Your furry friend is down for leash time at any moment. Dog walking experts Heather Curatolo and Sarah Schmidt weigh in with four things to consider before walking your dog, whether you're hitting the trails or sashaying down 5th Avenue.
Master Basic Training
"Leash training is important," Curatolo says. "If a dog pulls or drags, it can be dangerous, especially in highly populated areas." Make sure your dog is responsive on the leash and has mastered the "drop it" command (which means Rover willingly lets go of what he has in his mouth) to avoid mid-walk mishaps involving broken glass and chicken bones. The LINK AKC Smart Collar sound feature helps with positive reinforcement training.
Respect the Elderly
People complain when a joint acts up, but our aging four-legged friends can't verbalize every ache and pain. "Hip dysplasia and arthritis are common with older dogs," Sara says. Running may not be an option, but a leisurely stroll is a great way to keep older pups active."
Understand Breed Limitations
You're training for a marathon, but your pug is training for a nap. Something's gotta give. Short and small breeds aren't always built for long hauls, but more active and sporty breeds such as Vizslas, and Border Collies were born to run. Wherever you and your dog land on the ability spectrum, tailor your exercise plan using the LINK AKC Smart Collar wellness tracker. This feature tracks his activity level and monitors the ambient temperature. You'll have an easy way to see if his activity levels are in line with recommendations for his age and breed.
Prep for the Elements
Walking your dog through a local park still counts as the great outdoors, but be careful. Warmer winters mean ticks are out for blood, and climbing temps can hobble even the best conditioned pets. "If your dog experiences excessive drooling or a 'drunken gait,' get him into a cool bath, apply a cold pack to his head and get him to the vet asap," Sara says. "You always have to look out for heat stroke."
Thanks to Heather Curatolo with Paws on Pine and Sara Schmidt from Throw Me a Bone Inc. for sharing their insight with us. How do you go the extra mile while walking your dog? Share your tips with us!