We all love walking our dogs. There’s probably no other daily activity that can be as relaxing and rewarding as taking your furry friend out for an afternoon stroll through the park. However, like all things, there is a way to do it wrong. Foregoing the obvious “you belong in jail if you do these” examples, there are other, more simple, but potentially damaging mistakes dog owners make every day. Luckily, they’re also easy to rectify. So, if you live in Manhattan, and love dog walking, here are some mistakes you might be making without realizing it.
#1. Disregarding hazards
When walking your dog outside, you need to be mindful of your environment, and everything that lives in it, and what danger it may or may not pose to your dog. Dog’s are naturally curious animals, so it’s up to you to keep them away from something that they are not already aware can harm them. For instance, if it’s just turning spring and the snow and ice are really starting to melt, then you should keep your dog away from any puddles that may be in the street or on the sidewalk. These puddles may contain within them chemicals that could prove harmful to your dog’s health and even their life.
#2. Not rewarding good behavior
After a great walk, give your puppy a treat or two to reward them for being such a good doggie! Over time, they will learn that the behavior they display on the walks that end in treats is the kind of behavior they need to display more in the future in order to get more treats. Dogs react very strongly to positive or negative reinforcement, and it can have lifelong effects on how they behave, so make sure to start young with this.
#3. Approaching strange dogs
Unless you and your dog know the dog of the other person, don’t approach them while on a walk. Your dog may be the friendliest pup the universe has ever seen, but you have no such guarantee for the other person’s dog. They may react violently, and then you’ll have to pull back your dog and calm them down. So it’s better to just let the other dog go about their business.
Although simple, these mistakes can be dangerous if the circumstances are right (or wrong, in this case) but thankfully, that means they’re easy to fix if you have been doing them. Giving your dog a treat and a pet after a good walk, keeping an eye out for danger, and avoiding strange dogs you don’t know, is a good way to ensure a safe, enjoyable walk for you and your dog. And in case you ever need someone to walk your dog for you, New York Tails has some of the best Manhattan dog walking professionals, who always follow the above listed instructions.