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Walking Your Dog

Did you know that the first week of October is Walk Your Dog Week? This is a wonderful time of year to take a nice long stroll with your canine pal. The cool weather, beautiful foliage, and seasonal decorations are perfect for walking Fido! Just be sure to put your pet’s safety first. Read on as a local Salem, VA vet offers tips on walking your dog.

Training

All dogs should know basic commands, such as Sit, Stay, Heel, Come, and Lay Down. This is very important, both for petiquette and safety. After all, you want to be able to stop your furry buddy from racing off if you accidentally drop his leash!

Gear

Make sure Fido has a good, sturdy leash, one that won’t snap if he suddenly lunges for the neighbor’s cat. Collars are fine for most dogs, but some pups need other gear. For instance, if your canine companion is a small dog or a brachycephalic pooch, like a pug, he’ll be better off in a harness. Retractable leashes can be great, but they aren’t right for every situation. For example, you don’t want to use them on the side of a busy road. Your furry friend could run into traffic if the mechanism jams!

Paw Care

Don’t forget that Fido is barefoot! Dogs’ paw pads are very sensitive. Your pet could get painful burns or blisters by running on hot or harsh surfaces in summer. In winter, snow, salt, sand, and ice can cause painful paw abrasions. Keep your pooch on soft ground as much as possible, and use paw balm to protect his furry feet.

Safety

When walking on the side of a road, always keep your dog to the outside. Fido is pretty short, and easy for drivers to overlook. Stay away from potentially-dangerous areas, such as riverbanks. If you like to listen to music while walking your furry pal, keep the volume down, so you can hear what’s going on around you. Last but not least, always take a phone with you.

Night Walks

Be extra vigilant when you take your canine buddy out after dark. We recommend using bright, reflective gear and clothing. Stick to safe, well-lit paths, and don’t venture too far from home.

Is your pet due for an exam, vaccinations, or parasite control? Please contact us, your Salem, VA vet clinic, anytime. We’re here to help!

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