Join me in my daily walk through the joys and struggles of parenthood. Share a word of encouragement or be encouraged. Cry a little, laugh a lot, but know it is all in divine order.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Muffins with Mom – National Pet Month – 5 tips for dog walking etiquette

It’s National Pet Month and I have a pet story…sort of. It was December 2015 when I became a mom again…to a canine. I was reminded of the saying, you can’t choose your family; I didn’t think this applied to pets. My teen son wanted a dog for Christmas and unbeknownst to me he selected a pit bull. Diamond arrived at our house at seven weeks old.

While my son was away at college, I became the caregiver to Diamond. We have certainly learned a few things along the way. Arriving at our house in the middle of winter, Diamond was a house puppy for many months. As she got acclimated to the outdoors, we began to take walks. At first, she walked me more than I walked her.

What is the etiquette for walking your dog through your neighborhood? Here are three tips…
1.      Use a leash – when our puppy, Diamond was a few months old, I would let her out in the front yard to roam around in the grass. She would stay within a small area. As she got older she became more comfortable with her surroundings. One day she took off and ran up to the lady next door. Then she laid on her back with her paws in the air for the woman to scratch her back. The woman was also a dog owner and didn’t mind Diamond’s rambunctious behavior, but that may not be the case with everyone. Keep your dog on a leash when outside.

2.      Set boundaries – when people are walking near, keep your dog close to you. Some people may be afraid of dogs. Be sure your dog doesn’t destroy anyone’s landscape, flowerbed, etc. along his walk.

3.      Clean up – always carry some type of bag to clean up after your dog. No matter how cute or friendly your dog may be, no one wants to see or potentially step on your dog’s poop.

4.      Teach your dog to stop pulling his leash – our dog is still learning this one, but none the less it is a good goal.

5.      Give your dog a treat – take a few treats with you on your walk; reward your dog for following your directions. Provide an additional treat at the end of your walk.

Spring is in the air, my son is home to take over pet parenting duties and Diamond is teaching him a thing or two about dog walking.

If you're looking for help dog walking you can also check out Rover's dog walking service.

What tips would you add to etiquette for walking your dog?

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