Did you know that February 22’nd is officially Walk Your Dog Day? We know, Fido would probably insist that every day should be Walk Your Dog Day … and he wouldn’t be wrong. Those daily strolls are of course important for sanitation. However, they’re also really good for dogs! They keep our canine pals strong and healthy, help them burn off excess energy, and offer them mental stimulation. Read on as a local Salem, VA vet offers some tips on walking your furry best friend.
Training is very important! Make sure Fido obeys basic commands, like Sit, Stay, Come, Heel, and Lay Down. If your pooch has a habit of trying to haul you along with him to chase squirrels, start working on breaking that bad habit now. One way to do this is to simply change direction whenever your dog lunges. Sooner or later, he’ll get the hint!
Always put safety first! When walking on the side of a road, keep Fido to the outside, as he’s harder to spot. Also, walk in the direction of oncoming traffic. If you listen to music, keep the volume low enough so that you can hear what’s going on around you.
Dogs’ paws are quite delicate. In summer, keep Fido off hot surfaces as much as possible. You’ll also need to be careful in winter. Snow, salt, sand, and ice can all damage those furry feet. Fresh snow is also a hazard, as it can hide dangerous objects, like broken glass. Use paw balm to protect and moisturize your pet’s paws, and keep his claws and toe fur clipped.
Take extra precautions when walking your canine friend at night. Bring a flashlight and phone with you, and stick to well-lit, safe routes.
Fido will need a sturdy leash, one that won’t snap or break. Nylon ones are typically quite durable. He’ll also need a comfy harness or collar. Retractable leashes can be great, but they aren’t right for every situation. Don’t use them around other dogs, as your pup could potentially get entangled with another pooch. They also aren’t the best to use near traffic or in potentially-dangerous areas, such as near riverbanks.
Please reach out to us, your local Salem, VA vet clinic, for all of your dog’s veterinary care needs. We are dedicated to offering the best care around!