As a dog owner, taking your furry friend for a walk is a great way to bond and get some exercise. However, it’s not uncommon for puppies to find bad treats on their walks, such as garbage, animal waste, or discarded food. These treats can be harmful to your puppy’s health and lead to unpleasant consequences such as vomiting or diarrhea. In this article, we’ll discuss how to navigate the bad treats your puppy finds on walks and keep them safe and healthy.
1. Start with a good leash and collar
The first step to navigating bad treats on walks is to make sure your puppy has a good leash and collar. A sturdy leash and collar will help you control your puppy and prevent them from eating anything harmful. Make sure the leash is short enough to keep your puppy close to you and prevent them from running ahead to find treats. A collar with ID tags is also essential in case your puppy gets lost.
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2. Train your puppy to leave it
Training your puppy to leave it is a crucial skill that can save their life. Teach your puppy to respond to the command “leave it” by offering them a treat and then saying “leave it” when they try to take it. Reward them with a different treat when they obey. Practice this command on walks and gradually increase the distractions until your puppy can leave anything on command.
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3. Keep your puppy on a short leash
Keeping your puppy on a short leash is essential to prevent them from wandering off and finding bad treats. A short leash will give you more control and allow you to quickly pull your puppy away from anything harmful. Avoid using retractable leashes as they can give your puppy too much freedom and put them in danger.
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4. Avoid walking your puppy near trash cans
Avoid walking your puppy near trash cans or any other areas where there might be bad treats. Stick to safe and clean areas such as parks or sidewalks. If you have to walk your puppy near trash cans, keep them on a short leash and be vigilant.
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5. Keep your puppy away from other animals’ waste
Other animals’ waste can be full of harmful bacteria and parasites that can make your puppy sick. Keep your puppy away from any animal waste you see on your walks and make sure they don’t eat it. If your puppy does eat animal waste, contact your veterinarian immediately.
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6. Watch out for discarded food
Discarded food can be tempting for puppies, but it can also be harmful. Avoid walking your puppy near areas where people might have discarded food, such as fast food restaurants or picnic areas. If your puppy does eat discarded food, watch them closely for signs of illness.
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7. Use a muzzle if necessary
If your puppy has a habit of eating anything they find on walks, consider using a muzzle to prevent them from doing so. A muzzle can be a helpful tool to keep your puppy safe and prevent them from eating anything harmful. However, make sure you introduce the muzzle gradually and use positive reinforcement to make it a positive experience for your puppy.
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8. Carry treats and toys
Carrying treats and toys on your walks can be a helpful distraction for your puppy and prevent them from finding bad treats. Offer your puppy a treat or toy when they start to show interest in something harmful and redirect their attention. Make sure you choose treats and toys that are safe for your puppy to chew and play with.
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9. Be aware of your surroundings
Being aware of your surroundings is crucial to preventing your puppy from finding bad treats. Keep an eye out for anything that might be harmful to your puppy, such as broken glass or sharp objects. Avoid walking your puppy in areas where there are hazards and be extra cautious at night or in low-light conditions.
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10. Teach your puppy the “drop it” command
The “drop it” command is another essential skill that can save your puppy’s life. Teach your puppy to drop anything they have in their mouth on command by offering them a treat and then saying “drop it” when they have it in their mouth. Reward them with a different treat when they obey. Practice this command on walks and gradually increase the distractions until your puppy can drop anything on command.
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11. Clean up after your puppy
Cleaning up after your puppy is not only polite but also essential to prevent the spread of disease. Always carry a bag and clean up your puppy’s waste promptly. Avoid leaving any waste on the ground where your puppy or other animals might be tempted to eat it.
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12. Talk to your veterinarian
If your puppy has a habit of finding bad treats on walks, talk to your veterinarian for advice. Your veterinarian can recommend training techniques or suggest ways to keep your puppy safe on walks. Never hesitate to ask your veterinarian for help if you have any concerns about your puppy’s health or behavior.
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13. Use a harness instead of a collar
If your puppy has a tendency to pull on their leash, consider using a harness instead of a collar. A harness will distribute the pressure evenly and prevent your puppy from choking or injuring their neck. Make sure you choose a harness that fits your puppy properly and doesn’t rub or chafe their skin.
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14. Keep your puppy hydrated
Keeping your puppy hydrated is essential on walks, especially in hot weather. Always carry water and a bowl for your puppy and offer them water regularly. Dehydration can make your puppy more susceptible to illness and less able to resist bad treats.
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15. Reward good behavior
Finally, remember to reward your puppy for good behavior on walks. Praise and treats can go a long way in reinforcing positive habits and making walks a positive experience for your puppy. Reward your puppy for leaving bad treats, obeying commands, and walking politely on their leash.
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Taking your puppy for a walk can be a fun and enjoyable experience, but it’s important to navigate the bad treats they might find along the way. By following these tips, you can keep your puppy safe and healthy and make walks a positive experience for both you and your furry friend.