Every dog owner knows that walks are important, but they can also get monotonous. Just like humans, dogs can also get bored of the same routine day after day. That's why it's important to spice things up from time to time! Finding new paths and creating new walking routes can be beneficial to both you and your dog to keep things interesting and keep you both committed to getting exercise!
HOW TO SWITCH UP YOUR DOG WALKS
Switching up your dog walks may seem daunting at first, especially if you've been committed to a specific routine for a long period of time. However, there are plenty of ways to make a new walk fun and exciting for both you and your pet! Here are 5 new things you can try when you're taking m your dog out for a little exercise!
1. TRY A NEW PATH
The first way you can switch up your normal walking routine is by trying out a new path. Many dog owners have a set route that they are used to taking their dog on. However, this can get boring after a while, so it's worth changing it up even just once in a while!
Start by searching for dog-friendly walking paths near you. Whether you find some within walking distance of your home or you find a few that are a short drive away, make a list of a few ideas of new places you can explore together! You may want to even make it a goal of yours to explore one new trail per week to change things up regularly! If you're limited to where you can walk or are simply not feel adventurous, you may want to try walking your usual route but going one block further. If you usually walk in a loop, you could walk in the other direction just two switch things up a bit. Small changes like this can be a breath of fresh air!
2. BRING A FRIEND
Another great way to switch up your walks is by inviting a friend along! Having some company and someone to talk to on your walk can make it more fun for both you and your dog! First, though, you'll want to be sure that your dog is comfortable around the person you're bringing. You don't want your friend to be a distraction to your dog and make your walk more difficult than it should be. Having a friend join you once in a while can be a great way to change things up, but you shouldn't expect to have someone join you for every walk. If you don't bring a friend in person, chatting with a friend on the phone while you walk could be a good change of pace for you as an owner. Just be sure that you're not neglecting to focus on your dog as well!
For those who are outgoing, socializing with other dog walkers is probably a given! Making a specific effort to go out of your way to socialize can be something that adds it bit more fun to your walk. This is a great way to make a new friend and allow your dog to make new friends as well. Just be sure that the other dog owner is comfortable having your dog socialize and play with theirs!
4. INCLUDE TRAINING EXERCISES
Dog walking can be a great time for you and your dog to brush up on some basic skills and training. One thing you can do is tell your dog to "sit" before you cross the street each time. Other skills you can practice together are "stop," "watch me," "wait," etc. The children's game of "Red Light, Green Light" can also be a fun exercise to do with your dog on y'alls walk together. Sporadically throughout your walk, tell your dog "down" or "sit" to test them and see how tell they will listen and obey commands. Teaching your dog to heel is another great skill to practice, whether or not they're on or off their leash. Simply call your dog's name and point to which side you'd like them to walk on (traditionally, it's the left side). Be sure to bring some treats as rewards for when your pet follows your directions!
5. DOG'S CHOICE
Finally, another fun thing you can do one your walk is let your dog decide where they want to go! Your dog may end up opting for your usual route, but try letting them lead the way and see where they take you! You may be surprised and end up discovering a new path or route that you wouldn't have usually explored! There are a few things to keep in mind if you try this, though. First of all, you should never let your dog pull you along too hard. After all, you as the owner still need to be the one in charge and in control. You'll also still want to keep your dog on their leash so that they don't wander too far from you or into places that they shouldn't.
Ready to level up your next walk? Try out one of the ideas above so that you and your dog can both enjoy something new together! There are plenty of fun ways to up your game and be creative when it comes to taking your pet out for a walk!
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