5 Ways to Improve Walks with Your Dog

Bruno, a PAWS NY pup, enjoys a walk out on a pier during sunset.

Photo of Bruno courtesy of volunteer Khadeja

Celebrating “Walk Your Dog Month” in January is a good reminder for humans to keep up the walks even during the cold months. But how can you make your pup’s walks even better for them?

Here are five tips to help improve your dog’s walks:

  1. Take Your Time – We may want to rush the walks during these cold months, but dogs love to sniff and explore during their time outside…and that can be beneficial for their health. Do you have time to visit the dog park or walk down a new street? How can you give your pup more quality time with you?
  2. Be Prepared – From waste disposal bags to proper identification, it’s important to be prepared and have all you need when walking your dog. Monitor the weather and be prepared with booties for the cold or water on the hot days. The right equipment can also make or break a walk, so be sure to try on new leashes and collars before going out in public with your dog, so they have a chance to get used to them. And you can make sure they can’t wiggle out and escape!
  3. Incorporate Treats & Training – Whether you’re working with a leash-reactive dog, training your pup to walk on a loose leash, or simply rewarding good behavior, there are little ways to incorporate training into your dog’s walks. Bring along treats and keep an eye out for the behavior you want to encourage in your dog!
  4. Listen to Your Pup – Dogs need different levels of exercise based on their breed, age, and their overall health. Research your dog’s breed, ask questions at the vet, and take cues from your pup when it comes to the length and intensity of walks. Sticking to a set routine or schedule can also help dogs know what to expect and get excited for their time on the leash with you.
  5. Be Present – It’s easy to zone out on your phone while walking your dog. But to your pup, this is prime quality time! Engage with them and have fun on your walks, and you will see more excitement from your dog as well. Plus, by being more present, you will be more likely to see and avoid potential hazards or stressors. All around good things!

We hope these tips help improve your dog’s walks in 2023! PAWS NY volunteers, be sure to share photos with us from these lovely walks!