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January is Walk Your Dog Month!

January is Walk Your Dog Month! While January usually brings cold, ice and snow, it’s never a wrong time to go for a walk. Walking time should be something enjoyable for both the pet parent and pet, so this is the perfect month to work on some skills to make the most out of a pleasant walk. 

When going for a walk, does it looks like the dog is walking the pet parent instead of the other way around? If so, work on being the one in charge of the walk. Remember to keep your head up, shoulders back and don’t let the dog walk in front. Instead, have them walk by your side or slightly behind. The dog may have a bad habit of pulling forward, but with some positive reinforcement, they will learn to walk correctly. 

Finding the right leash to walk a dog is important. There are many different kinds of leashes, so choosing one that feels most comfortable shouldn’t be difficult. Keep it short, but not too tight. Some pet parents also prefer to use a harness to have better control of the dog. Think of walking as a training session, until a dog knows how to walk without pulling. A dog will certainly enjoy all the treats they will get as they learn how to walk nicely. 

While on the walk, don’t forgot doggie bags. Pet waste is a health hazard and if pet parents don’t pick up after their pets, they can get fined since it’s often a code violation. In warmer weather, make sure to bring water and a collapsible bowl. Change it up when going for a walks. There are many various smells, so take a dog a different way and they will be sure to enjoy traveling off the beaten path. If pet parents have friends or family that are within walking distance, take that route instead. It’s even better if they have dogs of their own! 
How do you know how far is too far? This depends on the dog’s weight, breed, general health and the walking environment. There’s no right answer, but signs of panting or slowing down usually means that the dog is ready for go home for a nap. 

With these tips in mind, you both will look like pros in no time. Now, go for a walk! 

Looking for a professional pet sitter or dog walker? Visit the locator page of the NAPPS website today. 

Benefits of Hiring a Mid-Day Dog Walker