New Puppy?
Avoid These Common Mistakes While Walking

Among the many changes we have made to our everyday lives over the past few years, puppy purchases have been a big one! Spending more time at home, or even working more from home may have felt like the perfect opportunity to introduce a new family member. With all of the excitement and planning that comes along with dog ownership, it’s important to consider some things particularly if you have purchased a mid to large breed puppy. 

The good news is, I’m sure everyone is excited! Whether it’s for the fun puppyhood brings, or the need to now spend more time outdoors walking; the improved mood is a welcomed addition to any household. 

The not-so-good news could be that the possible struggles found in training a new, super-excited puppy to walk can cause injury if you are unprepared. 

So, what are these mistakes and how can you avoid injuries?

To protect your back: 

Start slow and don’t start with long walks if they have not already been a part of your daily routine. Long walks are not recommended for puppies, but you should consider what your own body can handle as far as distance is concerned. If you have adopted an older rescue, just remember you cannot out walk most dogs, but you can injure yourself trying. If long walks are your desired outcome, then work your way up in distance over time. 

Have a shorter leash. This way you can avoid injuries to your arm or shoulder if your furry friend makes any erratic movements or lunges. You will have more control with a shorter lead, and remember that with a longer lead your pup will have more time and distance to build momentum for a harder pulling force. 

Wear appropriate shoes. The problem with poorly fitted shoes or flip flops is that a sudden pull from your pup could knock you off balance while you overcompensate to keep your shoes on.  We all know that sudden, erratic movement can cause an instant injury that could possibly take months to heal. Avoid this with properly fitted shoes that are meant for walking. 

Proper joint health includes walking on different terrain. Walking on grass, dirt trails and even sand can keep things interesting, and are also necessary to strengthen your ankles while avoiding joint issues from walking on hard concrete. Let’s also keep in mind that enjoying nature is great for our mental wellness!<