8 Safety Tips for Walking Your Dog
January may be cold and dark, but don’t let that discourage you from getting outside for physical activity with your furry friend. Walk Your Dog Month was founded to help dog owners get up and moving with their pets
Dogs need exercise all year long. The best way to keep them active during the winter is to take them for walks regularly.
A recent study by the Association of Pet Obesity Prevention showed that 56% of dogs in the United States are obese. Obesity can lead to conditions such as arthritis, high blood pressure, kidney disease, cancer and shortened life expectancy.
Even a short walk is better than nothing. Walks are a great time for bonding with your pet, a chance to meet other people and extra exercise for yourself, too.
Will you commit to better health for you and your pet this year? Walk Your Dog Month is the perfect opportunity.
In honor of this special month, we’ve compiled a list of safety tips for dog walkers below, plus a list of our favorite bone, joint and muscle support products for pets.
Safety tips for dog walking
Walks are one of the pleasures of having a canine companion. Here are some year-round safety tips to help keep the experience enjoyable for owners and dogs alike.
- Get the OK from your vet first. Before you change your pet’s activity level, have your veterinarian do a check for any health issues. Young puppies may not have fully developed joints yet and may need to wait to start long walks. Older animals may have joint issues that impact how far or fast they can walk.
- Have the right tools to control your dog’s movements. Train your dog to walk on a 4 to 6 foot leash attached to a harness or collar. Make sure the collar or harness fits properly to avoid injury or discomfort. A short leash makes it easy to get control quickly if you’re approached by wildlife or another threat. Retractable leashes aren’t recommended for exercise walks.
- Choose a smart route. You may encounter vehicle traffic, bikes, pedestrians and other dog walkers while you’re out and about. Try to choose a route that gives you as much uninterrupted walking time as possible. On nature trails, be careful of obstacles and rough terrain that could injure paws or irritate joints.
- Make yourself visible. When you’re walking in low light conditions, wear reflective clothing and also bring along a flashlight or other light. Don’t count on reflective gear alone, since its effectiveness depends on a vehicle’s headlights shining your way. A vehicle that’s not coming straight at you can still be a threat. Add a small clip-on light to your pet’s collar or vest for extra visibility.
- Bring water. It’s important for both of you to stay hydrated. Water bottles and collapsible bowls make it easy to give pets water on the go.
- Be a good neighbor. Make sure to bring a plastic bag along in case your dog needs to go to the bathroom. Try to pick an out-of-the-way spot, not the middle of your neighbor’s yard.
- Always carry identification. Even if you’re very careful, accidents can happen. You and your dog should both have ID in case of emergency. Many pet stores can engrave metal tags that attach to collars. Getting your pet microchipped provides an additional layer of safety in case your pet gets lost and the collar comes off.
- Check your dog over when you get home. After each walk, protect your dog’s paws by checking for splinters, irritation or cuts. Wipe feet with a warm, wet towel to remove sand from beach walks or snow mixed with road salt. Check for fleas and ticks during the appropriate months in your area, even if you give a preventative.
Nutritional support for active dogs
These favorite formulas are perfect for supporting your pet’s muscles, bones and joint health for more enjoyable walks and playtime:
CBD for Pets https://petalive.blog/2019/02/01/cbd-for-pets/
Keeping Your Pet Comfortable https://petalive.blog/2020/09/01/keeping-your-pet-comfortable/
- “Walk Your Dog Month – January 2022.” National Today. Accessed December 22, 2021. https://nationaltoday.com/walk-dog-month/
- “January is Walk Your Dog Month: Here’s How to Do It Right.” The Dog People. Accessed December 22, 2021. https://www.rover.com/blog/january-is-walk-your-dog-month/
- Williams, K. “Dog Walking Safety Tips.” VCA Hospitals. Accessed December 22, 2021. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/dog-walking-safety-tips
- Reisen, J. “Tips for Keeping Your Dog Safe This Summer.” American Kennel Club AKC. Accessed December 22, 2021. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/summer-safety-tips-for-dogs-2/