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January is Walk Your Dog Month

The girl is walking along the footpath with her dog

Helpful Tips for healthy & relaxing walks with your dog

Enjoy your time together
It is a special time that both you and your dog look forward to, the daily walk (even in the winter months). There must be a reason why January is depicted as the month to celebrate walking your dog. Maybe because the holidays are over and both you and your dog have a few pounds to lose and need some fresh air and exercise. Is walking your dog always as stress free as you are led to believe? If it isn’t you are not alone. Some dogs have real issues on leash and do not always behave the way we expect them to. Pulling on the leash, lunging or barking can take the joy out of the walk you have anxiously been waiting for. Consistent daily walks using the right technique, discipline and rewards will develop a very strong partnership for all the miles ahead of you

Be the alpha dog in the relationship.
Take the lead when walking your dog Be confident in your body language —and don’t let your dog walk you. Your dog should walk beside you or slightly behind. If your dog pulls ahead, shouting won’t get him to return to your side. You can reward him/her with a treat when their walking by your side and that will help keep them beside you which is the best place for them. Soft bite sized treats are ideal for training.

Practice makes perfect Leashes are a must when taking your dog out for a walk. Choose a leash that works best for you and one that you feel comfortable holding. Keep it short but not too tight so you can keep your dog from bolting and keep them under control. Reward your dog when his task is complete. Soon your dog will be walking by your side and not pulling you and chasing after things along the way.

Keep it interesting
Don’t always be predictable and let your dog, rove a little— travel off the beaten path and explore different routes. Visit a friend or a dog park so that your dog can learn to be controlled in an environment where he meets other canine pals. You might want to meet up with some friends who are walking their dogs. You can even create your own walking dog pack that both you and your dog can look forward to for like-minded social interactions.

How far should you go?
How far is far enough when walking your dog? There is no single right answer as there are many factors to consider. Size and breed of dog, outside temperature, age and the difficulty of the terrain. —if he starts panting and slowing down, you’ve gone far enough. If your dog’s stamina is noticeably reduced, you should contact your vet for a wellness check.

Happy Walk your Dog Month
We at Tevra hope you enjoy your walk with your best 4-legged friend, you’ll be glad you took the time. We encourage you to start the new year with a resolution to spend quality time exercising your dog every day. You too will reap both the physical and emotional benefits from your daily excursions.

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