As warmer weather arrives, we tend to go on longer walks with our pets. Exercise is always great for your pet, but keep in mind, especially if your pet is a little older, you may need to ease into those longer walks. During the winter, if your dog was mostly going outside only for quick bathroom breaks and not very active indoors, then take some time to gradually work back up to the longer walks that you all enjoyed last spring and summer. To aid in your pet’s recovery as you begin exercising again, consider adding a quality joint supplement with glucosamine, bone broth, CBD, or a high-quality fish oil into their diet.
While it is tempting to run and play outside on those first warmer weather days, your pet may not be ready for the full bursts of exercise after the long winter. I am definitely encouraging more exercise; however, I recommend doing it in a mindful way to reduce the risk of injury by building your way back up to those longer walks with your pet. You know your pet best, so as you add more time to the walks and outdoor activities, watch how your pet moves around. Do they appear to be sore or have stiffness in their legs as they stand up or lay down? Adjust your exercise time as needed and if you do feel the desire to be outside as they are recovering, you can always give them a treat like a raw bone or chew to enjoy while getting some fresh air.
Next, take a moment to look at your walking gear. Does their collar fit properly? Does it have signs of wear and tear? Is the buckle closing correctly? You want to be sure to adjust the collar for a proper fit and make sure there is no fraying or tearing on any part of the collar. I’ve been in this situation before, unaware that our dog had chewed the clip of the collar resulting in a small piece missing. It wasn’t until he pulled hard on a walk and the collar came off. After looking closer, I realized that the buckle still connected, but was not completely secure.
One final tip. Even as the days get longer, it is always good to ensure you and your pet can be seen in the evenings when daylight fades. Light up gear is a great solution to be seen at night. Wearing reflective gear and walking with a flashlight allows you to be seen by passing cars.
Stay safe this spring and enjoy the extra time outside on those warmer days with your pet!