Dog behaviourist reveals when and how often you should walk your dog this spring
A dog behaviourist has revealed when and how often you should be walking your four-legged friend amid the arrival of spring.
With spring officially here and the clocks going forward on Sunday, March 26, dog walkers can expect better weather and longer days.
As a result of these changes, dog owners may be anticipating more regular and longer walks.
However, dog behaviourist Dr Emma Scales-Theobald, PhD, from Pooch & Mutt has revealed some tips and tricks for the season.
Of dog walking, she says: "Walks are very important for dogs, as they provide physical exercise and mental stimulation.
"Dogs need physical exercise to stay healthy, maintain their weight, and prevent boredom and taking your dog for a walk is a great way to provide them with the exercise they need.
"Depending on the breed, age, and health of the dog, the amount of exercise required will vary. However, all dogs need some level of exercise every day.
"Walks provide dogs with a variety of sights, sounds, and smells that stimulate their minds.
"Dogs are naturally curious creatures, and a walk can be a great opportunity for them to explore new environments and engage with their surroundings.
"A lack of regular walks can lead to a range of issues, such as obesity, boredom, and behavioural problems.
"Therefore, it's important for dog owners to make time for regular walks to keep their furry friends happy and healthy."
Here are some expert tips for walking your dog this spring
Dr Emma revealed a number of springtime walking tips for dog owners:
Walk at least once a day for 30 minutes
The duration and frequency of your walks will depend on the dog's age, breed, size, health and individual needs.
Generally speaking, dogs should be walked at least once a day for 30 minutes to an hour.
However, certain dogs require more exercise but others may be content with less.
In addition to regular walks, dogs also benefit from playtime, interactive games and other forms of exercise, so it's important to provide a variety of activities.
Monitor your dogs' behaviour
It's very common for dogs to exhibit behaviour to "ask" to go for a walk such as by bringing their leash to the owner, sitting by the door or by whining.
If a dog is showing signs of wanting to go for a walk, it's usually a good idea to take them out to ensure they are healthy, happy and well-behaved.
Stick to a routine
Dogs often thrive on a predictable schedule so its important that owners are consistent with their dog's walking routines
Doing this can help establish a sense of structure and predictability for the dog, which can reduce stress and anxiety.