Last week we and the pack at Ruff Life ATX had this CRAZY idea to gather pet parents and invite them on a Virtual Pack Walk! If you're reading this, HOPEFULLY, you're joining us for the virtual event to celebrate earth day and help support the critters at Austin Wildlife Rescue.
If not - What are you waiting for?! Here's the link to the Facebook Event.
Anyways, we've been daydreaming about hitting the streets and sharing our walk [digitally] with our friends across the country. We can't wait to see Instagram stories and Facebook posts of our fave pet parents and their four-legged furbabies cleaning up their neighborhoods. it's going to be RAD.
But then we thought..what about those pet parents who don't usually take their pups on walks? What about those who just adopted or started fostering a dog for the first time? Are they ready to hit the streets and know how to keep themselves and their pups safe? Maybe not!
:: Enter our Dog Momma Guru and owner of Ruff Life ATX, Rachael Roosa ::
Before we get into the details, we gotta say this: Rachael and her team at Ruff Life ATX are true pet guardians. They have been amazing in working with Fly (our rescue Greyhound) and us on tackling life's challenges together as Fly continues to learn her life after racing. Without them, our quality of life with Fly would not be as amazing as it is today.
As a pet professional with decades of experience, Rachael is our go-to-gal on all things enrichment and wellness pets, so we asked her to share her advice on how pet parents can ensure they keep themselves and their pets safe during walks.
Here's what Rachael had to say:
First Things First
Make sure all dog tags are on and up to date and that their collars and other equipment is fitted and functioning properly!
Check Your Energy - Before you even leash your dog up! How are you feeling? Stressed, nervous, hyped? Put on your patient pants and find your calm, positive energy. Your dog’s energy is fed by you! Especially if you have a high energy dog it’s important that your leadership skills are on point.
Expert Tip: Running through a list of things you are grateful for, thinking of memories that make you happy or channeling the energy of someone you admire is a good way to get to this state of mind!
Go Hands-Free - Set yourself up for success! Do you have a pack so you can have all hands available for your pup? We recommend a fanny pack that holds poop bags, your cellphone, your dog’s favorite treats & water. We have all kinds of extra tools we can recommend as well but on the daily just make sure you have the essentials! Being hands-free is the ultimate way to set yourself up for success on your walk.
Routine - Set up a ritual for you and your pack to head out. Having them sit and wait to get leashed up and practice going out calmly can amplify that calm energy we are looking for. If your dog knows the routine they know what you want from them and will most likely do anything to participate in one of their FAVORITE activities!
Survey the Scene! - Many uncomfortable situations while on a walk is a direct result of us not being aware of our surroundings. Looking, listening, touch and even smelling all around can give us a good idea about where to go and what to expect on our walk. We can avoid hazardous situations and surprising situations by just being aware of your surroundings. Hearing a car coming, feeling if the surface you're walking those precious paws on is too hot, seeing something unhealthy on the ground or smelling a potentially poisonous chemical can help us steer away from potentially dangerous situations.
Training - Loose leash walking, the name game and teaching your dog how the manners you want during your walks will set you up for success! If your dog(s) behave well on the leash and listen to you especially when you need them to, this will keep your pack safe. We know sometimes you don’t know where to start especially if this is your first dog but we are here to help!
SEE, I told you she was a Guru!
We hope you'll use these tips not just for the Virtual Pack Walk, but every day with your pup. For more tips and questions on enrichment for your pup, check out Ruff Life's Website here: https://rufflifeatx.com and don't forget to join us for the event!
xx- V & Fly