Taking your dog on regular walks in Columbus, Ohio is a great way for you to bond with your pup. It can also help to keep both of you healthy! The tough part is that you are only sometimes going to be guaranteed ideal weather to walk in. Rain or shine, it’ll be important to remember the dog walking essentials!
Here are the top 5 essentials we recommend to help make dog walking in Columbus, Ohio as enjoyable as possible.
How Often Should You Walk Your Dog In Columbus?
First, before we get into the list of essentials, let’s talk about how much walk time your dog actually needs on a daily basis. Every breed of dog varies in its exercise requirements. Some dogs, like huskies and labs, need a lot of exercise and stimulation to stay happy and healthy. Others are entirely content just being couch potatoes their entire lives (yes we’re talking about you, St. Bernard’s!).
A general rule of thumb is about 30 minutes of daily exercise for your pup, according to experts. The length and duration of the walk will ultimately depend on your dog’s energy level, breed, and health. We offer various walk durations as part of our dog walking service, to take into account that each dog has different walking needs.
The Columbus Dog Walking Essentials
It’s no secret that the success ingredient for enjoyable dog walks is making sure you’ve got all the necessary equipment (such as leashes, harnesses, and collars). Regardless of the size and temperament of your pup, there are a few essentials that every pet parent needs:
1. Collar With Identification
Arguably the most important piece of equipment is the collar! Make sure it’s proper-fitting (If you can fit two fingers between your pup’s neck and the collar, that’s just right!) AND has an identification tag on it. A properly fit collar ensures your pup won’t escape you while you’re both out and about. In case this does happen, however, the ID tag increases the chances your pup will be found and returned to the rightful owner (you!). The ID tag should include:
- Dog’s name (and maybe yours too!)
- Your phone number
- Address (for extra clear identification)
In addition to a collar, you might also consider a harness for your pup. If your pup is a puller, harnesses can help resolve this issue. Or, if your pup is well-behaved on walks and you just prefer to not have them wear a collar, harnesses will do the trick!
It’s important that walking your dog is stress-free so that both you and your pup can enjoy the venture into the great outdoors. The next essential item can also help guarantee that!
2. A Proper Leash
Hands down, NO retractable leashes!
Retractable leashes are NOT a good option to use for walking your pup. When going outdoors, you should invest in a good quality fixed-length, flat lead leash that is sturdy and not too long.
Even if your pup is well-trained and well-behaved, it’s essential to keep your dog close to you when outside. In the event of potential harm, whether it’s an unexpected biker or car passing by, you’ll wanna be able to pull your pup in close quickly! Especially if they are prone to lunging at moving objects (like squirrels!), a flat lead will ensure the most kinda control over your pup.
If your pup has a problem with indulging in mischief (like getting into things they aren’t supposed to!), having a flat lead is your best bet!
3. Waste Bags
Whether your walk is 10 minutes or upwards of an hour, you should always expect your pup to use the bathroom at some point. By preparing for heavy-duty bathroom breaks, you’ll be able to cleanup after your pup without any concerns. It’s the worst feeling watching your pup go #2 and THEN realizing you don’t have any waste bags on you to clean it up! Keeping waste bags on hand to clean up your pup’s bathroom messes is part of being a responsible pet parent. Many areas require that pet parents clean up after their dogs, and with the help of public pet waste bins, there should be minimal excuses!
Ordering poop bags in bulk will be your best bet. Then, store those bags in your coat pockets or dog walking fanny pack for the next time you venture out. Easy accessibility is key! You may also consider keeping rolls of bags in your car for trips to the park.
4. Portable Water Bowl and Treats
Treats and water are two other walking essentials you should consider bringing along, too. Especially when it’s hot outside, your pup will benefit from frequent water breaks. This prevents overheating and heat exhaustion. You might need a good place to pour the water for your pup to drink, so try a collapsible water bowl. They’re easy to pack and hold water very well!
Treats are great to bring along for various reasons. All of us enjoy giving treats to our dogs to spoil them. Treats are also great for training and rewarding good behaviors from your dog on walks. Either way, treats are sure to get those tails waggin’! If you plan on using them to reward obedience, we recommend small training treats. Give these immediately after your pup listens to your commands for best impact!
5. Essentials For Inclement Weather
While the weather might not always cooperate for for taking your pup on a walk, that doesn’t mean you should skip the walk completely! There are plenty of ways to prepare for walks in inclement weather. If conditions are super unbearable, however, then it’s probably best to skip the walk and take a raincheck. This includes heavy downpour, super low temps, thunder/lightning, or anything that feels unsafe to be out in.
For rainy days, you might consider investing in a nice pair of doggie rain boots. Though it may take a second for your pup to adjust to wearing them, boots are an excellent way to prevent your pup’s paws from getting muddy.
Some dogs love to get wet and play in the water, but others aren’t quite so fond of the rain or getting drenched. Regardless, a raincoat is a great way to keep your pup dry and shielded from the elements.
In winter weather, we’d recommend a thicker coat and boots. Generally speaking, the bigger and fluffier your dog is, the better they are equipped (genetically!) to withstand colder conditions. There are lots of winter walk tips available on the web that can help you prepare for such weather!
In dreary, foggy, and/or dark conditions, consider purchasing some reflective gear for you and your pup. When visibility is low, you’ll wanna make sure everyone stays safe and unharmed. Reflective collars (and leashes) are a simple and easy way to make your presence known when walking in less well-lit conditions.
Health & Social Benefits of Columbus Dog Walks
Once you’ve got all your essential items, you can truly make the most out of walks with your pup. Columbus, Ohio has a lot of dog-friendly places you could try out with your pup. In general, walks are a great way to provide your dog with plenty of opportunities for socialization, burning off excess energy, and engaging in sniff time. All of this combines to decrease boredom and anxiety, improve mood, and give tons of mental enrichment. The energy expenditure benefit can also prevent any destructive behaviors from persisting. This is always helpful if you have a pup that loves chewing on shoes, shoe laces, or tearing up furniture in the home.
Walking is also a non-strenuous way to improve you and your dog’s cardiovascular health. It reduces the risk of obesity, insulin resistance, liver disease, and osteoarthritis. Even if your dog just gets 15- to 30-minute stroll a few times a week, these benefits can still be relevant.
A final “essential” item for dog walking, is having a dog walker in Columbus, Ohio lined up for when life gets busy. We realize you may not be able to venture out with your pup at all times, but your pup will still expect (and need) the exercise! After all, they are creatures of comfort who appreciate consistency in their routines.