Walking your dog will create an even deeper bond. Not only is it a daily exercise that’s essential for your dog’s health but your dog will also benefit from all the smells, sounds, and sights on your walks.
Something so simple can benefit you both but there are certain rules of dog walking etiquette you need to be aware of. This is especially true for new owners who may not be aware of dog walking rules. Take a look at what to keep in mind.
1. Always Take a Leash
Some dogs have excellent recall and behave well when off-leash. This sometimes leads to owners going for walks with their dogs without taking a leash. This can be a dangerous thing to do.
Even the most well-behaved dog can sometimes be unpredictable. You can never know what will spook a dog until it happens. For example, a dog might run when hearing a car back-firing.
Having a leash with you at all times means you can be in control. It will be less likely that your dog is lost or hurt and other pedestrians will remain safe.
2. Pick Up the Poop
Most dog owners already know that this is a non-negotiable rule. Sadly, that doesn’t mean that everyone does it. Dog poop not only looks unsightly when it’s left behind but it’s also full of bacteria. It can disease grass, leaving it rot and yellow, and it can pass bacteria onto people and other animals.
The more you can clean up while on your walk, the better for everyone else. In addition, the dog owners who don’t clean up after their dogs give all dog owners a bad name. Take a cute poop bag holder with you to attach to your lead for ease.
3. Show Respect
Wherever you walk your dog, you’re going to come across other people and other dogs. Don’t assume that every person will want to greet your dog or every dog will want to make friends. Some dogs are kept at a distance from other dogs for a very good reason.
If you’re on a walk and your dog wants to approach another person or dog, you should show respect and ask to approach first. You may come across another dog that’s reactive and could hurt your dog. Some reactive dogs will wear a yellow collar, bandana, or coat to show that they need space.
4. Do Not Trespass
Going on an adventure with your dog is one of life’s greatest joys. Exploring places you’ve never been together and making memories is all part of the fun. However, your dog may want to explore some places you aren’t allowed to go.
He may want to pull you towards people’s gardens or into vegetable patches. He may want to go and see farmland animals or smell some tasty meat coming from a nearby restaurant. It’s up to you to guide your dog away from the places he shouldn’t be.
You don’t want to cause a rift in your community because you keep allowing your dog to access other people’s property or enter places he’s not allowed to be.
5. Don’t Get Distracted
Getting distracted while out for a walk with your dog means anything can happen. Your dog could tangle the leash around a person or an object. Your dog could wander off in the wrong direction or approach someone who doesn’t want to be approached.
If you’re hiking or walking off-road, your dog could get lost by leaving the trail. There are several things that could happen when you aren’t looking. Just as you wouldn’t take your eyes off a child, it’s important to do the same with your dog.
When to Avoid Walking
Walking is a healthy part of any dog’s routine but dog owners should also be able to tell when a dog shouldn’t walk. There are many instances when it would be safer to stay at home with your dog.
For example, a particularly cold and wet day may do your dog more damage than good. Dogs can get a common cold in the same way humans can. Similarly, if your dog is spooked by loud noises, you may want to avoid days when you know fireworks will be going off, like July 4th.
If your dog has an injury, you can ask your vet for advice on walks. Some elderly dogs with arthritis need shorter and slower walks than they were used to. A dog with an injury may need exercise to improve but it may be changed to three times a week, rather than every day.
Observing Proper Dog Walking Etiquette
Many first-time owners aren’t aware of proper dog walking etiquette when deciding to raise a puppy. It’s like being introduced to a whole new world and many dog owners will make mistakes. However, once you learn that it’s not just about protecting your dog, it’s easy to understand why these rules are essential for all.
Once you come across a few rude dog walkers that have no respect for you or your dog, it becomes clearer why these rules are so important. So, if you’re new to the world of dog ownership, keep these rules to hand.
Take a look at more of our articles for advice on all things pets.