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Walk Your Dog Week

Walk Your Dog Week starts today, October 1st! Those daily walks are important for many reasons beyond simple sanitation. They help keep Fido in shape, give him a change of scenery, and provide him with beneficial mental stimulation. Read on as a Bolingbrook, IL vet offers some tips on taking your canine buddy for a stroll.

Gear

Using the right gear is very important! Make sure Fido has a leash or collar that fits well. As a rule of thumb, you should easily be able to fit two fingers between your pet’s neck and collar. Some dogs, such as brachycephalic pooches and small dogs, should have a harness, rather than a regular collar. As for the leash, get something sturdy. Retractable leashes can be great, but they aren’t safe in every situation. Don’t use them near traffic, or in dangerous areas, such as along riverbanks or cliffs. Also, be careful not to let your dog get tangled up with another pup.

Training

Make sure that your canine pal is fully trained, and listens to simple commands, like Sit, Stay, Heel, Come, and Lay Down. This is very important! If Fido lunges after a squirrel and jerks the leash out of your hand, you want to be sure that you can call him back to you.

Clothing

Make sure to wear footwear with a good tread, so you don’t slip and fall. After dark, wear a jacket that’s easy for people to see. This is especially important if you’re in a rural area! You may want to designate a specific jacket for walking your canine friend. Keep the pockets filled with treats, waste baggies, ear buds, spare keys, a phone charger, and anything else you may need.

Lunging

Does your four-legged buddy have a habit of jerking on his leash? Every time your pup does this, immediately change direction on him. Sooner or later, your dog will realize that lunging doesn’t really get him any closer to that squirrel!

Safety

Safety first! When walking Fido after dark, stick to well-lit, safe routes, and always take a phone and flashlight with you. Also, if you are walking on the side of a road, keep your furry friend to the outside, so he can’t stumble into traffic.

Please reach out to us, your Bolingbrook, IL vet clinic, for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re happy to help!

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