Guest Author - Carla Cano
A walking companion can help keep a walking program going. There is an accountability when you are walking with a partner. You donít want to let them down. You donít want to give them an excuse for why you canít be there. Many turn to pets as their walking companion. It is hard to deny puppy dog eyes and wagging tails right?
A dog can be the perfect walking companion. They are loyal, energetic, and love to spend time with their owners. Walking can be a wonderful quality time experience between you and your pet. Some dogs take naturally to a walking program, some need a little training. When you choose to have a pet companion for your walks there are a few things you need to remember.
When choosing your walking path first make sure that the path is pet friendly. There are some parks that do not allow four legged friends. Also take into account the foot traffic on the chosen path. Pets can be easy to distract, so if there are lots of people doing a variety of activities they may find it hard to keep your pace.
If your pet is not used to walking along with you already, train your dog slowly to participate in your routine. Make sure that the collar and leash are comfortable both for yourself and your pet. You may need to determine which side your pet will walk on so that they are not trying to crisscross in front or behind you while walking. There will be a learning period, be respectful of your dogs learning behaviors and above all else be patient. If you are stressed your pet will pick up on that and it will hinder their ability to grasp what you are teaching them. Take it slow and start with five to ten minutes a day and add more time when your pet is ready.
Many walking paths are paved. There are times of the day that pavement is extremely hot. While you are wearing shoes to protect your feet your dog is not. Your pal has tender pads exposed to that hot surface. So remember to either walking on a path that allows your dog to run off the paved path, chose a path that is unpaved, or choose a cool time of the day. Often early in the morning is best if you must use a paved path. Evening can sometimes still have very hot surfaces and you may need to wait until well past nightfall for the pavement to be comfortable for your pet.
It is important for you to stay hydrated when doing any form of exercise, especially when it is the temperatures are high. It is even more important for your furry friend. Remember to take along a collapsible water bottle for your pets hydration needs. Heat exhaustion can happen within minutes for a dog. Being prepared will help you have a fun experience with your dog without worrying about their health.
Many house dogsí primary reason for going outside is to relieve themselves. Be sure that you give adequate time for your dog to take care of business before you begin your walk. If your dog needs to relieve himself he is going to be dragging you this way and that. Whereas if you have everything taken care of before you begin you can enjoy the time and walk comfortably. However, should your companion need to relieve themselves while walking, please remember to clean up after them. Common courtesy can go a long way in making our communities a nicer place to be. Many communities will issue fines if you fail to clean up after your pet. So do the right thing and keep our paths safe and clean.
If you have any tips for walking with your pets please share in the forum. Walking together can encourage you to keep that routine and help you bond with your pet, enjoy!