Where and How Far Should You Walk Your Dog

By: Amber Kingsley

The age-old expression “walk the dog,” actually has many meanings that don’t have anything to do with putting your canine on a leash. According to the Urban Dictionary online, it can also be an act of self-gratification that comes from manual labor or an acknowledgement of a request made from someone. But enough trivia, when we are actually exercising our animal, where should we take them and how far should we go with our four-legged best friend?

Obviously, much of this has to do with their age and possible health issues they could have. There is also their size and breed to consider. Think of it this way, walking a mile with a much larger dog, like a Great Dane, is vastly different for a Chihuahua to complete the same distance. Remember, you should always check with your veterinarian to make sure your dog is healthy enough for extenuated exercise sessions. 

Dog Walking

Generally speaking, a good rule of thumb for an average healthy dog to walk is about 30 minutes daily. So if the average human walks around 3 mph, if you do the math, you should be walking them about a half-a-mile per day. But then again, younger, more active dogs could go much further and may benefit from longer, more intense exercise sessions.

If you do have a more active dog, you could also break up these sessions up into more than one occurrence, say a 20 minute stroll in the morning followed by a more intensive 45 minute walk in the evening. A smaller or older dog could spend 15 minutes in the am and 15 minutes in the pm with you walking about. This will be beneficial for both of you in terms of exercise, activity and simply spending more time bonding with your pet.

The Great Outdoors

You always want to make sure wherever you walk your dog is safe, even a backyard or garden can present hazards for a pet. Birds, snakes, rodents, and many other different types of wildlife can be problematic for companion animals. Outdoor trails, beaches and other arenas can also be sources of unsafe conditions for dogs. When you are talking your dog out for a stroll, even if it’s an area considered to be an “off-leash” location, the safest place for them is at the end of a leash.

Living In Suburbia

When you live in the suburbs, taking the dog around the block is a common occurrence, and an average city block runs around 750 feet one-way. So if you complete one, large, city block, that’s equivalent to 3,000 feet (750 x 4) and that’s a little less than a half-mile, so you’re probably on track for a good, small, exercise session with your companion if you perform this feat daily.

Dog Walking

 

Weather Permitting

Always keep the weather and temperature in mind when you’re walking your dog. Obviously a hot summer’s day is much different when it comes to their endurance compared to a cold, winter forecast. In hotter times, keep walks shorter and during the hours when the temperature is much cooler, early in the morning and later in the evening.

In colder climates, remember to examine your dog’s feet for signs of distress that come with lower temperatures. In a suburban setting, their feet could come in contact with and retain chemicals such as salt that are commonly used for snow and ice removal. In country areas, check their paws for rocks, dirt and other debris they could bring home with them.

In any event or circumstance, it’s probably a good idea to wash their feet daily and check their paws regularly for possible injury from their walking excursions. Also keep up with your regular veterinary check ups to make sure they’re happy and healthy while walking with you. 

 

Snout By Snoutwest at Shalom Austin

Whether they're your favorite running partner or make the best TV companion on a lazy Sunday afternoon, our canines aren't just wonderful pets, but friends for life. Shalom Austin celebrates the special bond between humans and dogs with Snout by Snoutwest.  Families and their four-legged friends enjoyed a fun-filled day on campus that included competitions, training activities, live music, and information from vendors and dog services.

We were happy to be part of this year’s Snout by Snoutwest. We shared more photos from the event on our Facebook page

Snout by Snoutwest
Snout By Snoutwest
Snout By Snoutwest
Snout By Snoutwest

How to Potty Train Your Dog Using Pee Pads

    Potty training your dog is one of the most difficult yet most important things to train your dog for. This is the first thing you need to teach your dog the second you get home so that your dog doesn’t get used to peeing on your floors.

     For the first few months that you have your dog, limit the space that your dog has to roam when unsupervised. Your dog needs limited space like a crate or small playpen so your dog learns to hold in their business until it is time to go. If your dog has an unlimited amount of space to roam, they will be able to go about their business in any corner or space of the house and feel like they do not need to hold in their business. In your dog’s limited space place a pee pad. Your dog will learn to pee and poop on the pee pad when they really need to go.

     The most important things when potty training are: consistency and rewards. You must be consistent and insistent with your dog when potty training. Always place clean pee pads around the house and praise and treat your dog each time your dog does their business on their pee pad. If your dog goes on the floor or elsewhere pick up your dog and place your dog on the pee pad and remind your dog to pee on the pad. Be consistent and use positive reinforcement. Do not use negative reinforcement like shouting or hitting. That will only make the dog want to conceal their pee or hide when they go to the bathroom. Be consistent with their feeding schedule as well. Feed your dog food and water 4 times a day so that their potty schedule is predictable and regular.

This is just one of the many ways to teach your dog how to use the pee pad. Just be consistent and positive and always clean up any accidents in the house. 

Thank-you to www.puppyshome.com for providing us this useful information. 

5 Top Tips for Helping Your Dog Beat the Summer Heat

Dog with summer glasses.jpg

The Texas summer heat can be ruff on our furry family members.  Here are a few tips to make this time of the year more comfortable for them:  

  1. Exercise your dog early in the morning or late at night for cooler temperatures. 
  2. Keep your dog hydrated by carrying water for them when out and about. 
  3. Never keep your dog in a parked car as vehicles retain more heat than an open area. 
  4. Incorporate swimming or replace a walk with swimming for exercise.
  5. Freeze chicken stock  into a pop bowl for a delicious cooling treat your dog will be sure to enjoy.