Walk Your Dog Day

Did you know that February 22nd is Walk Your Dog Day? Even if your pet has a yard to patrol, a good daily walk will be very beneficial for him. Those daily strolls keep Fido active, help him burn off excess energy, and prevent doggy boredom. Read on as a local Mattoon, IL vet discusses walking the dog.

Safety

Safety first! When walking your pup, wear shoes or sneakers with a good tread, and avoid bringing Fido near riverbanks, or other dangerous areas. At night, use reflective clothing, and stick to well-lit, safe, routes. If you listen to music, keep the volume down, so you can hear what’s going on around you. Better safe than sorry!

Paws

Dogs’ paw pads are very delicate. Your pup could hurt his furry feet by walking or running on hot or harsh surfaces. Stick to soft ground as much as you can, and use paw balm or wax on Fido’s paws. You may also want to get into the habit of wiping your pet’s paws down daily.

Training

Make sure Fido knows basic commands, such as Sit, Stay, Come, Heel, and Lay Down. If your pooch pulls on his leash, nip that habit in the bud: whenever he lunges, immediately change direction. He’ll get the hint sooner or later!

Gear

Choosing a collar may seem simple, but doggy gear is not one-size-fits-all. For instance, brachycephalic dogs, which are pups with those cute, pushed-in faces, lose their breath easily. If Fido is a brachy, you’ll need a harness instead of a collar. It’s also worth noting that while retractable leashes are great in some situations, they can be dangerous. If you are walking along a busy road, your dog could run into traffic if the mechanism jams. Ask your vet for recommendations.

Helpful Hacks

We recommend clipping a carabiner onto the end of your canine pal’s leash. That way, if you want to stop to chat, you can easily tie Fido to a tree or post. (Note: never leave your dog unattended, especially if he’s tied up.) You may also find it helpful to dedicate a single jacket to dog-walking. Put everything you need in the pockets: spare keys, gloves, baggies, treats, a flashlight, and a portable phone battery.

Please contact us, your Mattoon, IL animal clinic, with any questions or concerns about caring for your dog. We’re here to help!

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