Skip to content

A Complete Guide To Walking Your Dog

Pet Image

This is our complete guide to dog walking. Below you can read a wide range of information about dog walking. As a dog owner you are responsible for your dog, so it’s important to be aware of the rules when you take your dog out for walkies. Going on dog walks is a big part of being a dog owner as all dogs need regular dog walks to stay healthy. Read on to discover helpful tips and advice.

How often should you walk your dog?

All dogs need some kind of walk on a daily basis unless they are injured or physically cannot go on a walk. You should walk your dog at least once a day but most dog owners tend to do two walks a day. Obviously, the amount of walks your dog needs depends on their breed, age, and size. Some high energy dog breeds require several walks a day whereas others are happy with just one gentle walk. This is something you might want to think about if you are considering which breed of dog to get. Consider much time do you have to dedicate to dog walking and what breed might be most suitable.

Ho To Clean A Dog After A Muddy Walk

When it’s been raining for weeks, and the ground is very wet and boggy, dog walks can be a challenge. Dog owners also worry about when they return how they are going to get all that mud off their dog. Some dogs love to roll in the mud, which means they get absolutely covered in the stuff. We tell you how to clean a dog after a muddy walk!

Other dogs have long coats that easily pick up water, mud, dirt and debris from the ground as they walk. Cleaning your dog after muddy dog walks can be a big challenge. Here are some helpful tips to get your dog clean as quickly and as easily as possible.

Be prepared

The last thing you want to do is get back from a dog walk with a filthy dog and have nothing to clean them with. Before you set off for your winter dog walks, make sure you have a towel laid out for when you get back. Get the hose out ready, or a bucket to fill with water.

Rinse the worst of the mud off with a hose

Get the worst of the mudd off by showering your dog with a hose. Just do their paws, legs and underbelly. Don’t try and wash your dog all over with the hose outside in the winter as it may be too cold for them. Rinse their feet and stomach so that when they walk inside they don’t get mud everywhere.

Towel down outside

After you have washed them with the hose, make sure you towel them down before you let them inside. Give them a good rub with a towel to get most of the moisture out of their coat. Try using an ultra absorbent Easidri Towel. This will prevent them from getting your carpet wet and spreading mud everywhere when they shake.

Use a dog runner mat

Even if you do wash your dog before they come in the house, they might still manage to bring some dirt inside. Use a dog runner mat so that muddy paws are not trailed into the house. They help to protect your carpets and floors from dirty paws.

Head straight up for a bath

If your dog isn't too muddy, you can probably just do the above and leave it at that. However, if they are really dirty or have rolled in something stinky they might need a good scrub and wash. Head straight up to your bathroom and give them a bath.

Make sure you wash your dog thoroughly

Remember to wash hard to reach areas where mud can often build up such as under the armpits, on your dog’s belly and under their chest. Use a dog shampoo that is specially designed for really dirty dogs such as Wahl Dirty Beastie, which is excellent for getting rid of dirt and mud. If your dog did roll in something stinky, you might want to also give them a spritz of deodorising spray such as Animology Stink Bomb Spray.

Drying

Remember to dry your dog off properly. Towel drying will not do, especially in the winter. Damp dogs can easily catch a chill so make sure your dog is completely dry after winter dog walks.

4 Signs You Need To Walk Your Dog More

Despite the modern era and our busy working lives, we still love our furry companions more than ever. It seems that nothing can get between man and his best friend, our loyal dogs. We all want what is best our precious baby, sometimes so much that we give up our own luxuries - so they can live like royalty. But have you considered that your dog many not be getting the exercise they need?

Exercise is vital to maintain a dog’s health and their mental wellbeing, like us, dogs need to be able to let off pent up steam and burn off those delicious treats. Sometimes, despite our love for our furry friends we can get lazy and not walk our dogs as often as we really should. Without regular exercise that is tailored to your dog’s needs, as an energetic Husky will need more frequent and longer walks compared to a sweet little Pomeranian. Your dog may become unhappy and unwell but he will let you know through signs:

1. Have you noticed a bit of extra podge on your dog’s tummy?

Like humans, sometimes a few too many treats and not enough exercise can lead to weight gain. Although your sweet furry companion will always be the apple of your eye, despite a bit of chub, it can lead to serious health complications.

Responsible dog owners will be sure to keep up to date with boosters, usually at the appointment the vet will weigh your little friend. If there is concern, they will let you know and can help you to find the right routine and realize any mistakes you may be unknowingly making. It’s always best to prevent risk and make time for a daily half an hour walk for a small dog and around and hour for a big dog.

2. Is your little angel becoming more of a little devil?

It is a well-known fact that dogs take a lot more work to look after than cats do. This is because our dogs are a lot less independent than a cat for example. A dog will only ever want to make you happy but they can find it hard to express their needs and we aren’t animal whisperers!

If a dog is under-exercised it can take a toll on their mental and physical health and they will make this known, usually through a bit of a tantrum, almost like having a very fluffy toddler. You may see it as a stress to clean up rubbish and fix damaged furniture but you need to ask yourself why, maybe little Freddie just wants to have a good run in the great outdoors? No one likes to be trapped inside all day, after all!

3. Are you finding it hard to get a moments peace?

It can be all too familiar to be woken up to the sound of your dog wanting their breakfast and a morning fuss, our energy efficient alarm clocks. But is your little angel becoming a bit hard to handle? Are you finding it hard to settle them down for bed? Or maybe they look like they are practising to run the London Marathon in your living room. If your dog is way more energetic than usual, maybe it’s time to take them to the field and let them have some much-needed running sessions. A worn-out dog is a well-behaved dog!

4. Are you looking after the next Houdini?

Sometimes, dogs want to go outside so bad that they will make every attempt to get there. Really at this point they may have given up on asking for walkies, maybe their lead is getting a bit dusty? But they haven’t given up on their desire to chase some birds and stretch those little legs, this can be very dangerous if your dog escapes. So, if they seem to be lurching for the front door every time it’s opened, maybe dust off that lead and go on an energising stroll.

How long should each walk last?

Again, this depends on what type of dog you have. Active breeds such as Border Collies, Huskies and Dalmatians will need to be taken out for a few hours at a time. You will be able to judge whether your dog has had a long enough walk when you get home. If they are still very active and restless throughout the day then you probably haven’t walked them for long enough. If they crash out as soon as you get home and sleep a lot then you probably walked them for the right amount of time. You also need to be careful not to overdo it. Some dog breeds cannot cope with long or intense walks as it is simply too much for their bodies. Pugs, for example, should not overexert themselves too much as they tend to have breathing problems. Other dog breeds are particularly sensitive to heat and should not be taken out at the hottest times of the day or for too long when it’s very warm. You will get to know your dog and what is the perfect length of walk for them.

Different locations for dog walks

Dogs love exploring new locations. Taking your dog to lots of different places is good for you as well as your pooch. You get to see lots of different places and see some beautiful landscapes. Walking on different terrain is also a great challenge for your dog. Try going for walks on beaches by the sea, through sand dunes, in woodland, at your local dog park, and in national parks throughout the UK. The choice of places to go is endless.

Dog walking equipment

There is a huge range of equipment you can get for dog walking. Here are some products you might find useful for dog walking:

  • Retrieval toys
  • Dog towels
  • Walking shoes
  • Raincoat
  • Umbrella
  • Wellies
  • Trainers
  • Treat bag

Dog walking etiquette

When you are walking your dog you need to be mindful of other people. Not just other dog owners but the general public. Make sure you have your dog under control at all times and do not let them off the lead in areas where this is not permitted.

Don’t allow your dog to run up to dogs that are on a lead as they may not wish to be approached. If you can see another dog is looking uncomfortable, call your dog back and put them on a lead.

Picking up dog mess

You are required by law to pick up your dog’s mess. Have poo bags on you any time you go out in public. Excuses such as I didn’t have any bags on me or I didn’t see them do it won’t get you out of a fine if you get caught. Be a responsible dog owner and pick up your dog’s mess.

The country code

One of the best things about having a dog is you get to explore the British countryside. The UK has a total of 15 national parks which are ideal for going on dog walks. However, you need to be aware of the and abide by the specific rules for each park.

Always have your dog close by so that you can call them back if you need to. Don’t let them off the lead unless you are able to keep them under control and they have good recall. Do not under any circumstances allow your dog to chase livestock or wild animals. Take care when you are walking around cattle as they can be dangerous to both you and your dog. Keep your dog on a lead during bird nesting season (March to July) so that they do not disturb any nests on the ground.

Loose Lead Walking - Helpful Tips

Are you tired of getting dragged down the street? Dog walks are never fun if it’s your dog taking you for a walk rather than the other way around. The annoying thing about pulling on the lead is that there’s no quick fix. It’s an issue that requires a lot of persistence. You may be at the end of your tether, and tempted to give up, but don’t throw in the towel just yet.

We’ve got some helpful tips and techniques to try that might help you to work towards your goal. Imagine being able to walk down the road with Fido trotting right by your side, and a lead that just hangs loose. It is possible! Try our top tips and see what a difference you can make.

1. The stop and sit technique

This one requires a whole lotta patience and determination. It can get a little dull getting Fido to sit every two seconds, but if you persist, it does pay off. You simply teach your pooch that they won’t go anywhere if they pull on the lead. As soon as they start to pull on the lead, stop and make them do a sit, then continue on your journey. The idea is that gradually you won’t have to get the to sit as often, and they start to realise that pulling only delays their walkies.

2. The change direction technique

This is another common technique that dog trainers use. When your dog starts to pull, instead of tugging at their lead or telling them off, simply change direction. When the lead becomes loose, then you can turn around and walk back in the previous direction. The idea here being that your dog realise if they want to walk straight ahead, they can’t pull on the lead. This is a good technique to try if you find the above ‘stop and sit’ technique is taking too long.

3. Try using a harness or halti

As well as training methods, there’s also a few handy products that are made especially for dogs who can’t resist pulling on the lead. Most of these products are more of a temporary training aid, rather than a long term solution.

You still need to keep working on getting your dog to walk nicely. Otherwise you will have to rely on these products forever. and Cani collars are a great way to safely control your dog, and reduce pulling. If your dog is particularly strong, then try using a which gives you back the control, and gives your sore arm muscles a bit of a break.

4. Use a shorter lead so you have more control

If you have a dog that loves to pull, then you might want to avoid using a longer lead. Shorter leads can give you more control, and as your dog starts to get better at loose lead walking, you can allow them to enjoy the benefits of a longer lead. E.g. more room to sniff extra stuff venture a little further.

5. Meet your dog’s exercise needs

Most dog owners know that dogs tend to pull more at the beginning of a walk. This is because they have bags of energy they need to release, and dogs are always super excited at the start of a walk. If you don’t give your dog enough daily exercise, they will be more likely to pull on the lead. Wear your dog out on a daily basis and you will probably find walks a lot more pleasant. It won’t stop your dog from pulling of course, but at least they won’t have as much energy when they do decide to pull.

6. Off-lead training can help too

It’s not just on-lead training that can help dogs to walk nicely. Make sure you spend some time with your dog off the lead, because you it’s a great way to teach your dog to stick by you. If your dog doesn’t have reliable recall, be sure to do some training in a secure area. Run around with your dog and encourage them to follow you and stay by your side, reward them with treats when they do stay near you. Follow the leader is a great game to play, because it gets your dog to enjoy following you and staying nearby. Doing these kinds of activities can really help to teach Fido that walking right by your side is a good thing to do.

7. Marking the ‘heal’ command

Pick a word that represents your dog walking by your side. A lot of people choose to use the word ‘heel’. When your dog walks right next to your feet, and doesn’t go any further ahead, give them a reward. Then gradually you can work towards saying ‘heel’ and rewarding them when they respond correctly.

8. Positive reinforcement

Positive reinforcement tends to work much better than punishing your dog. Yelling at them or tugging fiercely on their lead when they walk too far ahead may not get the results you want. Dogs respond better to positive reinforcement, which means praising them when they do the right thing rather than punishing them when they don’t. You want your dog to enjoy walks and respond well to your training, and you can achieve this by trying some of the techniques mentioned in this article.

9. Patience and reinforcement

Remember that all these techniques take time, and you have to be consistent in your training. The minute you give up and let your dog get away with pulling you have lost the battle and may have to start all over again. So, whenever your dog is on the lead, make sure you continue your training. Your hard work and persistence will pay off in the long run, as long as you stick to your training and don’t give up!

Recall on dog walks

Before you let your dog off the lead on a dog walk you need to ensure they have perfect recall. For some dogs, this is easier than others. You can teach your dog to come back to you on a long training lead. When you want your dog to come back to you, call them and reward them with a tasty treat if they return to you. If they don’t come back you can gently pull them in towards you using the long lead. Keep practising until you feel confident and then try letting your dog off the lead in an enclosed area. Once you are confident they will come back to you then you can gradually try letting them off in other places.

Loose Lead Walking - Helpful Tips

Are you tired of getting dragged down the street? Dog walks are never fun if it’s your dog taking you for a walk rather than the other way around. The annoying thing about pulling on the lead is that there’s no quick fix. It’s an issue that requires a lot of persistence. You may be at the end of your tether, and tempted to give up, but don’t throw in the towel just yet.

;We’ve got some helpful tips and techniques to try that might help you to work towards your goal. Imagine being able to walk down the road with Fido trotting right by your side, and a lead that just hangs loose. It is possible! Try our top tips and see what a difference you can make.

1. The stop and sit technique

This one requires a whole lotta patience and determination. It can get a little dull getting Fido to sit every two seconds, but if you persist, it does pay off. You simply teach your pooch that they won’t go anywhere if they pull on the lead. As soon as they start to pull on the lead, stop and make them do a sit, then continue on your journey. The idea is that gradually you won’t have to get the to sit as often, and they start to realise that pulling only delays their walkies.

2. The change direction technique

This is another common technique that dog trainers use. When your dog starts to pull, instead of tugging at their lead or telling them off, simply change direction. When the lead becomes loose, then you can turn around and walk back in the previous direction. The idea here being that your dog realise if they want to walk straight ahead, they can’t pull on the lead. This is a good technique to try if you find the above ‘stop and sit’ technique is taking too long.

3. Try using a harness or halti

As well as training methods, there’s also a few handy products that are made especially for dogs who can’t resist pulling on the lead. Most of these products are more of a temporary training aid, rather than a long term solution.

You still need to keep working on getting your dog to walk nicely. Otherwise you will have to rely on these products forever. and Cani collars are a great way to safely control your dog, and reduce pulling. If your dog is particularly strong, then try using a which gives you back the control, and gives your sore arm muscles a bit of a break.

4. Use a shorter lead so you have more control

If you have a dog that loves to pull, then you might want to avoid using a longer lead. Shorter leads can give you more control, and as your dog starts to get better at loose lead walking, you can allow them to enjoy the benefits of a longer lead. E.g. more room to sniff extra stuff venture a little further.

5. Meet your dog’s exercise needs

Most dog owners know that dogs tend to pull more at the beginning of a walk. This is because they have bags of energy they need to release, and dogs are always super excited at the start of a walk. If you don’t give your dog enough daily exercise, they will be more likely to pull on the lead. Wear your dog out on a daily basis and you will probably find walks a lot more pleasant. It won’t stop your dog from pulling of course, but at least they won’t have as much energy when they do decide to pull.

6. Off-lead training can help too

It’s not just on-lead training that can help dogs to walk nicely. Make sure you spend some time with your dog off the lead, because you it’s a great way to teach your dog to stick by you. If your dog doesn’t have reliable recall, be sure to do some training in a secure area. Run around with your dog and encourage them to follow you and stay by your side, reward them with treats when they do stay near you. Follow the leader is a great game to play, because it gets your dog to enjoy following you and staying nearby. Doing these kinds of activities can really help to teach Fido that walking right by your side is a good thing to do.

7. Marking the ‘heal’ command

Pick a word that represents your dog walking by your side. A lot of people choose to use the word ‘heel’. When your dog walks right next to your feet, and doesn’t go any further ahead, give them a reward. Then gradually you can work towards saying ‘heel’ and rewarding them when they respond correctly.

8. Positive reinforcement

Positive reinforcement tends to work much better than punishing your dog. Yelling at them or tugging fiercely on their lead when they walk too far ahead may not get the results you want. Dogs respond better to positive reinforcement, which means praising them when they do the right thing rather than punishing them when they don’t. You want your dog to enjoy walks and respond well to your training, and you can achieve this by trying some of the techniques mentioned in this article.

9. Patience and reinforcement

Remember that all these techniques take time, and you have to be consistent in your training. The minute you give up and let your dog get away with pulling you have lost the battle and may have to start all over again. So, whenever your dog is on the lead, make sure you continue your training. Your hard work and persistence will pay off in the long run, as long as you stick to your training and don’t give up!

Tips For Loose Lead Walking

We have all see dog owners being walked by their dog, getting pulled along and struggling to keep their dog under control. Loose lead walking is possibly one of the hardest things to teach your dog. Some dogs pick it up straight away and others take years to master the art of walking nicely on the lead.

Teaching your dog loose lead walking takes a huge amount of patience and dedication. It’s definitely worth persisting because then you will have a dog that walks well on the lead for life. No more stressful walks, sore shoulders and getting pulled over. If you want to teach your dog to successfully walk well on the lead then here are a few tips to get you started.

Stop If Your Dog Pulls

One technique to try is to stop every time your dog pulls. As soon as the lead goes tight stop in your tracks. This teaches your dog that pulling means he will be stopped and not allowed to continue his adventure. If you constantly let your dog pull on the lead with no consequences they will think that’s the right thing to do. This technique is very time consuming but if you do it properly you should start to notice a difference.

The Pause And Sit Technique

This is similar to the technique above but you get your dog to sit as well as stop. Some dog trainers find this technique works because it breaks the dogs pulling pattern and makes them realise if they pull they have to stop and wait. Dogs will soon realise if they stop pulling the fun can continue. You should also get your dog to do a sit randomly, even if their walking improves so that they know they might have to obey this command at any time.

All Walks Are Training

Remember any time you leave the house and walk your dog on the lead you are training. If you aren’t consistent you will undo all your hard work. Make sure that every time you go on a walk you are training your dog to walk nicely on the lead. If you don’t have the time to walk your dog properly then get a dog walker to take them or find another way to exercise them.

Exercise Your Dog In Other Ways

When your dog is training to walk properly on the lead they are unlikely to get much exercise. It’s a slow process and it’s not much fun for your dog. During this period you may want to find other ways to exercise your dog, such as doing a dog sport, letting them run in an enclosed area and playing. This will also help to get rid of some of your dog’s energy so that they are more focused when you are training on the lead.

Lure And Reward

Another technique to try is the lure and reward technique. This is where you keep your dog close to your side and encourage them to walk nicely using tasty treats. Hold you hand just in front of their nose and give them treats, they will then hopefully choose to walk close to your hand in order to get more treats. As your dog improves, start increasing the amount of time between treats and praise them when they walk without pulling.

Use High Value Treats

It’s important to use high value treats that your dog is really interested in. If they aren’t that bothered about the treats they won’t focus on what you are asking them to do. Try and find out what their favourite treat is and save it for when you are doing lead training.

Set Aside Enough Time

Never try and squeeze a lead walking training session into a short space of time. You won’t give your dog the attention they need and if you rush you could undo all your hard work. Plan your training walks properly and allow yourself plenty of time.

Helpful Walking Equipment

You can also try using helpful walking equipment to assist with your training. Some products are designed specifically to help with loose lead walking such as and

Lead Walking Products To Reduce Pulling

Training your dog to walk correctly on a lead can sometimes be a difficult challenge. It takes a lot of time and patience, loose lead walking isn’t something that just happens overnight. You need to go out walking with your dog every day and dedicate some time to training them not to pull. Dog trainers have lots of different ways of doing this, stopping as every time they pull, getting them to sit regularly and luring them to your side with a treat. It depends what your dog responds to and how quickly they progress.

It’s difficult when you have a very strong dog that is constantly pulling on the lead. Walking your dog can become very tiring and turn into a stressful experience. Dogs will sometimes pull so hard that they start to choke on their collars, which can be worrying. Thankfully, there are some helpful products you can buy to aid training and stop your dog from pulling.

Halti Headcollar

A Halti headcollar goes over your dog’s nose and takes the power away from their body. You control your dog by their head, which gives them a lot less power and puts you in control. They fit comfortably around your dog’s nose and reduce pulling. You will notice such a difference when you use a headcollar. It should be used as part of your dog’s training. You should aim to take the head collar off or use a harness instead when your dog starts to improve. To view our range of headcollars click here

Harness

Dog Harnesses are also a great product to help reduce pulling. They give you the control and allow you to direct where your dog wants to move. Dogs are controlled by their chest in a safe, comfortable harness. There are lots of different types of harnesses you can get, some with padding and some that are slightly different shapes.

Dog Walking, Sitting & Camera Apps For Dog Owners

From walking and training apps to diet and health apps, there are plenty to choose from. Sometimes dog owners need a helping hand on some aspects of caring for a dog and these apps do just that. Here are some great apps that are made specially for dog owners.

Rover

Rover is the leading pet sitting and dog walking app. It is available via the Apple App Store or Google Play. The Rover app was created for dog people by The Dog PeopleTM. Through this app, you can get cute photo updates and GPS tracking of your dog's walk. It also offers a super easy way to message sitters. This realy is a great app, and worth a .

iCam

You can watch over your dog remotely using this handy camera app. It records live audio and video while so you can keep an eye on your dog and see what they get up to when you are out. It’s reassuring to be able to see what your dog is doing and know that they are safe. Some owners also find this very entertaining as dogs can get up to all sorts of mischief while you are out. The webcam feeds from your iPhone, Ipod Touch or Ipad.

Tailster

This is a UK based App and service that has grown rapidly in recent years. You can get access to thousands of trusted dog boarders, sitters and walkers across the UK. You can use their servie istead of regualr kennels. The benefits is that your dog gets the one-on-one care and attention they deserve.

Dogfriendly iPhone App

It’s handy to know where all the dog friendly places are, rather than having to research and find out yourself. This app lets you browse through over 27,000 dog friendly places. A quick search on this app will tell you where you are allowed to take your dog. You might know all the dog friendly places near you live, but what about elsewhere? This app is provided by Use it to look for dog friendly pubs, beaches, restaurants and much more.

Safety Tips For Dog Walkers

Dog walking can be great fun and an excellent way to stay fit and healthy. Many dog owners really enjoy taking their dog out on long walks and exploring different areas. However, it is important to keep yourself safe while out on dog walks. Don’t make yourself vulnerable or get into difficult situations. Here are some tips to help you to stay safe while out walking your dog.

Don’t walk on your own in the dark

In the winter when the days are shorter and it gets darker earlier it can be tempting to walk your dog in the dark. It’s just not worth risking on your own, you cannot rely on your dog to protect you. If it’s dark outside always take someone with you.

Be aware of your surroundings

Don’t get distracted while you are out walking. Stay alert and always keep an eye on your surroundings. Be aware of people around you and pay attention to cars driving by. Walk with confidence and keep your wits about you. Concentrate when walking and be aware of the type of terrain you are walking on.

Keep your hands free

Don’t use your mobile phone while you are walking your dog. It’s the one time in the day when they have your complete attention. You may also need your hands to defend yourself and having an expensive mobile phone on display could attract unwanted attention. Don’t try and carry too much, put things in your pockets or carry a bag.

Take care near busy roads

Take extra care and attention when walking near busy roads. Don’t get distracted and keep your dog on the lead and under control.

Take your mobile phone

Take your mobile phone with you in case you need to phone for help. You might get lots, hurt yourself or be in need of assistance. You don’t want to be out in the middle of no where with no mobile phone. Make sure it is fully charged before you go out.

Vary your route

A lot of dog walkers like to walk exactly the same route every day. This can become very predictable and if anyone is watching you they will know exactly where you will be at any given time. Vary the length, location and time of your walks where possible.

Walk where there are other people

Never take the shortcut where there are no people, it’s just not worth it. Go on dog walks where you know there will be other people around. This will make you feel a lot safer.

Carry an alarm

It’s worth carrying an alarm that you can press should you get into trouble.

Know your route well

Plan your route carefully and make sure you know it well. The last thing you want to do is get lost while you are out on your own on a dog walk.

Let someone know where you are going

Always tell someone when you are going on a dog walk. Let them know when you are leaving and also when you get back. If no one knows you are gone then if something happens it will take longer for people to realise you are missing.

How Walking Your Dog Can Help You Meet New People

Just take a minute to think of just how many people you might have spoken to whilst out on dog walks. That lady with the labrador, or the old man with his little jack russell. Wherever you go on dog walks, the chances are, at least once on every walk you’ll interact with someone. Even if it’s just a quick hello or a passing comment about the other person’s dog.

Did you know that one of the things that can help you live longer is social interaction? Perhaps that’s partially why people who own dogs tend to live longer. So don’t hold back when you’re out in the countryside with Fido, or heading down to your local park.

‘Dogs act as social 'ice breakers' and help people strike up friendly conversation with others. Being with a dog gives a safe, non-threatening, neutral topic to start a conversation.

McNicholas conducted a study where she went out and about doing her daily routine both with and without a dog. Interestingly, the presence of the dog almost tripled the number of casual acquaintances.

When our dogs interact, we do too

Often when you drive by dog parks you will see a group congregating in the middle of the field. This is usually because the dogs in the park tend to naturally gravitate towards each other. They’ll run up to any new dog in the park for a quick hello and maybe a bottom sniff. Whilst that’s not polite behaviour for us humans, we too find ourselves striking up interactions with other dog owners.

Dog walking friends

Your chats could go further than exchanging a few words when you cross paths. A lot of people end up making doggy owner friends who end up being friends for life. It’s not surprising seeing as you’ve got something in common straight away. And boy do us dog lovers like to chat about our prized possession, our pooches.

It’s great when local dog walkers arrange dog walk meetups. What could be more fun than going on a walk with a big dog pack made up of loads of different dogs?

Helping other owners out

Have you ever been on a dog walk and discovered an owner that’s in need of assistance? Perhaps their dog is injured, or their pooches has gone walkabouts and they’re frantically trying to locate their dog. Or maybe the owner is lost themselves and you know the area. It’s always nice to lend a hand, and this is yet another way dog walking helps you to meet new people. You might even find someone helps you out one day.

People know who you are via your pooch

Occasionally dog owners will recognise the dog before they remember who the owner is. We almost get to know the dogs before the owners. Often in close knit neighbourhoods, the locals will know who you are because of your dog. They’ll have seen you out walking your dog, especially if you’ve got an unusual breed or super adorable canine. This helps people to get to know each other and say hi when they’re crossing the street.

How to Start a Dog Walking Business in the UK

“I love the great outdoors, and I adore dogs. I should be a dog walker.” But being a professional dog walker is definitely not that simple. It’s more than collecting some leashes and getting a new all-weather coat and . As well as having an affinity for dogs, a foundation in basic dog behaviour training is key, as is a bit of business nous.

Here are our top tips for becoming a dog walking pro:

Get clued up

Knowing your own pup is one thing but knowing how to deal with the erratic or unknown behaviour of pets you’ve never met is a whole different story.

If you want to make this a serious career, the educational foundation is something to both give you more confidence in your abilities, and make you stand out from the crowd. You could consider a qualification too but the crucial thing is knowledge.

Where to start

These books are certainly worth a read to get you off on the right foot:

  • For the Love of a Dog: Understanding Emotion in You and Your Best Friend by Patricia B. McConnell
  • The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs? by Patricia B. McConnell
  • Don’t Shoot the Dog!: The New Art of Teaching and Training by Karen Pryor

Build a network

Become a dog walking blabbermouth! At the first hint of a holiday, offer friends and relatives your services – dog walking and pet sitting at reasonable rates, to showcase your aptitude with their furry friends. Remember, these are your future testimonials, so do the very best job you can and remember to get them to put that good feedback in writing so you can use it to attract future customers!

Decide what you offer and your rates

Do you walk dogs individually? Do you walk in groups? Do you have a maximum number of dogs at a time? On the leash or off? Do you specialise in big walks for big dogs, or looking after smaller breeds? Decide on your specialism and set your rates to match.

Choose your name and logo

This could be key to your marketing success. It’s tougher than pre-internet days, as plenty of people make a business out of buying and selling domain names, so you may find your ideal URL is already missing. Don’t be put off. Make sure your name hasn’t been used already and try to include your specialism in the name where possible (for example, Grimsby Dog Walker).

A logo is like a website – it’s worth paying someone professional to do it. Confirm your logo fits your brand ethos and the ways you want to use it. If you plan to do lots of online marketing, does it look nifty on mobile, and desktop? Does it make a cool image for social media? Or if you’re just stencilling it on your car, does it make a big impact?

Write a marketing plan, then get a website

Not the other way around. You need to know what you want your website to be able to do before you make it. Once it’s live, you’ll want to hit the ground running. You don’t have to throw thousands of pounds at your marketing efforts but neither should you just rely on word of mouth. Focus on one or two marketing methods and make them work for you. Consider partnerships with other businesses or getting shelters or the local veterinary practice to refer clients to you.

If you’ve decided in your marketing plan that social media is something you can really focus on, make sure your website is easy for you to update and link to your social streams. Keep the blog a primary feature. If it’s something static you only intend to use as a calling card or hub for your testimonials, it doesn’t have to be so active (you don’t want to foreground a blog you only write twice a year, for example). Let your designer know what you need, then let them create the best way to achieve it for you.

Get down to the legal nitty gritty

Write your contract including your policies and address the legal stuff. If this is something you’re tempted to avoid, think again. A list of well-considered policies which you always stick to, could make sure your business remains profitable and reputable, If you have no protection against wasted time, lost income and payment disputes, your business may end up in peril. It’s not the stuff you want to consider, but it’s the stuff you really should consider. Your clients will respect you and know where your limits lie.

You also need to get legal. I know, yawn. But again, imperative. Register your business by letting HMRC you’re going it alone as a sole-trader and register for self-assessment.

And then...enjoy! You’ll need to work hard to get your name out there, but once you have, it’s all down to your passion, dedication and walking. Good luck!

How To Give Your Dog A Variety Of Different Dog Walks

Walking your dog in the same place every day can get a little repetitive. Sometimes it’s good to mix up your dog walks and try walking your dog in different places. Not only will this be enjoyable for your dog, but you get to explore different places too. Prevent your dog walks from getting boring by going to places with different scenery and terrain to walk through. The UK is home to many beautiful sites, stunning countryside  and lovely coastal walks. You will be spoilt for choice when you start looking for places to go. Plan weekend trips away with your dog and enjoy a range of different scenery. Have a look in your local area for different places to walk your dog, you might be surprised by what you find.

Coastal

Coastal walks are always a nice change from your normal walk down the park. Walking by the sea is so relaxing and it provides lots of fun for your dog. They can go swimming and play in the water if they wish and run in the sand along the beach. Take some toys that float or a ball that you can throw into the water for your dog to fetch and bring back to you.

Woodland

Dogs just love foraging and exploring woodland. If you haven’t been on a walk in the woods before with your dog then try it, they will have a brilliant time. Make sure your dog is safe off the lead as they can easily chase woodland animals and get lost following a scent. Woodland is also quite useful for shelter from the sun in the summer so that dogs don’t get too hot and in the winter it can help to shelter you from the elements.

Fields and Countryside

Long countryside walks are ideal for dogs who need a lot of exercise. Find a large stretch of countryside and go on a long walk across the fields with your dog. Be sure to follow the countryside code while you are walking and keep your dog away from any livestock.

Parks

It’s easy and convenient to take your dog for a walk at your local park. It’s also a great place for your dog to meet other dogs and work on their social skills. There are lots of different parks to choose from so try a few in your local area to mix things up a bit.

Urban Walks

Urban walks around your local town can also be quite good for you and your dog. It’s also good to get young dogs used to urban noises and experiences from an early age. You will have to keep your dog on the lead but you can still give them a good walk around the city.

Top 5 Dog Walks in Britain

For any modern day pooch, there are three important things to keep him healthy; food, exercise and happiness. As food and exercise tie in so brilliantly with happiness, all you have to do is tackle the first too and the third comes free! Here at ; walking your dog however, is down to you. This however, doesn’t mean that we can’t give a little helping hand. So, without further a-do, here are the top five popular dog walks within the United Kingdom.

Hinchingbrooke Country Park

Located just outside Huntington, within the northerly depths of Cambridgeshire, Hinchingbrooke Country Park is one of the most popular dog walking parks in the whole of the United Kingdom. With over 170 acres of lakes, meadows and woodlands, there beholds a plethora of wonder just waiting for you and your walking buddy. With paid car parking and a range of facilities including an independent cafe, there are even snacks available as a treat for when you have finished your trek!

Chesterfield Canal

Travelling a little further up north to the land of Derbyshire, the canal is considered by far to be one of England’s most scenic waterways, which makes it also a great place to walk your four legged friend! With establishments such as pubs and cafe’s along the way, there are various chances to pause and refuel the tanks for another leg of the beautiful journey. The only problem that you’ll have throughout the walk, is picking which part of the 46 miles you’ll want to take!

Worsbrough Reservoir

Planted just a few miles from Sheffield, in the heart of South Yorkshire, Worsbrough is an idyllic place to visit if you are wanting to walk your dog amongst some of the best natural scenery that nature can provide. With a palate of water life, the reservoir is also teeming with fish that are ready to be caught if you remember to take your rod with you. Also home to the Worsbrough Mill Museum, the park is a great base for the Trans Pennine Trail if you think of straying elsewhere into the Yorkshire countryside.

Black Covert

Nestled just to the South East of Aberystwyth, Black Covert Woods offers a spectacular mix of woodland, streams and fields; not to mention the odd otter. Starting from the picnic area you will find two walkways leading out that will take you to some of the most stunning woodland in the whole of Wales. If you fancy a walk in late spring, the riverside walk offers a palate of bluebells that are in bloom during late April and early June.

Den Wood

Taking our walks further northward into Scotland, offers a splendid 3km walk of wooded area. As part of one of the many Woodland Trust Walks, the wood offers man and friend a splendid gentle stroll if you are not a fan of hills. A highly popular weekend walk by the locals, the woodland has recently been improved through a series of path upgrades, car park improvements and leaflets.

The Most Beautiful Spring Dog Walks In The UK

When was the last time you were at one with nature? When you stopped to smell the roses (yes seriously) as spring rolls in. During this uplifting time of year, we get our first dose of sunshine and start to notice nature a little more.

Trees are starting to grow back their leaves, flowers are beginning to blossom, people are friendlier. And there’s no better time for you – and your dog: to explore some of Britain’s best spring dog walks.

Depending on your energy levels (your dogs of course) there is something suitable for every owner and their 4-legged friend. So, what are you waiting for? Get outside and enjoy some of the most beautiful spring dog walks in the UK. Here are our top suggestions.

1. Walla Crag, Lake District

The lake district boasts of some of the most breathtaking spots in the UK and the spectacular views of Walla Crag do not disappoint. 6.5 miles of stunning walks, starting at the market in Keswick you can go up to Castlehead and go along to Calf Close before heading to Ashness Bridge and Walla Crag before returning to market square.

Tip

Many families and other dog owners use this area so make sure your pooch is comfortable with other dogs off the lead and children around and if not fear not - there’s lots of space where he/she can run free in this area!

2. Southampton common, Hampshire

The largest of Southampton open spaces this 345-acre land has everything. Picturesque scenery (you wouldn’t think you were in one of countries biggest cities when you’re here!) and numerous woodland walks to choose from the common is accessible and close to many local areas.

Tip

You MUST try the Cowherds pub! Quaint, vintage, dog friendly and just what you need after a long walk.

3. Coed -Y- Wenallt, Cardiff

This bluebell wood looks like it came straight from a J.R.R Tolkien book - the chances are you will fall in love with its beauty much like its locals have. This ancient woodland is protected by the Woodland Trust and for good reason, with habitat destruction and cross breeding the bluebell is not only the nation's favourite flower it’s also endangered. Hence why this wood is a must see for everyone and a beautiful place to experience with your dog.

Tip

Although a dog friendly area, all that is asked is to preserve the bluebells by not walking on them.

4. Aysgarth Falls, Wensleydale

Robin Hood is the claim to fame this area holds along with its small but dramatic waterfalls. Part of the River Ure and has 3 drops this area of the Dales is ideal for dog walkers not in the mood for a hike – easy terrain and cute cafes for a lazy Sunday walk.

Aysgarth is wheelchair and pushchair friendly so the whole family can enjoy!

5. Cardrona Forest, Tweed Valley, Scotland

This forest on the borders of Scotland features 3 great trails the burn trail: an easy route along the Kirk Burn. The Kirkburn trail – breathtaking views of the tweed valley. Wallace trail: a circular route that passes the remains of Cardrona Tower which dates from the 1500’s.

Tip

Keep an eye out for the now rare red squirrels that call this forest home.

Best Places For Dog Walks In The Summer

The summer sunshine opens up new options for dog walks and is the perfect opportunity to get outside and enjoy some wonderful dog walks. Make the most of the summer months by planning interesting dog walks in lots of different places. Here are some of the best places to take your dog.

Coastal Walks

Although a lot of beaches have restrictions when it comes to dogs, there are some that allow you to bring your pooch with you. It’s a completely different dog walk to normal and you can even let your dog have a refreshing swim in the sea.  They will get a good workout from swimming and you can walk along the coastline for hours. You can walk along a beach if you prefer a short walk or you can trek along the coastline for miles in places like Anglesey, Wales. Brighton is a great place to take your dog, it was voted Britain’s most dog friendly city last year as there are lots of places that allow dogs.

Canals, Lakes & Rivers

Head to a canal or lake with your dog on a hot sunny day. Your dog will love jumping into the canal or lake and running along the river bank. It’s also a fun family day out, you could take a picnic and have lunch by the river or stop off for lunch at the local (dog friendly) pub.

Wooded Areas

During the height of the summer it’s probably best to walk your dog in wooded areas where there is some shade. It will be cooler for your dog and they will get a good run in the woods. Dogs can overheat if they are out in hot sunshine for too long so take this into consideration on particularly hot days.

National Parks

Why not take your dog for a long walk in one of the UK’s national parks? Places such as the Lake District and the New Forest have excellent dog walks and stunning scenery to enjoy. Check the rules and regulations when it comes to dogs for specific national parks before you go.

Location Of The Month: Dartmoor

Dartmoor is an ideal location for dog walks or a weekend break away with your dog. The landscape is rugged and beautiful and there is a wide variety of different dog walks to explore. Whether you fancy walking through woodland or going on a more challenging hike, there will be a suitable walk for you in Dartmoor. You can even download audio walks and go on guided tours if you are new to the area.

Do take care when walking your dog through countryside near livestock, for more information see

Summer Dog Walking Hazards

There are a few hazards you need to watch out for when you are walking your dog in the summer. The warmer weather presents certain challenges to dog walkers and hazards that can harm your beloved pooch. However, these hazards can mostly be avoided if you are careful. Here are five summer dog walking hazards that all dog owners should be aware of.

Hot pavements

This is an obvious one but surprisingly a lot of people don’t pay much attention to. Don’t walk your dog on pavements and tarmac on particularly hot days. If you walk your dog on surfaces that are too hot they could end up burning and damaging their paws.

Your dog probably won’t be able to let you know that a surface is too hot, but that doesn’t mean they don’t feel it. They can feel the heat on their feet just as we do. On very hot days walk your dog on grass or woodland to avoid burning their paw pads.

Grass seeds

Grass seeds are a huge problem in the summer, especially for dogs with longer fur. This is definitely one of the less obvious summer dog walking hazards! You will most likely come across grass seeds on your dog walks, and it’s important to try and avoid them where possible.

Grass seeds lodge themselves in your dog's skin and can travel around inside their body, causing a lot of pain and discomfort. They can also cause infections and can be extremely difficult for vets to remove. Check your dog for grass seeds after every walk in the summer. If you see one stuck in their skin then take them to a vet right away.

Heat stroke

Learn the signs of heat stroke so that you can help your dog before it’s too late. Avoid walking your dog at the hottest times of the day, walk them early in the morning and late in the evening instead. Know your dog’s limits and don’t make them do too much exercise on really hot days.

Adders

Adders sometimes come out in the summer to bask in the warmth of the sun. Coming across an adder is fairly rare, but it is possible for your dog to get bitten by one. They are the only venomous snake in the UK. Try and stick to paths as adders tend to stay in the undergrowth. If you are walking through heathland, keep your dog on a short lead to be safe. Bites are rarely fatal for dogs providing they get treatment very quickly. on dogs and adders which contains some information about what to do if they get bitten.

Ticks

Ticks are another hazard that can cause a lot of problems for dogs in the summer. They are seen more often in the summer, and will latch onto your dog’s coat when they brush past. Ticks will then feed on your dog’s blood. They are usually not a problem if removed quickly and properly, but they can cause Lyme disease. Check your dog for ticks after every dog walk and have them removed as soon as possible.

Walking Your Dog In The Heat

It may be a beautiful day with the temperature’s hitting the thirties. Time for fun in the sun and hazy summer days. Yay for us humans. But for dogs, however, intense heat poses serious challenges and risks. When it’s hot outside, even a stroll tires you out.

Here are 7 tips for highly effective dog-walkers to keep in mind when out for a walk in really hot weather.

1. Remember, it’s a walk, not a marathon!

A day when the sun beats down and you slap on the sun cream isn’t the one to go on a 5- mile hike. Keep your walk close to home so that if any problems arise, you can get help quickly.

Never get into a critical situation where your dog needs emergency treatment and you still have 45 minutes (possibly cradling your dog in your arms the whole way) to reach help.

2. Sit back and enjoy the scenery/smell the flowers

Plan your walking route with some rest areas in mind. A shaded porch step, park benches, under a lovely big tree – look for places where you can both sit and have a breather.

3. Like a dog on a hot tin roof.

If your dog’s pads are warm to the touch or hot, it’s too hot to continue. Use your water or find a hose to wet those pads and and sit it out for a while on some grass before you head back home.

4. Canine overheating

helps you to keep her as comfortable as possible. Stop every few minutes and check her for the sure-fire signs of overheating - heavy panting, salivating a lot, glassy-eyed expression, and actually looking fatigued and exhausted. More things to bear in mind:

  • Darker fur absorbs more heat than lighter coats
  • Overweight dogs have a higher risk of dehydrating quickly.

5. A drop of water

Carry drinking water. It should be room-temperature (at most, cool), but never ice-cold, otherwise it will constrict her blood vessels, making it difficult to get any benefit. Water isn’t just for drinking either. You could use it to wet the pads of her feet, around the ears, and even her stomach area.

6. BIG water

The best (and most fun) activity you can do in summertime or hot weather is swimming. Instead of walking your mutt, take her for a swim! Hold on, let your dog lead you and it becomes a wet walk!

7. Think before you walk

Plan beforehand. Make sure you’re taking a route where there’s some shade and you can both have a sit-down. When do you get going again?  When her (and your) panting is slow or stopped.

And if it’s a scorching hot day, it may even be too dangerous to take your dog out in the heat. Try and walk your pooch early in the morning or in the evening when it’s cooler. Avoid lunch time when it gets super-hot.

Last but not least, set off back home early if there’s even the slightest sign that you or your pet are not dealing well with the heat.

If you walk 30 to 40 minutes in normal weather, expect that she may only need (or want) a 10-minute walk in very hot weather. And that might go for you too!

Best Walks For Your Dog In Autumn

Autumn is undoubtedly the most beautiful season with the leaves changing colours and milder temperatures making it the perfect season to explore new areas with your canine friend. Wrap up warm with scarves and bobbly hats, and a protective coat for your dog (matching, of course…) and discover some of our favourite places to walk your dog in autumn.

Woodland Areas

If you want to fully immerse yourself in the beautiful colours of autumn, then a woodland area is the best place to be. The UK has some of the most wonderful woodland walks to take your dog.

Hampstead Heath

Asides from being a huge area of over 790 acres, Hampstead Heath in London is the ideal oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, so your dog can roam free and you can discover the wonderful views on top of the heath.

Down Banks

This National Trust protected location is a fantastic easy walk for you and your dog. Although you can make it as difficult or easy as you like; there is an additional 0.5 mile optionally attached so you can hike up the hills with your dog to marvel at the panoramic views.

Sheringham Park

Combine woodland with coast at Sheringham Park. This Norfolk location is for the all-rounder who enjoys every aspect of walking. The mixed terrain keeps this walk interesting and fun, whilst the rich pastures of history behind the grasslands and woodlands make it an incredible experience. Your dog will love the mixture of areas, as well as the sometimes slightly challenging hills.

Beaches

Coastal bound? The beach is not suddenly off-limits come September. The crisp air and sometimes ferocious waves make it a great spot to get some quality time with your canine friend, and then wrap up after for a seaside treat.

Studland Beach

With dogs being allowed off-leash from 30 September until 1 April, this is the ideal location to take your dog and let them roam free! With sandy bays and wild heathland, Studland Beach is a great area all year round, and the quieter autumn months make it a beautiful autumn walk.

Marloe Sands

This National Trust location is a gorgeous, sometimes wild beach that tracks all over the coastline with plenty of wildlife to keep both you and your canine interested. The brisk and breezy walk is considered challenging in some areas, but don’t let this put you off, as it’ll be fantastic exercise to keep your heart rate up!

Morte Point

If you enjoy a challenge on your walk, then the Morte Point coastal walks are a fantastic place to start. It’s an easy walk, but one to keep your dog under close control as the cliff edges can be steep, so it’s perhaps better for an older dog who is well-trained. The views from the top of Morte Point stretch down over Woolacombe Beach, so make sure you bring your binoculars!

The Complete Guide To Winter Dog Walking

Walking your dog in the winter brings a range of different challenges for dog walkers. The weather brings all sorts of hazards that you need to be aware of. Dog walkers brave the winter cold every day. Winter dog walks don’t have to be traumatic, with the right equipment and knowledge, they can be wonderful. Getting outdoors in the winter is excellent for your health, as long as you wrap up warm and stay safe.

This year, if the weatherman is correct, winter is going to hit us hard. Winter 2015 is predicted to be one of the coldest in years. Whether this winter lives up to expectations or not, you need to be prepared to face the cold. You also need to make sure your dog is protected and stays out of harm's way. This is our complete guide to winter dog walks, read on to discover everything you need to know about walking your dog in the winter.

Wrapping up warm

The first thing you need to do is make sure you have plenty of layers on. It’s worth investing in items of clothing that will get you through winter dog walks. Decent water and a windproof raincoat is a must, as this will help to protect you from the elements. Remember to get a jacket that has a hood on it for when the weather gets really bad.

You will also need several thick jumpers for the coldest days. You might want to consider getting some waterproof trousers too, or you'll end up with wet, damp legs after every walk in the rain. A cost woolly hat, scarf, and gloves are also things all dog walkers need for the winter.

Winter coats & jumpers for dogs

It’s not just you that needs to be wrapped up warm. Your dog might need a jumper or a coat on, particularly cold or wet days. Even if your dog doesn’t need a coat, it can help to prevent them from getting too wet or muddy on dog walks. Some short-haired breeds really suffer from the cold, and will definitely need a jumper or coat to prevent them from getting too cold.

Snow and ice

The snow and ice is something that dog walkers have to contend with in the winter. Don’t go outside if the weather gets really severe and you feel it might be hazardous walking in the snow and ice. See below for other ways to exercise your dog when the weather is really bad. Bad weather is not an excuse to fail to provide your dog with exercise.

Lots of dog walkers end up slipping over on the ice and causing themselves nasty injuries. If you do go out, make sure you wear shoes that have plenty of grips. Avoid walking through really thick snow with your dog, as you cannot see what is underneath the snow that may injure your dog’s feet. Try and walk on routes that have been cleared rather than going through fresh snow.

De-icer

Watch out for de-icer and antifreeze in the winter, as this can poison dogs. People use them on their cars and to get rid of ice, but if your dog licks these substances they could be ins serious danger. Commercial antifreeze has a sweet flavour that attracts dogs. Don’t let your dog off the lead in areas where there may be antifreeze a wash their paws when you get home so they don’t lick them.

Grit

Salt and grit are another winter hazard to watch out for. They can get stuck in between your dog's paws and cause cuts, abrasions, and irritations. It’s also important to prevent your dog from trying to eat or lick the salt. On icy and snowy days salt can be scattered everywhere so you may want to rethink where you walk your dog.

Drying off your dog after walks

It's extremely important to make sure you dry your dog off properly after winter dog walks. If they get wet in the rain or from jumping in wet muddy puddles then they will need to be dried off properly at home. Sometimes a towel dry is not enough if your dog’s coat is even a little bit damp on a cold winter day they can easily catch the chills. Use a special dog-friendly dryer and make sure your dog is completely dry.

Frozen lakes and rivers

>Watch out for lakes and rivers that have frozen over in the winter. Don’t let your dog off the lead near any frozen water, they could run onto it and if the ice cracks, end up falling into the freezing water. Check your dog walking routes to ensure there won’t be any frozen water along the way.

Extreme weather conditions

In the winter, it’s a good idea to check the weather forecast regularly. This will help you prepare for adverse weather conditions, and also know when it’s not safe to go out. Keep an eye out for weather warnings and plan your dog walks in advance. It’s just not worth taking the risk by going on a walk when it could put you or your dog in danger.

Dark evenings

Winter brings shorter days and darker evenings. The sun goes down earlier, which means you have fewer daylight hours to walk your dog. Avoid walking your dog in the dark unless you have a high vis jacket for both you and your dog. You can also get flashing and reflective collars for dogs.

All dog walkers should have decent walking shoes. You need shoes that will keep your feet warm and dry, as well as having a good grip. It’s worth investing in a quality pair of shoes to get you through the winter and help you brave the muddiest of dog walks.

  • Protect your car from mud
  • Protect your carpets/flooring - runners and dog mats can help to protect your carpet when dogs get back from muddy dog walks.
  • Protecting your dog’s feet - get your dog some booties for winter dog walks to protect their paws.
  • You might want to find alternative ways to exercise your dog when the weather is severe. For example, dog treadmills, playing with toys, indoor agility, and hydrotherapy.

How To Keep Warm On Freezing Winter Dog Walks

It’s that time of year when every time you leave the house, it feels like your face is about to freeze over and your hands are going to fall off. And yet your doggy still needs walking, regardless of whether both of you want to or not. So here are some tips for beating the freezing weather so you can enjoy your walks just as much as ever.

Wear a thick pair of gloves

Unfortunately, the dog owner doesn’t have the luxury of keeping their hands in their pockets. You’ll need a thick pair of gloves if you want to keep your dog on a leash. Avoid thin, woollen gloves that let the cold in through the holes. You might feel like you have giant quilts over your hands, but you won’t regret it when you are twenty minutes into your daily walk.

Get boots that can withstand the ice

You’ll never know when you’re going to wake up with frost outside your door and black ice on the roads. As the days get shorter, it’s vital that you invest in a warm pair of bootsor wellies with a lot of grip at the bottom. It’s easy to miss black ice in the dark and you’ll want to keep moving in the cold, making a hardwearing pair of outdoor walking boots essential.

Winter hats

’Tis the season to get cosy. That means wearing a winter hat and protecting your head from the harsh winter. Get one that covers your ears unless you want to buy a pair of additional earmuffs. Why not try a pair with doggy ears as a way of unleashing your inner dog enthusiast?

A warm, winter coat

Invest in a high-quality outdoor coat that can withstand cold temperatures and rain. A coat with a hood is particularly good as it can keep your head warm as well. As you’ll be walking, you’ll still want a coat that is light and breathable but well-insulated.

Be active

As it’s cold, your dog may have more energy levels than usual as it tries to keep itself warm by jumping around. That means upping your game too. Find games that you can play in the park like catch. While your dog catches the ball, you can jump up and down or do star jumps. Avoid running on the roads as you can encounter a patch of black ice.

Make sure fido is warm too

Depending on your dog’s breed, you may need to dress them up in a coat and boots. Smaller toy breeds and greyhounds need to be protected from the cold. The good news is that doggy fashion is fabulous, and you can find all sorts of adorable coats and boots to keep your dog safe from the snow and ice. If you don’t want to put boots on your dog, another tip for keeping your dog’s paws warm is by adding a layer of petroleum jelly to its feet.

Walking a Dog in the Snow

Walking your dog in the snow can be both challenging and hazardous. If it snows this winter, you need to take extra care when out on dog walks. All dog owners should be aware of the difficulties that snow presents, and how to prepare properly for walking a dog in the snow. If you want to keep you and your pooch safe, here are some handy tips and things to remember.

Wear snow boots

You need to make sure you have adequate grip when walking in the snow, and that means getting a pair of walking boots or snow boots. Snow boots should also protect your feet from getting wet and snow getting into your shoes. The last thing you want is wet, freezing cold feet.

Layers and warm clothes

>Dog walkers should be properly dressed when venturing out into the snow. If you aren’t dressed properly you could catch a chill, or simply cut your dog’s walk short due to being too cold. Wear plenty of layers, waterproof trousers, thick socks, a warm jumper and a waterproof jacket to protect you from the elements.

Get your dog some snow shoes

You can get special snow booties for dogs that help to protect their paws. These special shoes for dogs are particularly useful in the snow and will keep your dog’s feet warm.

Avoid deep, untouched snow

Try not to walk your dog in deep, untouched snow. You don’t know what might be underneath, and you or your dog could get injured on an object hidden beneath the thick sheet of snow. Stick to main paths and areas where people have already walked.

Look out for weather warnings

Always check the weather before you head out to make sure it’s safe. Don’t go out if there are any severe weather warnings that may affect your safety. Walking a dog in the snow can be a hazardous occupation if you don't take precautions!

Plan your route

>Plan your route carefully before you head out. Let someone else know you are going out, how long you will be gone for and what your route is. That way if there is a problem they can come and find you.

Take your phone

Take your mobile phone out with you in case you experience any problems or need assistance.

Keep your dog’s nails well trimmed

Make sure your dog’s nails are cut short enough. If they are too long your dog will be more likely to slip or catch them on something. They will have more grip with freshly cut nails.

Don’t trim hair under pawpads too short

Be careful not to trim the hair between your dog’s paw pads too short. Dogs need a bit of hair here as it helps protect their feet from the ice and snow. It’s also important that the hair isn’t too long and matted as it will attract clumps of snow which will be painful.

Consider using a paw pad balm

Try using a protective paw pad balm to nourish and form a barrier between your dog’s paw pads and the snow. However, some paw pad balm can be slippery and should only be applied after walks to soothe paw pads. Read the manufacturer’s guidelines carefully.

Other things to consider:

Don’t overdo it: staying out too long or pushing yourself too far in the snow is risky for both you and your dog

Don’t let your dog eat snow: it could contain traces of deicer which is poisonous to dogs.

Buy a dog coat/jumper to keep your dog nice and warm and protect them from the cold.

Have towels ready so that when you get back you can dry your dog quickly and easily.

Stay hydrated: make sure you and your dog are adequately hydrated.

Don’t let your dog pull as they could end up pulling you over or causing you to slip on the ice.

What To Do If Cold Weather Prevents Walking The Dog

>Sometimes, in extreme cases, people are unable to walk their dogs because of adverse weather conditions. This doesn’t mean that if you don’t fancy braving the cold that it’s OK not to walk your dog. If it’s safe, and you are perfectly able to walk your dog then there’s no excuses. However, sometimes the weather can cause dangerous conditions, and for some people it’s too hazardous to head outside on a dog walk. If this happens to you this winter (which is supposed to be particularly cold), here are some solutions and ways in which you can exercise your dog.

Play indoors

There’s plenty of games you can play inside your home. Don’t let your dog become frustrated, provide them with things to do. Buy them some exciting new toys to play with or play some indoor games such as hide and seek. This should help your dog to burn off some energy and pent up frustration from having to stay inside.

Agility indoors

You could set up a basic agility course indoors provided you have the space. Even if you don’t have specific agility equipment you can improvise with some objects you have around the house. There are also also indoor agility classes that you can go to.

Playtime with another dog

You could always invite another dog round that gets on with your dog really well and they can play together. They can play games inside such as tug of war, or simply play together for a while. This is an excellent way of providing your dog with some physical activity, plus it’s great for their social skills.

Obedience training and tricks

Obedience training may not be an intensive form of exercise for dogs, but it still gets their body moving and their brain working. Run through some basic obedience commands and try and teach your dog a few new tricks.

Get a dog walker to take them

If you are unable to walk your dog yourself, you should get a dog walker to do it. This way, your dog doesn’t miss out and can still stay fit and healthy. If you are not physically able to walk your dog for a period of time then you will need to find someone else to do it for you.

Take them to daycare

If the weather is too severe to take your dog out you could always let them spend a day in day care instead. They can play and interact with the other dogs and will get plenty of exercise.

Scent work

You could also play some scent games inside. Hide some treats or toys around your home and get your dog to sniff them out. This is a fun rainy day activity for both you and your dog.

Hello,

We are very sorry, but the browser you are visting us with is outdated and not complient with our website security.

Please upgrade your browser to a modern secure version to view our website.