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Walk Your Dog Month

January 1, 2018

Happy New Year! January 1st is of course most widely known as the start of a new year, but for those of us in the pet care industry, it also has another significance: it’s the first day of Walk Your Dog Month! Although for many of us every month is Walk Your Dog Month, this is a great time to take a look at your doggy-walking regime! Read on as a Roanoke, VA vet discusses taking Fido for a stroll.

Benefits of Walking

For many people, walking Fido is an absolute necessity, for sanitary purposes. However, even if your pooch has a yard, he’ll still benefit from regular strolls. Those daily walks provide your furry friend with mental stimulation, which will fight off the bored-puppy blues and keep that cute tail wagging. They also keep your canine companion active, which is great for him physically. Plus, they’re a great way for you to bond with your dog!


Does your pooch pull on his leash? If so, you’ll want to correct this bad habit immediately. It’s not only bad doggy manners, it can actually be dangerous, especially with larger breeds. When Fido jerks on his leash, immediately stop and change direction. Keep doing this every time your dog pulls. Training can get a bit tedious, but it will be well worth it in the end.


Always put your pet’s safety first! When walking Fido on the side of a road, keep him to the outside. He has a lower profile, and is harder for drivers to see. Also, avoid potentially dangerous areas, such as riverbanks, wooded areas that could be housing wild animals, and isolated spots. We recommend bringing a phone and flashlight with you. If you listen to music through earbuds, keep the volume low, so you can hear what is going on around you.


Tie a carabiner onto the end of your dog’s leash. That way, if you want to stop and talk to someone or make a phone call, you can easily clip Fido to a pole or tree. Just don’t leave your furry pal unattended! Another thing you can do is to designate a specific jacket for walking your canine buddy. Put waste baggies, treats, gloves, and other necessities in the pockets.

Our Advice on Walk Your Dog Month in 2024

What are the benefits of walking your dog regularly?

Regularly walking your dog offers numerous benefits, including physical exercise, which helps maintain a healthy weight and supports cardiovascular health. It also provides mental stimulation from exploring new scents and environments, reducing boredom and potentially destructive behaviors. Walks strengthen the bond between dog and owner, creating opportunities for positive interactions and training. Additionally, regular walks can improve socialization with people and other dogs, contributing to better behavior and reduced anxiety. Overall, walking is essential for a dog’s physical and mental well-being.

What safety precautions should be taken when walking a dog?

When walking a dog, safety precautions include using a sturdy leash and a well-fitted collar or harness to prevent escape. Always walk on well-lit paths and avoid high-traffic areas. Keep your dog on the inside, away from the road, to protect them from passing cars. Bring water for both you and your dog on hot days to prevent dehydration. Carry a flashlight or wear reflective gear during early morning or evening walks. Also, ensure your dog is microchipped and wears ID tags in case they get lost. Finally, stay vigilant about your surroundings and avoid interactions with unfamiliar animals to prevent potential conflicts.

What are some helpful hacks for dog walking?

Useful dog-walking hacks include attaching a carabiner to your dog’s leash for easy, secure tethering when needed without leaving them unattended. Carry a collapsible water bowl to keep your dog hydrated, especially on long or hot walks. Designate a specific jacket or bag for walks, stocked with essentials like waste bags, treats, a portable water dish, and a small first aid kit. Use a hands-free leash for more comfortable walks, allowing you to maintain control while keeping your hands free. Lastly, consider reflective gear for both you and your dog for increased visibility during early morning or evening walks.

Why is it essential to consider petiquette during dog walks?

Considering petiquette during dog walks is essential for several reasons. It ensures the safety and comfort of your dog, other animals, and people you encounter. Following good petiquette, such as keeping your dog on a leash, picking up after them, and preventing them from invading others’ space, promotes responsible pet ownership and helps maintain a positive environment in public spaces. It also minimizes conflicts with other dogs and people, reducing stress for both you and your dog, and fosters a community where pets are welcomed and respected.

What should you carry with you for safety and convenience during dog walks?

For safety and convenience during dog walks, carry a sturdy leash, waste bags for cleanup, fresh water, and a collapsible bowl for hydration. A well-fitted collar with ID tags and a microchip for your dog ensures they can be identified if lost. For evening walks, bring a flashlight or use reflective gear for visibility. It’s also wise to have a small first aid kit for minor injuries. Additionally, carrying your phone can be crucial for emergencies or navigation. These essentials help ensure a safe and enjoyable walk for both you and your dog.

As you focus on daily walks with your dog, don’t forget to also consider how holiday seasons, like Thanksgiving, can impact your pet. For tips on making the holiday safe and enjoyable for your pets, read our ‘Thanksgiving With Fluffy’ article. Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Beyond exercise and nutrition, your pet’s health may also be affected by allergies or skin issues. Discover how our ‘Allergies & Dermatology’ services can help manage these conditions for a happier, healthier pet. Contact us, your Roanoke, VA pet hospital, anytime!

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