Don't Walk Your Dog Day

Why it isn't always the best to walk your dog every day. Especially if your dog is anxious, nervous and maybe reactive

Following on from TODAY IS ACTIVE DOG Day.

Here is another one..........

Today is "Don't Walk Your Dog Day"

There are numerous reasons why I tell my clients to give their dog's a day off from their walks.

    This can be a hard thing for people to get their head around.

    Did you know there is actually a Welfare Act that states the 5 welfare needs or Freedoms for your dog. (for any animal)

    • Freedom from Discomfort.

    Provide your dog with a quiet area somewhere in the house where they can retreat and sleep undisturbed by your family.

    All dogs need their own bed.

    Some will prefer nest beds with high borders that they can curl up in, especially if they feel the cold.

    Others will prefer a wide, flatbed where they can stretch out.

    A dog crate or a safe place, with a comfy cushion can provide a feeling of security for nervous dogs.

    • Freedom from Pain, injury or disease.

    This means that you must get your dog treated if they are showing any signs of the above. Prevention and rapid diagnosis and treatment.

    • Freedom to express normal behaviour:

    by providing sufficient space, proper facilities. 

    This may be a dog that was born to sniff, dig, run. 

    A good way to look at this is to ask yourself, what is in my dog's genetics, what was his breed designed for.(most pedigree dogs were bred for specific jobs, even our cross breeds will have the genetics of maybe 2 or more breed specific traits) and how can I meet his needs. 

    It may be having a sand pit to dig in, opportunities to go sniffing. Maybe a safe area for them to run free.

    • Freedom from hunger and thirst: by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour. Feed the best food you can afford. Do your research. 

    • Freedom from fear and distress:
      • by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.
        This is really relevant to dog's that are anxious and nervous or fearful.

        1. What we need to remember is that every dog is an individual, with their own personalities and feelings. 

      So many things can affect that puppy that you have brought home. So even If you have had Spaniels in your family for years, does not mean that this new pup is exactly the same.

      So back to why you should not walk your dog every day.

      • If your dog finds walks scary. A day off is a fantastic way for them to reset. It gives the chance for the adrenaline that has built up from the previous day to dissipate. Imagine if every day you had to face something scary

      • A chill out day for you and your dog is a real boost. Especially when you have a reactive dog. It is as stressful for you as it is for your dog. If you are stressed, you cannot help your dog. Our dogs certainly know when we are anxious.

      • It gives you the chance to actually study your dog when he is relaxed and happy. Getting to know his body language can help you spot the tiny signals your dog shows, when he is feeling stress or anxiety.

      • Why not use these walk free days to really meet your dog's needs. Have a sniffy time in the garden. Hide his favourite toy for him to find. Scatter yummy food around the garden. What about a relaxing massage or a groom. Check out enrichment activities for your dog. Try some Ace free work This is so simple but also so effective to help nervous anxious dogs.

        So go on, have a walk free day, maybe even two.

      Categories: : Anxious/nervous dogs, Dog Behaviour, Reactivity, Romanian Rescue, Separation Anxiety