Group walking with your dog
We all enjoy walking our dogs, maybe to varying degrees when the weather takes a turn for the worse. But there is no better feeling than walking your dog in a group, watching as they interact with their four legged friends while you also get to have your social time.
However, this type of walking requires some preparation and focussed training to ensure that your dog has a good time and doesn’t feel overwhelmed by the number of dogs around them.
Should I take my dog on a group dog walk?
The first thing you should do is ask yourself whether your pet is going to be happy in a group of other dogs. Some dogs may be nervous or too boisterous in these situations.
So, before heading out on a group dog walk you should ask yourself the following questions:
• Does my dog enjoy being around other dogs?
• Does my dog have good recall training?
• Is my dog fit enough to go on a group walk? Puppies shouldn’t be over exercised and elderly dogs may struggle to keep up with the group.
• Is my dog up to date on their vaccinations/flea/worming treatment?
• Does my dog have a microchip with the correct address?
If the answer to all of the above questions is yes, then you’re ready to head out with your dog’s canine pals!
What should I take with me on a group walk?
If you’re planning on going on a group walk then you may find that your dog spends more time running around than usual, so you will want to ensure that you have the following items at your disposal to make their walk a happy one.
• Collar with up to date ID tag
• Water and a bowl
• Poo bags
For the sake of avoiding any difficult situations between dogs, it may be best to avoid bringing a toy for your pet to play with. Many dogs react differently when an item they are fond of is thrown into the mix with an already excitable group of pooches. However, if your dog already has a positive relationship established with the entire group, then toys may be okay, depending on the other individual personalities.
As the seasons change, there are things that you should be aware of on your adventures with your four legged friend.
Autumn: A beautiful time of year with an array of colours adorning the trees. But while you’re looking up at the various shades of reds, browns and yellows, be sure to look down at the floor and watch out for conkers. Conkers can cause a serious health risk to your pet if ingested.
Winter: Wintertime can be lots of fun for all the family but make sure you’re prepared for the hazards for dogs that come with it. Snow can cause confusion when it’s blanketed over a frozen lake or pond. Be sure to keep your dog on lead if you’re in unfamiliar territory on a snowy day.
Spring: This is the perfect time of year to spot spring flowers blooming in the wild. However, flowers such as daffodils are poisonous to dogs if they eat the bulbs or flowers, so try to keep your dog away from these where possible.
Summer: When the summer heat kicks in, we need to remember to keep our pets cool as dogs can very quickly become overheated and dehydrated when out walking. If your dog enjoys swimming, they may enjoy a trip to the seaside or your local dog-friendly lake. Though be sure to check that it’s clear of blue-green algae before letting your dog take a dip!
If you’re unable to walk your dog for whatever reason, then you can do other fun things to keep them entertained indoors.