Taking your dog for a walk is one of the best ways to help them burn off their energy while also increasing your bond. While walking your dog can be one of the most enjoyable activities you do together, it can also turn into one of the worst if you are not prepared.

As you prep for your next walk, use these tips to make sure that you both enjoy the experience.

Get Organized

Parents would never think about going on an outing without their diaper bag, and you should view walking your dog the same way. Create a space in your home where you can keep all of your dog’s walking gear in one place.

Add an extra leash and collar with additional ID tags already in place, waste removal bags, a scoop and treats to your kit. If you plan to walk for long distances, then also carry a collapsible drinking bowl along with some bottles of water to keep your dog hydrated.

Pet first aid kits are also available that will allow you dress their wound until you can get them to a vet.

Pay Attention to Your Surroundings

Smartphones have increased the risks for pedestrian safety since it is easy to lose your focus on the road. However, there are many dangers that can cross your path when you are walking with your dog such as an errant stray that comes out of nowhere. Be sure you are in a good dog walking neighborhood.

Turn off your headphones, and make an effort to notice what is going on around you. In addition to increasing your safety, you will find that you get more enjoyment out of your walk when you notice the little beauties that exist along the way such as flowers blossoming along the walkway.

Keep Your Dog’s Temperament In Mind

You might enjoy five-mile hikes, but that doesn’t mean that your dog is up to the task. If you are new to walking together, then start with short walks until you know how much your dog can handle. It is also important to mind your dog’s personality.

For example, a dog that loves kids probably shouldn’t be walked past a school during morning drop off times. Alternatively, dogs that like to chase squirrels might be better off waiting to hike that wilderness trail until they have mastered their training.

Scan For Road Hazards

Many dog injuries occur during walks because people fail to notice potential dangers on the surface of the road. Start by making sure that your walking path is not dangerously hot or cold.

As a general rule, it is safe for your dog’s paw pads if you can comfortably place your hands there for several seconds.

During times of inclement weather, check into dog booties that add a layer of protection. Then, scan the road or trailway throughout your walk for dangers such as broken glass or sharp rocks so that you can divert your dog to a safer route.

Walking with your dog is one of those things that take a little practice, especially if you are still working on leash training. However, prepping beforehand will ensure your walks go smoothly, and you will feel more confident knowing that you have everything you need in your walking bag.

Soon, you will discover your pet happily barking at the door when they want to ask you for a walk outside.