Quick Tips for Dog Walking Etiquette

iStock_000007652815_LargeIf your plans this January include hitting the trails, city streets, or local parks with your canine companion, that’s great! However, keep in mind these important considerations for proper dog walking to keep things friendly no matter where you go.

Let’s Begin…Training and Socialization

Since many veterinary emergencies involve dog fights, bites, or injuries sustained during an accident, we want to stress the importance of obedience training and socialization. Both are a prerequisite for any dog before venturing out into the world.

If your pet experiences behavioral challenges or does not respond to commands, please address these issues for his or her safety.

5 Dog Walking Tips to Make for a Great Time

Now that we know which skills your pooch needs before venturing out, let’s shift our focus to the pet owner. Since you’re responsible for making the walk a safe and enjoyable experience, implement these essential tips for perfect etiquette:

  1. Be prepared. Being a star dog walker relies on having all the essentials. These items include:
    • Dog waste bags (never forget to pick up the poo!)
    • A fitted leash/harness and collar with ID tags (we also recommend microchipping)
    • Any cold/rainy weather gear, such as a jacket and booties
    • Water and a collapsible/portable bowl
    • Treats to help maintain your pet’s attention
  2. Respect others and their pets. While you love dogs, not everyone wants those canine kisses or appreciates being knocked over by an enthusiastic jumper. When in doubt, steer clear of others or simply ask. Likewise, before approaching another dog, ask permission from the owner if the two can mingle.
  3. Observe, maintain control, and intervene when needed. Keep your dog leashed when outside the confines of a safe enclosure. When you’re at a dog park or similar venue, make sure your dog doesn’t get too friendly (or too fearful) with other pets. If you sense anxiety, get your dog’s attention and move to another area or simply leave. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
  4. Keep sick, injured, and unvaccinated or altered pets at home. If your pet has been ill recently or has had surgery, wait until he or she is given the green light by your veterinarian before going out. This is to ensure the safety of other pets and your dog, whose immunity may be compromised. Never take an unaltered pet to a venue where he or she will encounter other animals. Unaltered pets are more likely to escape and can incite aggression.
  5. Use common sense and understanding. The best way to maintain perfect dog walking etiquette is to know your dog’s triggers and how to avoid them. Also use common sense when it comes to emergency situations, wildlife encounters, or other pet accidents. Remain vigilant by keeping a close eye on your dog and knowing where to get emergency care should the need arise.

Please contact us if you have any questions about walking your dog or if you’d like some additional tips.

Have a great walk!