Walk Your Dog Day is coming up February 22nd. Of course, Fido really should be walked every day. Those strolls aren’t just important for sanitary reasons. They also give your pup a great workout, and provide him with mental stimulation. Read on as a local Mesa, AZ vet offers some tips on walking your pet.

Training

Make sure that your canine buddy knows basic commands, like Sit, Stay, Come, Heel, and Lay Down. This is very important, both for training and petiquette!

Heat

Arizona’s scorching summers are no joke. Dogs can get overheated and/or dehydrated very quickly in hot weather. You may want to get a doggy water bottle with an attached dispenser. Or, get your pup a cooling jacket. When it’s really hot out, walk Fido in the mornings and evenings, when it’s cooler out.

Paw Care

Hot weather is also very dangerous for your dog’s paws. Fido can get 3rd-degree burns from walking on hot tar or asphalt! Stick to soft ground as much as you can. You can also use booties or paw balm to protect your dog’s feet.

Night Walks

You’ll need to take some extra precautions when walking your four-legged friend at night. Take a flashlight with you, or get a leash that has one built into the collar. Keep a close eye on the ground, and watch for things like rattlesnakes and other dangers. We also recommend wearing reflective clothing.

Traffic

When walking along the side of the road, keep Fido to the outside. He’s shorter, and will be harder for drivers to see, especially around corners. Plus, he’ll be less likely to veer into the road. It’s also safer to walk facing oncoming traffic. Don’t let your dog run out in front of you when crossing intersections or driveways. Last but not least, avoid using retractable leashes in areas with heavy traffic, other dogs, or other potential hazards. If the mechanism jams, your furry pal could be in big trouble!

Other Hazards

We all know that dogs love to explore, nose around things, and sniff bushes and plants. Don’t let your canine companion investigate anything that could be housing snakes, spiders, scorpions, or other dangerous critters. Also, keep Fido away from dangerous plants, such as jumping chollas and foxtail grasses.

Please contact us, your Mesa, AZ vet clinic, for all your dog’s veterinary care needs. We’re happy to help!