As the new year approaches, so does a new slate of resolution! One aspiration we frequently hear from dog owners is to become more active with their furry companions. Unfortunately, being active in the frigid Chicago winters can be daunting. Combined with the pandemic, the deck of cards can often feel stacked against any outdoor activity. But what about dog walking?
Resolve to walk your dog this winter!
One easy way to achieve your resolution, is to get outside and walk your dog. Dog walking is a great way to get in shape for you and your dog. Ideally, most dogs require about four, 30-minute walks per day. Some breeds and ages require more or less.
If four walks seem impossible to fit into your daily routine, start with two and focus on making the most of this time with your dog. Most of us are technology obsessed. It’s easy to use a walk as time to scan social media or catch up on phone calls. However, in order to get maximum enjoyment for your dog (and you), we recommend using walks as time to focus on them. Each walk provides a unique opportunity to work on recall. Have your dog sit and make eye contact with you at every alley and stop sign. This simple routine encourages recall which is especially important when your dog is highly stimulated.
To make your outdoor time even more productive, consider adding ankle weights if you’d like to ramp up the exercise. Ankle weights work well in any weather and allow you to maximize strengthening during walks.
While letting your dog sniff and mark is an important part of any dog’s walk, too much of this behavior discourages walk productivity. Allow your dog to explore the various stimuli in the environment, but promote good walk speed which will benefit both you and your dog to ensure maximum walk benefits. In order to discourage sniffing and marking, we recommend you do not let your pup have the full leash length. Shorten up the lead enough so that you can control them without restricting their activity. Getting your dog used to walking on a short lead is also essential for safe walking in the city. You may know that your dog is good with other dogs but you never know if the other dog is good with dogs!
Still concerned about the cold during your dog walks?
If cold weather is the number one limiting factor for you to go outside and get active, then checkout these products which our dog walkers swear by:
We hope that this article encourages you to achieve your New Year’s resolutions! Dogs Deserve It is here to assist you with your dog walking needs in the event that those two other walks are not achievable!
Interested in Chicago’s premier dog walking and pet sitting services? Learn more about how Dogs Deserve It’s dog services can help you.