Dog walks are common sightings all over the world. As the term implies, a dog walk is simply the act of walking your dog majorly as a form of exercise. In Nigeria, though, the term “dog walk” has taken on a more elaborate meaning. In Nigeria lingua, a dog walk is an event organized by a group of cynophiles, breeders, fanciers e.t.c for the purposes of exercising, parading and sensitizing the public to the growing pool of pet lovers in our midst.
Today’s post is about the Nigeria dog walk. Any group of persons can organise one so far as everyone involved as a common interest in canines.
Being actively involved in the Port Harcourt dog lovers community has taught me a thing or two about planning for dog walks; because I am not selfish I’ll be sharing these points with you.
□ The Weather:
Having a look at the weather forecast for that day is a smart and helpful thing to do.
□ The Time:
Nigeria is a tropical country. It will be a good idea to have the walk early in the morning rather than afternoon to avoid the dogs coming down with heatstroke.
□ Distance of the walk:
The distance should not be too far as that could endanger the dogs participating (especially dogs that are not usually exercised). Dogs can collapse from exhaustion and heatstroke.
Dog owners should ensure they start walking their dogs regularly from the moment they decide to participate in a dog walk. That’s in reference to point 3 above. Also, because a dog not used to walking can easily be distracted and give the handlers a bit of trouble when walking it.
□ Age Range and Limit of Participating Dogs:
It is ideal that young puppies do not participate as their immunity isn’t yet strong enough to withstand disease spread. 5-6 months of age seems like an ideal cut-off age for participating puppies.
Also, extremely old dogs should not be allowed. Any dog older than 7-8 years is too old.
□ Health of Participating Dogs:
Every participating dog owner must ensure that every dog involved should be checked by their respective vets to avoid spread of disease or ‘sudden death’ during the walk.
*NOTE*: That your dog looks healthy doesn’t mean he/she is.
□ Veterinary Intervention/ Emergency Service:
The vets have a huge role to play in the success of any dog walk. Kindly, ensure vets are on ground both to arrest developing situations and to verify the health status of participating dogs.
□ Health Personnel:
Well, just in case someone faints along the way! 😁
□ Photography / Videography:
The proof of any good dog walk / show are pictures and videos. Having a pet photographer to take professional pictures will come in handy.
□ Collars and Leashes:
Although having a good grip on your dog starts with sound obedience dog training; having a strong collar and leash comes a close second.
□ Appropriate Gear:
Nothing beats being adequately prepared for an event. This same principle applies here. Wearing the right shoes- comfortable, low-heeled shoes (for ladies) is a given. Crocs and sneakers fit this bill. Also, appropriate hand gloves are also very useful for preventing hand blisters.
It is important that drinking water is provided for both the dogs and humans involved. Also, some form of snacks for the dog owners as well.
□ Poop Scoop:
This is one area that is always overlooked but very vital. Keeping the environment clean is essential. You don’t want to finish the walk and leave the roads dirty! So there should be a solid plan in place to clean up after your dogs.
It’s always a wise idea to get the Nigerian Police involved in your dog walk plans. This is to ensure security of humans and animals and to guarantee peace.
□ Sale of pet products and merchandise:
A dog walk is a fantastic opportunity to partner with pet shops to get discounted prices on their products.
□ Enjoy the Walk:
Finally, enjoy the walk. Meet other cynophiles, interact and network!
Have you planned a dog walk before? What other factors did you consider? Let me know! Don’t forget to share this article to your community if you feel it will benefit them.
Once again, I wish you a successful dog walk.