How to walk your dog

Top Tips for Walking your Dog

Walking your dog is a great form of exercise, no equipment needed; just you and your legs and off you go. Just as walking is a great form of exercise for us, a regular walk is also important for the health of your dog. It helps to maintain physical health, and also be stimulating for their senses as they check out the sights and smells in the environment. Like any form of physical activity, we want you to best take care of your body. This will help limit the chance of niggles/injuries impacting the ability to participate in your (+your furry friend’s) favourite activity! Here are our top tips for walking your dog.

How to best walk your dog

Tip 1 when walking your dog: Make sure you have all your gear!

  • Hat & sunscreen
  • Water (for you and your dog). Don’t forget a container they can drink out of too
  • Wear Appropriate footwear for yourself
  • Don’t forget some bags as you may need to clean up after your dog
  • Dog treats to reward for good behaviour!

Tip 2 when walking your dog: Consider both your own capacity and that of your dog

Is YOUR body up to doing a 30 minute walk, even if your dog is keen to do that? Don’t fall to “paw pressure” ; it is important to pace yourself, even if your furry friend wants to keep going. You can gradually build up your time and distance! (for an example of gradually building up the time on your walking program – see here).

Similarly, maybe your dog isn’t up to as long of a walk as you might be – they might be a little older and not have the same capacity as a puppy. You may need to go for a slightly shorter walk if they tag along with you

Tip 3 when walking your dog: Training your dog to walk well

Consider your pet’s personality and level of obedience. If they tend to be highly excitable, try to stick to an area that may be less busy with other people, dogs or other wildlife. This will minimise the risk of them pulling or jerking the leash, resulting on strain on your body and theirs.

Training your dog to walk beside you rather than pulling ahead can open you up to other stimulating environments for you both to experience safely.

Tip 4: Holding the lead

It is best to avoid wrapping the lead around your fingers or wrist to avoid the potential for crushing your hand if your dog pulls on the lead.

Holding the lead with two hands can provide more control. As a result this leads to less strain through your shoulders and neck than holding with only one hand.

For more personalised advice on our top tips for walking your dog book in with us online here, or call 1300 842 850. One of our friendly team at Brisbane’s Best Physiotherapy clinic would love to see you and provide additional tailored advice to get you out walking and having fun with your dog.

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