Keeping dogs well-exercised in winter can be a challenge; between the cold, wet weather and the shorter daylight hours it’s hard to feel inspired to get out and brave the elements.
But an exercised dog is a happy dog, and happy dogs are better behaved. Here at Auckland Council we suspect that many of our barking dog complaints come from unexercised dogs – particularly in built-up areas where living is more intensified. A range of tips and tricks to control your dog’s barking can be found here.
Dogs cared for in our animal shelters are walked, socialised and provided with mental stimulation activities daily to ensure they are in top form physically and mentally.
Handy tip: You can find all the dog-friendly access areas in Auckland in one spot. Find on and off-leash dog parks across the region.
Different breeds – and ages – require different amounts of exercise. On average, dogs should be exercised for between 30 mins and two hours a day. Many owners find a morning and evening walk sufficient during the week, with longer walks at the weekends.
This means that many owners will end up walking their dogs in the dark, so it’s important to take a few precautions in order to stay safe.
We’ve put together our top five tips for walking dogs in the dark.
- Go where the light is: Try to pick a well-lit route with plenty of traffic for your walk and avoid dark shortcuts or empty parks.
- Be seen: Whether it’s a light-up collar, lead or reflective jacket it’s a good idea to be visible to cars, joggers, cyclists and other pedestrians.
- Make sure you can hear: If you’re walking in the dark it’s a good idea to ditch the headphones so you can hear what’s going on around you.
- Take your phone: Keep it handy in case you need to dial in some help. The torch function will also come in handy in case you have to locate your dog’s poo – even in the dark you have to pick it up.
- Get a group together: There’s generally safety in numbers and dogs love socialising. You could find other owners interested in group walks using a local dog lovers Facebook page or in your area on Neighbourly.