8 dos and don'ts for walking your dog

How to keep your dog safe when you're out and about

3 minute read

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Getting out in the fresh air to walk your dog should be a pleasure. Here are our tips for making the most of your strolls with Fido. 

  • Why owning a dog is good for your health 
  • How to manage a dog who pulls on the lead 
  • Make sure you take water on walks
Need more of an incentive to go for a walk? Your dog can help. The NHS recommends adults get 30 minutes of exercise at least five times a week, and walking your dog will easily get your step count up.

Before you hit the park or go for a long, country ramble, check out our eight handy tips. 

1. Do make sure your dog has an ID tag 

Every dog should wear a collar with a tag that displays the owner's name and address. It's a legal requirement for your dog to wear an ID tag when out in public - you could be fined up to £5,000 if your dog isn't wearing one. Dogs also must be microchipped

Wearing ID will ensure you're quickly reunited if your dog wanders off. 

2. Do walk your dog at least once a day 

Daily exercise is crucial for dogs. Even if you have a large garden, you should take your dog out to experience different sights, sounds and smells.

Dogs can get bored of their surroundings, but walking is great stimulation for their senses. Walking is also the best way to reduce anxiety and destructiveness - if you're heading out and leaving your pooch at home, take them for a quick stroll first. 

3. Don't push your dog too far 

Different breeds have different exercise requirements. Very young and old animals will also need less walking.

As a general rule of thumb, puppies need about five minutes of exercise per month of age, twice a day. So a four-month-old puppy will need about 20 minutes of exercise twice a day.

4. Do pick up after your dog 

Even if you're in the countryside, it's good 'petiquette' to pick up your dog's poo. Be sure to carry plenty of poo bags, and make sure your pet is wormed regularly.
Walking your dog should be a pleasure for both you and your pooch. However, if your dog pulls on the lead all the time it can be miserable for both of you.

5. Don't put up with pulling

Walking your dog should be a pleasure for both you and your pooch. But if your dog pulls on the lead, it can feel like a battle. A lead attached to a flat collar can also cause severe throat and neck problems in dogs, leading to expensive vet fees.

There are leads and harnesses available to help combat this problem. Speak to your vet or a qualified pet behaviourist about how to encourage your dog to walk on a loose lead.

6. Do get your dog insured 

While you may take every precaution to keep your dog safe, you never know what's around the corner. 

A good pet insurance policy will cover vet bills if your dog becomes ill or gets injured, and also pay for damage caused by your dog to other people or property.

7. Don't let your dog worry sheep and cattle 

When you come across farm animals and horses, you must keep your dog under control. It's a good idea to keep your dog on a short lead around livestock. A farmer is allowed to shoot a dog if it's chasing or attacking farm animals.

But if horses or cattle begin to chase you and your dog, you should let the dog off the lead. It will probably be safer for you if your dog can run away from the situation.

8. Do carry water with you 

Even on a short walk, your dog can get thirsty. Make sure they have access to a clean water supply during the walk.

Staying safe with your dog 

There's been an unfortunate spike in dog thefts of late - here are our tips for staying safe when you're out and about with your dog:

  • Walk on well-lit routes that you're familiar with 
  • Be careful crossing roads
  • Never leave your dog unattended
  • Stay off your mobile phone and enjoy the walk, giving your dog your full attention
  • In the event your dog goes missing, let us know as soon as you can. We'll help cover the cover of advertising your missing dog up to £1,500, including a maximum of £500 for the reward.

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