06 September 2021
As a dog owner, part of your daily routine will undoubtedly involve at least one walk each day. Not only is it good exercise for us owners, it’s vital for your dog’s physical and mental wellbeing. Dog walking provides your pet with the opportunity to explore different smells, sights, and sounds, much more than they can experience in the home or garden.
However, you might find that you are walking the same old route all the time, which might be convenient for you but perhaps not too interesting. You may even wonder if your dog is becoming bored with their daily walk.
Tips to make your walks more fun
There are plenty of simple suggestions you can try to add a bit of extra interest to your dog walks.
· Depending on your local area, try and choose a few different walks that include a change of environment from your usual route. You might be able to visit woods or parks, walk through built-up urban areas, or even visit the beach if you’re near the coast.
· If your dog is a swimming fan, finding a safe area of water for them to swim or play in can be brilliant fun.
· Try local social media groups or friends for new walk suggestions; there’s also a selection of apps that can give you some great ideas for new routes.
· If you’re heading out to a field or park with plenty of space, take along a ball or a frisbee. Much easier than worrying about your frisbee sailing over a neighbour’s fence! Playing with a frisbee or a ball is fun for your dog and has the added bonus of giving them a chance to get plenty of running done.
· Don’t forget the treats! A walk is also a good opportunity to carry out a little training, and you’ll want to reward your dog for their efforts. Even if you’re not training, it’s sometimes nice just to give a little treat during a walk!
Your own daily schedule might mean that you need to walk your dog early in the morning or much later in the day, perhaps after work. This might not seem as appealing to you as walking during the middle of the day, but it’s a perfect time of day for your dog. Dogs are crepuscular animals, which means that dawn and dusk are naturally their most active times of the day. While many dogs adapt their sleeping habits to fit in with their owner's routine, it certainly goes a long way to explaining those sudden bursts of energy in the early evening, or first thing when us owners are still trying to wake ourselves up!
If you are heading out on a walk in the dark or even in low light, it’s a good idea to take some safety precautions to keep you and your dog as safe as possible. If you’re walking by any roads, be sure that drivers and other pedestrians can see you and your dog. You can buy glow-in-the-dark collars, and high visibility clothing is beneficial, along with a decent torch. Not only do you need to be visible, but you need to be able to see where you are walking, particularly on uneven surfaces.
Even if you’re too busy to try something completely different, just reversing the direction of your usual route is enough to make a change. Trying out some of these tips will add some great variation to your walks and help your dog get the most out of their trips outdoors!