Do you like walkies? Then, let’s celebrate! Walking dogs is a big part of my daily routine and takes up a big chunk of my time, but considering that we, my dogs as well as my boarding dogs and I love it, it’s so worth it! I recently found out that Walking the Dog Day is celebrated on February 22, 2019. How cool is that? Seems to me that there’s a day for every activity! I think dog walking is one of the greatest forms of exercise, and very addictive too.
My addiction to dog walking started when I was 13 years old and I got my first dog, a Miniature Schnauzer called Ajo. We spent a lot of time together walking and training. We were completely inseparable. I would get up early to take him out and run back home from school to squeeze in another walk with him.
We particularly loved our evening walks… just him, my mum and I walking around the block slowly, talking endlessly. These memories are amongst my most special and I’m sure this little dog contributed to the wonderful relationship my mum and I still have. These evening walks used to take at least half an hour or sometimes even longer. It wasn’t our pace that determined this but the amount of sniffing Ajo did. Back then it was ok to walk a dog off the lead and because he was so well trained we didn’t have to worry about him crossing the road or running away.
For a dog, walking is not just a form of exercise but also an opportunity to explore the world… kind of like reading the papers I guess. Sniffing provides a lot of mental stimulation and adds to the fun J. Next time you walk your dog, pause, relax and let him sniff as much as he wants to (apart from fox poo… there is no need to explore that!)
With your first dog, you try to do everything by the books. Back then we probably only had one or two books about dogs and they were like bibles to me. Some stuff is still relevant and some isn’t. Times have changed and with more and more studies being done on dogs, we now know more about their diet, behaviour and exercise than ever before.
Back in those days I also didn’t realise that puppies only need 5 minutes of exercise per month of age, up to twice a day (according to the UK Kennel Club). So, for example, a 3-month-old puppy will need 15 minutes of exercise up to twice a day, a 4-month-old 20 minutes and so on. Did you know that?
Regardless of your dog’s age they all enjoy exploring new areas and they just love the change of scenery. New sights, new sounds, and new smells make walking exciting not just for them but for us too! If you are looking for new places to explore go have a look at Kelly & her lovely dog Elsa’s blog https://www.pawsacrossbritain.co.uk/ . They explore all the dog-friendly places in the UK that you can go to.
For some people dog walking is not only part of their daily routine, but it’s also their profession. Becoming a dog walker is the ideal job for anyone who loves caring for dogs and loves being active and spending time outdoors. Dog walking allows people to work independently, have flexible working hours and be surrounded by what they love most… dogs! There is however, as with any profession, necessary skills to learn and responsibilities to understand, therefore the dog walking profession should be taken seriously as it comes with similar responsibilities to those of child-care.
Did you know that dog walkers are now able to get their City & Guilds Level 2 Certificate of Technical Competence in Dog Walking through Vita Canis? During the course candidates will gain the practical skills and knowledge that is necessary when becoming a dog walker. If this is something you’re interested in or if you know someone that is, please have a look at our website where you will find all the information you need about this course. You know your vet is qualified…but is your dog walker?
Whatever the weather is up to, go and take your dog out, stroll around, relax, inhale, exhale and enjoy.
P.S. Please don’t forget to donate to Vita Canis Style To Rescue . Every little bit is seen and appreciated and makes such a huge difference to these special dogs. Thank you so much!