Environmentalists and educators have their (separate) 3 R’s. Jewellers have their 4 C’s. And dog parents have their 5 P’s. Surely you’ve heard of them! The 5 P’s to walk your dog!
Prepare : Before you leave your house, make sure you’ve got all the essentials! Carry a small bag or put things in your pockets to fit in : a collar and a non-retractable leash, a little water for yourself and the furball, a small cup from which your dog can drink, a plastic bag to clean up behind your dog and, most importantly, some high value doggie treats to help you get out of some sticky situations.
Poise: As always, you are the leader of the pack. Keep yourself alert, aware, focused and calm. Make sure that you are leading your dog and not the other way around. Be cognizant of potentially threatening situations and steer clear of them.
Permission: Your dog has his/her personal space. Do not let strangers cuddle or invade your pet’s space without explicit permission and introduction. Teach your dog to stay away from people who are clearly uncomfortable with dog interactions. There should be no leaping, barking or sniffing. This is particularly pertinent on a walk because you will continuously pass people who are not comfortable with dogs.
Place: It is obvious that you shouldn’t trespass. Don’t take your dog for walks over other people’s property! But more importantly, find a good place to walk your dog. It is good to go to a dog park or perhaps even a general park where your dog can roam free. But keep away from busy/commercial roads, congested places or even roads with too many territorial strays.
Party! : At the end of the day, you’re out to spend some quality time with your pet. Make it fun! Allow him to explore things he finds interesting. If your dog is the adventurous type, do take great precaution before taking him off the leash. He may embrace his new found freedom and run in every direction. Many dog owners ensure they are in an enclosed area before they get ready to play a quick game of fetch. But being out, means a chance for your dog to get some good fresh air and exercise. Have a great time while doing so!