on a leash at all times.
  • Night walks should be short and sweet. Once the sun goes down, stay in busy, well-lit areas.
  • Always be alert and aware of what is happening around you. Never let your dog out of your sight! If you like to listen to music or podcasts, make sure that the volume isn’t too loud. You want to hear things like horns, brakes, shouting, and barking.
  • Keep an eye out for things like holes or wires and steer your pet away from broken glass and litter. You’ll also want to watch for areas where there could be wild animals.

How Do I Keep My Dog Comfortable On Walks In Extreme Weather?

When it’s hot or cold outside, your furry pal will need extra precautions. In summer, you should bring water with you. Be careful about the terrain, as hot asphalt or tar can burn his paws.

Fido’s paws will also need extra attention when it’s cold: salt, sand, ice, and chemical deicers can cause chemical burns and blisters.

Try to keep your pup on soft surfaces, such as grass. This is a good rule of thumb to follow no matter what season it is. You can protect your pet’s paws by using paw balm or wax and keeping his nails and toe fur trimmed. Ask your Clinton, UT veterinarian for more information. 

What Gear Do I Need To Take My Dog For a Walk?

First and foremost: make sure your dog has a comfortable harness and a strong leash. You may have noticed that harnesses are becoming more popular than collars. These do have some benefits. A harness won’t interfere with your pet’s breathing when he pulls, so it’s more comfortable for him. Fido won’t be able to slip out of it as he could a collar, either.

When it comes to leashes, retractable ones are very popular today. These are fine in some situations, but can be dangerous in others. You should not use them near riverbanks, busy roads, or cliffs where they could be dangerous. Keep another leash with you if you find Fido getting wrapped up around another dog, a person, or even a tree in crowded areas.

You can give yourself an added level of control by using two leashes if your dog is prone to bolting.

Some of our canine pals may have more specific requirements. For instance, a reactive dog may require a muzzle. Puppies with small heads, such as Greyhounds, may need special collars, known as Martingales, while little dogs should always wear harnesses instead of leashes, because they can easily have their airflow cut off by collars. Consult your Clinton, UT vet for specific advice.

Whether you’re headed out on a hike or just taking a stroll around the block, you should bring a few things. Here are a few of our suggestions on what to pack:

  • Spare Keys
  • Water
  • Waste Baggies
  • A phone
  • A phone charger
  • A Flashlight
  • Gloves

How Often Do I Need To Walk My Dog?

This depends on Fido’s breed, age, size, and health, and whether or not you have a yard. 

As a general rule of thumb, we would say even if you do have a yard, you should walk your dog at least once a day, for about 15 to 20 minutes. However, many dogs need more than that. 

Also, keep in mind that the schedule will change over time. As a general rule, adult dogs should never go more than 8 hours without a walk. Puppies should be walked every few hours, and possibly even more than that as they are being housetrained. Adult dogs may only need to be walked a few times a day. Senior pooches may need shorter but more frequent walks.

Breed and size also come into play. Consult your vet for specific advice.

What Are The Benefits Of Walking My Dog?

For many of you, walking Fido is crucial for sanitary purposes. However, that isn’t the only reason. Man’s Best Buddy needs exercise, stimulation, and a change of scenery. 

Walks are great for keeping your pup fit. The amount and type of exercise your dog needs depends on his age, size, breed, and health. Some pups need an hour of vigorous activity every day. For others, a short walk is enough. You can ask your veterinarian for more specific details.

In addition to that, walks also benefit Fido by providing him with mental stimulation. They give him a chance to enjoy a change of scenery, which is very important! 

Last but not least, your pet will appreciate being able to spend some quality time with you.

What Can I Do To Stop My Dog From Pulling Me Around?

Man’s Best Buddy is loyal, faithful, and adorable, but he has some bad habits, such as pulling. Here’s a tip: Change direction every time your dog hauls you. We know, this can get tedious, but that’s why it works. Eventually your pet will figure out that pulling not only doesn’t get him where he wants to go, but actually pushes him further away.

No luck? Consult your veterinarian or a pet behaviorist if you are having difficulty breaking this bad habit.

Is Walking Dogs Good For People?

Daily walks aren’t just good for Fido. They’re also good for you! Dog owners are usually slimmer than non-dog owners. That’s not surprising: even short walks add up over time.

Other benefits include:

  • Improved physical fitness
  • Good sleep
  • Reduced Stress
  • Stronger Bones
  • Mental Health Improvements
  • Improved Cardiovascular Health
  • Reduced Risk Of Heart Disease 

Walking Fido shouldn’t be something you think of as a chore. It’s a chance to hang out with your furry buddy and spend time with him. You can also use the time to reinforce your pet’s training with treats, or just relax and unwind.

Tip: you might want to designate a jacket or fanny pack for walking your pet. Keep everything you need in your pockets.

We are here to help if you have any questions about your dog’s health or care. Contact us, your Clinton, UT veterinary clinic, anytime!

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