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The back view of a woman in jeans, boots and a khaki coloured jacket walking a hip-height black dog along a woodland trail.

Why dog walking is good for the soul - and how to keep it that way!

Whether you’re a new dog owner or an old hand, the likelihood is that you appreciate the joys of getting out and about with your dog. Maybe you’re one of the many (around 11% of households) who have welcomed a dog into their home since the pandemic. More workplace flexibility and remote working means that you get to walk your dog yourself and enjoy all of the benefits that it brings. Sometimes, though, we have to be reminded of why dog walking is good for not only our bodies but our souls too... We’ll look at the wonderful and not so wonderful moments of a classic dog walk, and the tips and tricks to keeping things calm and serene!

Dog walking Joys

Excepting a few sofa loving breeds (Whippets, we’re looking at you!) dogs will invariably lose their minds when you reach for the lead. This is their most favourite part of the day, and for lots of owners it’s pretty nice too. When you think about it, it’s easy to see why:

Cardio exercise

Whether you prefer a leisurely saunter, a brisk stroll or a full cani-cross style dash, exercising the dog exercises you too. Aside from the obvious health benefits to both of you by undertaking physical exercise, tiring the dog out definitely helps to prevent ‘spontaneous bed explosions’! 

Fresh air

Whether you are heading into the countryside for an off lead ramble, a ball flinging excursion to the park, or along the pavements on lead, both you and your hound are getting fresh air. Even the most urban environments involve some contact with nature which is all vital for grounding us physically and mentally.

Bonding time

The time that you spend walking with your dog is quality time together. You may not be directly interacting for a lot of it, but it’s a daily shared experience that builds the relationship between dog and owner.

Social time

Whether your dog is a super social cockapoo or a more discerning bulldog, both they and you can get important social interaction on a dog walk. Perhaps you encounter the same dogs and owners daily and value the conversation while your dogs enjoy a sniff or play. These interactions help many humans and dogs to ward off loneliness.

Thinking time

Tackling a work problem, or processing an experience can become easier during a walk. Your subconscious is opened up and is busy making sense of things while you’re concentrating on avoiding puddles, or balancing through a swampy bog.

But Sometimes…

No dog owner has a 100% record of tranquil and serene dog walks. Life gets in the way of that, and the experiences are pretty universal.

The weather takes its toll

We’ve all looked out of the window at the driving rain and wondered why on earth we got a dog in the first place! Some of us (like Poodle or Dachshund owners) will lock eyes with our canine companions and both agree that we’ll give the walk a miss. Others will turn to our dogs (Retrievers, Dalmatians and Collies to name but a few) and understand that look that says ‘you're not getting out of it!’ Then we’ll be glad that our sling bag sits so nicely under a rain mac and head out into the storm!

Dogs will be dogs

No matter how well trained your dog is, there are moments when their instinct will tip the balance and destroy the serenity of a walk. Spaniel owners immediately know what we mean… From a muddy bog (jump in it!) to a passing squirrel (chase it!) to unidentified woodland poo (roll in it!) there are some days when your dog seems determined to sabotage your composure.

Tips for positive dog walks

So, what can we do to keep the positives outweighing the stresses of dog walking? Really it comes down to taking a relaxed approach and making sure that you have the right kit.

Let your dog sniff

Your dog understands their surroundings just as much by smell as by sight. In fact these two senses work in tandem for dogs to build their perception. Although it’s annoying that your Basset has to sniff every blade of grass, branch, and bench leg, this is very real stimulation for them. 

Keep your kit handy

Moments can spiral out of control on a dog walk when your kit isn’t to hand. Perhaps you’ll be digging around in your tote trying to find the poo bags, for example, and before you locate them a passing child has trodden in the poo you were about to pick up. From these little moments, a pretty stressful situation can arise. So when you’re out on a dog walk, keep your kit to hand in a well designed bag. Our sling bags are just the right size for holding everything you need exactly to hand. They sit perfectly across your body so that you’re never left flustering!

Stay hands free

Depending on your dog, you may spend a fair amount of time on your walk grabbing hold of them to stop them eating something undesirable (Labrador owners, raise your hands!) So it’s important to keep your hands free, especially on an off-lead walk. This means that you need somewhere to keep your dog lead so that it’s not taking up valuable hand space! Then there’s what to do with the poo bag after it’s done its duty. None of us want to contribute to the plethora of discarded poo bags that seem to grow on trees. Managing all this is so much easier when you use a double zip sling bag to make the most of two distinct sections keeping everything in place. 

Navy Blue Large Double Zip Bum Bag | Sling Bag

Be attentive

You know your dog better than anyone, so you’ll notice their cues as long as you’re watching out for them. You know that when your attention is diverted this is invariably the time that a dog will get up to mischief and spoil the calm of the walk. Especially when you’re a multiple dog owner, when there are some days that the hounds seem to be working as a team where one distracts you by digging while the other takes the chance to roll in something unspeakable! So while your mobile phone is tempting, pop it into the inside pocket of your sling bag and concentrate on the experience. 

Our leather sling bags are utterly practical for activities like walking the dog. They keep your hands free while also making sure you have easy access to all the kit you need. They have the added benefit of being elegant and stylish, with a range of straps and sizes to choose from. You’ll be the envy of the dog walk not just for your look, but for your calm demeanour!

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