Why Dogs Need Their Walks

Dogs need exercise, and the activity they love more than any other is walking. However, many owners shirk the responsibility. Perhaps they simply do not have time, or maybe they do not realize how important it is to walk their pets.

Others try, but give up in frustration because the dog "plays up" every time he's on the leash. If this describes you, then listen up, because I'm about to tell you one of the most important things you need to know as a dog owner.

"Dogs need their walks!"

Any trainer will tell you that daily exercise is a must for all dogs. For some, 30 minutes to an hour may be enough, for others 2 hours will just be getting started. But the point is they all need exercise, and walking should be the core component of that.

But the walk is more than simply clipping on the dog's lead and heading out the door. A few simple guidelines will make it an intimate more enjoyable experience, for you and the dog.

Here are some of the things you should be doing;

* Choose walk times carefully, avoiding the heat of the day. If you do have to walk when it's hot, be sure to take some bottled water along, because dogs can overheat quite easily.

* Teach your dog to walk next to you rather than in front. A dog that takes the lead is more likely to become aggressive and pull on the lead, as he sees himself as leader and protector.

* Always keep slack on the lead. Every time you pull the dog back you just encourage him to pull in the opposite direction. Rather stop, wait for him to calm down, then continue.

* Own the walk. You decide where you go, when you stop, and whether the dog is allowed to mark, or sniff around.

* Where possible, avoid other dogs. You have no idea of ‚Äč‚Äčanother animal's temperament and matters can quickly get out of hand. If your dog is small, pick him up if a big dog approaches aggressively, if you have a big dog just walk in a different direction and avoid a confrontation.

You also do not know if a strange dog has been vaccinated and if it is carrying any diseases that may be passed to your dog.

* Choose a collar and leash (or a harness) that is comfortable for your dog, but that also gives you complete control. Also make sure that your dog is wearing an id tag, just in case he gets away from you.

If your dog does escape, the id tag will hopefully result in him being returned safely. For an extra level of security you may also want to have your dog micro-chipped.

* Lastly, enjoy yourself! Hanging out with your dog is one of the funnest things you can do, two buddies working out together and enjoying the pleasure of each others company. What could be better.