Same Old, Same Old…
You’ve been here before many times. Same tree, same patch of grass. You’re so use to the route that you can almost do it in your sleep, yet you keep on doing it because your dog needs to go out and needs the exercise. And because walking is what you’re suppose to do, right? Well yes, but it doesn’t have to be the same boring walk every day. Here are some tips to add a little excitement to your daily dog walks.
Who’s Walking Who?
Ditch your regular route and let your dog walk you. Just follow his lead and you won’t know where you’ll end up until you get there. Every walk can be an adventure with new smells and new friends to meet on the way. Murphy loves to head to the river while Niko prefers the park. Our newly adopted Barnaby is fine either way. Taking turns keeps everyone happy.
Grab a Ball and Head to the Park
Head outdoors with your dog’s favorite ball and add some cardio to your regular dog walk. Once you’re there you can play catch or throw the ball into dense vegetation and let him search for it. Playing catch is Barnaby’s favorite game but he doesn’t always bring the ball back to me. We’re working on it!
Practice Your Training
Training your dog to obey important commands when you’re outdoors is a great way to bond with him and keep him safe. Every dog should be able to master the sit, stay and down commands. If your dog pulls out of his collar or harness these 3 commands could save his life.
Take Photos or Videos
Grab your phone or camera and create lasting memories of your adventures. Get that great action shot of your dog running for his ball or jumping to catch a treat, or a bird in flight. Whether you keep them for yourself or post them online you’ll treasure these memories forever.
Go Shopping With Your Dog
Make a list of pet-friendly stores in your neighborhood. Many shopping centers and local stores welcome well-behaved dogs. Always come prepared with waste bags, water and treats. Your dog will love the new smells and sights and the attention he’ll receive almost as much as you’ll love the sales that are sure to be coming as we near the holiday season.
Enjoy a Tasty Meal
So many restaurants now have areas where you can sit outdoors with your dog and enjoy a meal. Be sure you bring water, treats and waste bags of course and always call ahead to make sure they allow pets. My boys love it when we stop for treat time for all of us!
It’s Time To Have Fun and Be Social
Dogs come in all shapes and sizes with personalities just as diverse. They can be exuberant or shy, friendly or hostile, aggressive or passive, fearful or bold or any combination of the above. Although some personality traits may be attributed to breed, genetics and training other traits are a direct result of socialization or often a lack of socialization.
Socialization is the process by which dogs learn how to relate to other dogs, people and other animals based on direct interaction. While socialization begins at home it’s important to reinforce the process when you’re out in the street so your dog understands the importance of good manners and becomes a valuable and valued member of your community.
Here’s a list of some doggy playgroups and meetups in the New York area so you can start the process of helping your dog be the best that he can be.