Top dog walking mistakes

Dog walking

How hard can it be to walk a dog? If you think dog walking involves no more than slipping on a leash and walking out of the door, think again. From dog-walking etiquette to simple tricks to make your pooch behave, there’s definitely a knack to the canine walkabout.

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Dog walking

Clean up after your dog

This is the cardinal rule of dog walking. No one wants to step in what your dog ate yesterday – bring poop bags and dispose of the filled ones safely. Besides the risks to humans, dogs have a delightful habit of eating each other’s faeces, spreading disease and parasites. It’s a criminal offence to walk a dog without poop bags or to fail to pick up your dog’s mess. You could be fined up to £1,000.

Think before letting your dog off the leash

You might want to let your dog run free in the park, but is it safe? If your dog is aggressive around other dogs, unwell or an unspayed bitch in heat then it’s best to avoid other dogs. Letting her mix with other dogs is likely to cause distress – not to mention the possibility of unwanted puppies!

Pay attention

Walks are necessary to give dogs exercise and the opportunity to toilet, but that’s not all they should be about. Being focused on your dog will help develop a stronger bond between you, so switch off the phone and get down to some serious playing. As a responsible owner, you should also be aware of where your pooch is at all times. 

Dog walking

Tailor your walks

A good walk should be balanced between training, exercise and simple enjoyment. Make sure you know how far your dog can walk comfortably and if he prefers to avoid particular situations such as heavy traffic or crowds. Build in a mixture of environments, play and training exercises to keep the dog stimulated. 

Prioritise safety

Unless you’re sure it is safe to let your dog off the leash, don’t do it. For example, watch out for livestock on country walks and check to see if your pet could run out from an open area onto a road. If you’re walking in the dark, consider fluorescent clothing and lights for both you and your pet. One last thing – flexi-leads are a bad idea in most situations, reducing your control of the dog and potentially being a hazard to pedestrians and cyclists. Only use them in open spaces with no other people or dogs.

Don’t be overprotective

We hear a lot about helicopter parenting, where doting mums and dads swoop in to help children instead of letting them learn for themselves. The same thing happens with dog owners who don’t understand what represents normal behaviour between dogs. A little growling, snapping and rough and tumble are all part of ordinary dog behaviour, so learn when to step in and when to keep back.

Does your dog have the protection it needs? Why not consider Computerquote pet insurance to keep your beloved pet safe and sound?

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