If you don’t have a backyard, it can be really hard to get your dog the outdoor stimulation that she needs to live her best life. Walking your dog is about more than just making sure that they can pee and poop outside instead of inside your house. Dogs also need lots of outdoor stimulation -- the scents and smells of your neighborhood. Find out below how to take your dog on the best walk every, every time!
The Way To A Dog’s Heart: Its Nose
Dogs’ vision is incredibly poor compared to their ability to smell the world. Consider this: we can train dogs to detect cancer based on the way that someone smells. Compared to that, I can barely smell anything! Given your dog’s incredible sense of smell, it’s essential to actually let them smell things on their walks. The easiest, simplest way to make your dog’s walk the “best walk ever” is to relax and give them time to smell the roses. What we smell as just a pretty flower is a complex array of scents, from the flower itself to past visitors, past dogs and more to your favorite dog. Let them explore their world through scent, and your dog will be much happier and fulfilled.
Help: My Dog Pulls On The Leash!
If your dog pulls on his walk, it can be annoying and make you reluctant to walk him any more than necessary. After all, dogs don’t come to us knowing how to walk on a leash. Luckily, this exceedingly common problem is easy to fix with a little bit of patience, a lot of treats, and sometimes, a special harness or collar. The basic premise of loose leash walking is simple: make your dog more interested in your than whatever he is pulling you towards.
Bring high-value treats on your walks and a pouch for easy access. Every few steps, get your dog’s attention and reward him for looking. Slowly lengthen the time between treats and increase the stakes (e.g., asking your dog to come back after exploring with his nose). There are loads of resources out there for helping your dog walk better. In the interim, you can use a Wonder Walker harness or similar to make walks a better experience for you both.
Help: Where Should We Walk?
The easiest place to walk your dog is your own neighborhood. But, it may have high-traffic roads or poor sidewalks that make it unsafe or uninteresting to walk around. Luckily, there are plenty of parks, greenways, and trails where you can walk your dog. In Portland, Sellwood Riverfront Park, Cathedral Park, and Forest Park are all easily accessible, dog-friendly places to explore. If you’re outside of the area, you can always put “best dog walking parks” into your favorite search engine to find good places near you.
Help: I Work Too Much To Walk My Dog A Lot!
We get it. Working strange, long, or, frequent shifts can really affect your ability to take your dog out for a pleasurable walk instead of a short one to do her business. If you can’t take your dog out on a longer walk semi-frequently, you could consider enlisting professional help. The Uber/Lyfts of dog walking, Wag, and Rover are both dog-walking services that come to your home, pick up your dog, and provide them with much-needed exercise. Dog walkers are rated for their professionalism and safety, and you can get a dog walker as often, or as infrequently, as you need. If you're in the area, stop by our store and check out the Community Board for local dog walking posts!
No matter how you do it, taking your dog on more walks will lead to happier, healthier lives for your both. Happy sniffing!