We all know walking our dogs at least daily is crucial for their health and welfare. But what else do we need to consider to ensure WALKIES are fun for everyone, especially our furry friends?
This is a really important reminder, especially with the heatwaves Australia has been copping this summer. On hot or humid days, try and walk your pet during the cooler parts of the day – early mornings and evenings.
Dogs’ paws are quite sensitive, especially to heat, so they can easily burn their paws on hot pavement or asphalt. Avoid walking on hot sand, concrete, asphalt areas or any other areas where heat is reflected and there is no access to shade.
One way to test if the ground is too hot is to use to Five Second Rule. Place the back of your hand on the surface for five seconds and if it’s too hot for you, then it’s too hot for your dog!
Take the lead!
Ensuring your dog is on a lead when going for a walk is all part of being a responsible pet owner.
When you’re out and about your pup will naturally want to pull to explore their environment but do not pull back, jerk the lead or yell ‘No’ – stand still like a tree if they pull and reward them when they return to walk beside you and the lead 'loosens'. This way they associate a 'loose' lead with rewards and pulling with no reward. Keep offering a reward for them to be beside you and they will soon learn that this is a good place to be.
Never tether your dog to your bike or car. In some states such as NSW and South Australia, the RTA road rules state that a bicycle rider must not lead an animal, including by tethering, while the vehicle is moving.
Find out more about appropriate harnesses and our top tips for teaching your dog or puppy to walk on a lead.
Allowing your pooch to be off-lead in a safe enclosed environment such as your backyard or a designated dog park with fences is a great idea! They can run freely and can regulate their own pace and the amount of exercise they want to do because when they get tired, they can choose to sit or lie down and rest before getting up again. Off-lead exercise is a great addition to your daily walk.
This is just common decency. No one ever likes standing in it, so if your dog poops – pick it up!
Exercising and food can be deadly
Never exercise your dog immediately before or after eating as this can cause problems such as bloat (which can be fatal), particularly in large and deep-chested dogs such as Great Danes, Saint Bernards, Irish setters, German shepherds, Rottweilers, Doberman pinschers, Weimeraner and Standard Poodles, among others.