• 7 Must Know Tips When Walking Your Dog

    Posted on May 15th, 2013
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    Dog walking tips for all dog owners.

    Tired of your dog always pulling on his leash? Maybe you just got a puppy and want to teach him how to properly walk on the leash. Check out these helpful tips from the ASPCA.

    1. If your dog won’t stop pulling on his leash, try using a head halter. They give the walker more control and dogs are less likely to pull.
    2. Using an extendable leash is nice for walks in the park however it isn’t always safe to let your dog explore out of your reach in a high traffic area.
    3. If your dog likes to tug or bite on the leash a chain leash might be a good idea. Metal won’t feel as nice between their teeth as a nylon or leather leash would.
    4. Make sure your dog stays out of lawns and flower beds where insecticides and other chemicals may have been used. Bulb plants like tulips and daffodils can cause stomach problems for your canine companion. Make sure your dog doesn’t stop to smell or nibble the flowers!
    5. If another walker crosses your path, it is polite to teach your dog to have manners and sit while the walker passes by or pets your dog. Teach your dog not to jump on people.
    6. If you are taking a long walk make sure to bring water for your dog. Also bring treats for your dog to reward him for good behavior on your walk.
    7. Keep your eyes and ears open for dangerous critters such as snakes, bees and coyotes.

    Do you have some suggestions for walking with your dog? We’d love to hear them! Please comment on our blog.

  • Tips for Dog Walking

    Posted on June 20th, 2012
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    Happy Summer Solstice!  Today is the longest day of the year and a great time to take your dog for a walk!

    With Summer in full effect, it makes it easier to walk your dog more often – before and after work – while it is still light out.

    Clear the Air would like to share some helpful dog walking tips from the ASPCA everyone should know when taking their happy pup for a walk.  Check them out:

    What’s the best type of leash? “Use whatever you feel most comfortable holding,” recommends the ASPCA Animal Behavior Center’s Kristen Collins, CPDT.

    • Flexi-leads are best reserved for walks in the park, when it’s safe for a dog to explore a bit further away from her pet parent. They are NOT a good idea if you’re walking in an area with high foot traffic or off-leash dogs, as the long line may get wrapped around your dog, a person’s leg or another dog.
    • Many people think chain leashes look nice, but they are much heavier than nylon or leather, and they can be very hard on the hands. Even so, they sometimes work well for dogs who like to tug or bite the leash. “Metal doesn’t feel nearly as nice in a dog’s mouth,” explains Collins.
    • Leather leashes are a good option because they are easiest on the hands.
    • Nylon leashes can cut into hands or give a pet parent “leash burn” if a dog pulls a lot or unexpectedly lunges forward. But they come in many stylish colors and designs, and they hold up well after repeated exposure to rain and snow.

    Constant pulling on the leash makes walks stressful for both of you. “It’s a common problem that can happen for a number of reasons,” says Collins.

    • If your dog darts after local wildlife, it may help to walk him when critters are less likely to be out and about; avoid dawn and dusk. You can also check out our article Dogs Who Are Reactive on Leash.
    • Try using a head halter like The Gentle Leader to walk a dog who’s excitable on leash.

    Our experts at the ASPCA Poison Control Center want you to keep your walks toxin-free:

    • During the warmer months, it’s important to keep your pet safe from toxic lawn and garden products. Insecticides and certain types of mulch can cause problems for our furry friends—during neighborhood strolls, please be sure to keep your pooch off the lawns of others.
    • Even though popular spring bulb plants like tulips and daffodils add much to our landscape, they can cause significant stomach problems for our furry friends. If your pooch likes to stop and smell—or nibble—the flowers, please keep him on a short leash during your walks.

    It’s great that your friendly pooch loves meeting people during walks—but not so great that she jumps up on them. “The basic idea is to teach your dog how to sit on cue and then require her to sit to interact with people,” says Collins. “No sitting, no greeting. But if she sits, she gets to enjoy the reward of greeting her friends.” It doesn’t hurt to reward the dog with a treat—or ask the person whom she’s greeting to offer a treat.

    Make sure to bring these things:

    • If you’re planning an extended walk, be sure to bring water for your dog—especially if it’s warm outside.
    • Don’t forget the goodies! Walks are great training opportunities. Bring Fido’s fave treats along, and practice tricks and obedience while you’re out in the world. “This will solidify your dog’s skills and convince him that going on walks is fantastic fun!” says Collins.
    • Don’t get caught without extra poop bags, particularly if you’re going on a long walk.  (P.S. This is a great way to recycle all those plastic grocery bags!)

    Depending on the time of the year and the area of the country you live in, sneaky critters like snakes, spiders, scorpions and bees can be a serious concern for pet and parent alike. If you’re walking in a densely wooded area, take extra care to keep an eye out for hidden dangers.

    Taking a walk to a dog park or other fenced-in area that’s safe for canines to romp freely? Make sure your dog is prepared for off-leash play. “Your dog must know how to come when called,” says Collins, “so the most important thing to do is teach a really reliable recall.”

    Here are some suggestions for making walks more fun for your dog:

    • Mix it up! Try taking your dog to new places. He’ll love experiencing the new sights, smells and sounds at a novel location.
    • Choose fabulous destinations. If possible, walk to fun places, like friends’ houses or the dog park.
    • Walk with buddies. If your dog likes other dogs, consider group walks. You can either borrow a friend’s dog to accompany you, or invite family and friends who have dogs to meet you somewhere.

    Walking in humid, mosquito-friendly areas? Spray yourself, not your pooch! Even though it’s tempting to share insect repellent with your pooch, it can be a grave mistake. Insect repellent should never be applied to dogs, who can suffer neurological problems from the toxic ingredient, DEET. Instead, ask your veterinarian for a suitable, pet-specific alternative.