Your essential spring time guide to safe off-leash dog walking

September 19, 2016 at 6:00 am

During spring time there is an increase of novice dog owners taking to dog parks around the country. Every year for a few months before the heat we see the largest number of people walking their dogs. And that is great for the dogs, but with spring comes a new set of dangers that even a few long-term walkers forget about.

Here are the major issues you may come across.

What is a social off-leash dog?

The real nature of a social off-leash dog is one that is not aggressive or anxious. He can mix with other dogs, look forward to meeting other dogs, and chooses to play or not play.

Many dogs who are not used to parks will either be over-enthusiastic (with the potential to end up bullying dogs into playing), or will be so anxious they will rely on their fight or flight response.  The goal for long term off-lead walks is to have a calm happy dog that just wants to play and explore and not over-react to any other dog.

You may find that during spring when a lot of new owners and new dogs turn up at the park, a lot of ‘bad’ behaviour appears.  It’s important to know how to discuss your concerns politely or resolve them with the dog directly without punishment.

Dog allergies

Like humans, seasonal hay fever can really increase a dog’s regular allergy to a point where secondary illnesses of fungal and bacteria population increase and can cause extreme itching, red skin and infected ears. If your dog has heightened skin allergies from environmental factors, you can:

  • increase your dog’s Omega 3 amounts for these months (check with a vet for the maximum level)
  • wash your dogs paws when they come home from the spring grasses (remembering to wipe them dry)
  • consider using a medicated shampoo (anti fungal and antibacterial) with soothing conditioner once a week to control skin allergy outbreaks.

I wash my dog’s feet at night time with medicated shampoo diluted 1 to 20 parts water. You need to hold your dog still to prevent licking between its toes for 5 to 10 minutes as recommended on the bottle’s label.

If your dog is sneezing too, you might want to consider dog-friendly anti histamines at the appropriate doses.

Good luck with your spring walks, and remember dogs love the park all year round!

BIO:  Bruce Dwyer is a professional dog walker based in inner west of Melbourne Australia. From an original career in Electronic Engineering and Corporate Marketing he chose to concentrate on the dog service industry. His company ‘Dog Walkers Melbourne’ has been in business since 2010 and is based on providing the best dog walking and pet sitting solutions for people in Melbourne. The only two times that he has been away from his own dog, he has used his own company’s 24 hour pet sitters.  His own dog Archie (an 8 year old spoodle), enjoys TWO dog walks per day with many of the images and videos from his daily off lead dog pack walks featured on the following sites:

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