In our fast-paced world, dog owners often try to multitask during their daily walk rather than simply focus on their animal. This can lead to conflicts or accidents. FOUR PAWS asks dog owners to give their full attention to their dog when out walking. Writing a few messages, making a phone call or checking social media while walking the dog… such behaviour is a common sight among dog owners. And it isn’t unusual to see dog walkers chatting animatedly with a partner or friend, or focusing mainly on their children. Often there isn’t much attention left for the dog.
Reasons for mindful dog walking
The daily walk should be a time for your dog, when your attention is particularly focused on your pet.
- When you are out and about with your dog, you have to keep an eye out so they don’t run across the street or eat something they find in the bushes.
- You also have to pay attention to where your dog does their business, so you can bag and bin their poo.
- Contact with other dogs (especially unfamiliar ones) should always be closely observed, because not all dogs get along with each other.
- Also, some canines are very people-oriented and want to greet every walker they come across, often by jumping up at them. This won’t always be appreciated!
- Cyclists, joggers and children playing can also present potential hazards. Accidents can quickly occur if, for example, your dog suddenly veers off in a different direction and runs under a jogger’s feet.
- Conflicts between dog owners and other people occur time and again, especially in densely populated areas. Owners who stay alert can spot these potential conflict situations in advance and call their dog to them. For instance, an owner who remains attentive can prevent their own dog from running over to another dog that is on a leash.
- If you engage in mindful walking with your dog, you can also interact with your animal much more intensively. And brief sessions of play or training will strengthen the bond between you and your four-legged friend.
There are many advantages to leaving your mobile phone in your pocket and not getting lost in conversation when you’re out with your dog. Of course, walkies can also be a great time for connecting with other people, but you shouldn’t take your eyes off your animal.