27 Nov 10

Post turkey dog walks ...

by Nancy E. Hassel, LIPetPlace.com

After Thanksgiving meals are over, (leftovers and all), and the family and friends have gone home, don’t forget about your dog – who may be in desperate need of a nice long walk or hike. Dogs can get stressed out during the holidays with new noises, crowds, traveling and unfamiliar people coming and going. Help relieve that stress by going for a hike with your canine pal. Keep these tips in mind when out:

  • Make sure you have your dogs appropriate collar on that has his or her name tags, license and rabies tag. Even if you are using a training collar to walk your dog, you want identification on your dog at all times. *Don’t have tags on a choke or prong collar – these are training collars that should be taken off when at home.  A flat cotton, leather or nylon collar is best for dog tags.
  • Use a good leash. A sturdy leather or cotton 6-foot lead is best, especially if you don’t often walk your dog. Retractable leashes are not the best if in a heavily populated park or if you have no verbal control of your dog. Your dog should be close to you, not 15 – 30 feet ahead wandering around with no direction from you. (And people coming towards you can’t see if your dog is on a leash or not and it could be unnerving for them).
  • Bring water, and treats with you if you are going on a longer walk.
  • Check to make sure you can legally walk your dog in the park you are planning on going to. Don’t take your dog off leash if it is not allowed, obey the park rules, and it will be a more enjoyable day for everyone.
  • When approaching an oncoming dog and owner, ask if the dog is friendly and if your dog can say hello. Not all dogs are dog friendly, if you just let your dog wander up to any dog without asking, you could very well be asking for trouble. If they say no, don’t be offended, just move on.
  • Don’t over do it – if your dog is primarily a yard dog, an 8-mile hike might be too much. Go for a shorter mile or two.  Keep a pet first aid kit in your car also.
  • Invite a friend or two with their dogs and go together, dogs like to be social and enjoy walking with their canine pals.
  • If it is cold out and your dog has short hair, a dog coat will help him keep warm during the walk. 
  • If you live on the East End of Long Island be careful where you walk, as it is unfortunately hunting season, and often times areas where hunting is happening may not be marked.  Or signs can be confusing, i.e. one sign may say, ‘Nature Preserve No Hunting’ and 50-feet away is a private game hunting area, crazy!  Call your local town hall to find out more information on where you can safely walk or hike with your dog.
  • Most of all have fun and walk your dog often, not just after Thanksgiving! Walking with your dog is a wonderful way to bond, work on training techniques and drain some energy both physically and mentally for your dog.  You know what they say, “A tired dog is a good dog!”

Suffolk County Parks are Dog Friendly, leashed of course.  Some are seasonal, click her for more info. http://www.co.suffolk.ny.us/Home/departments/parks/Parks.aspx

2 Responses to “Post turkey dog walks”

  1. OnestaOrganics Says:

    Good advice! I found it’s the best exercise for me (!!) to walk the pups…. I used to exercise regularly before our pups came home, but now I am really really on a training schedule! – ant it’s fun to spend time with good company!

  2. Thanks Heidi! :)