Before you started walking dogs, you likely had an idealized view of how the dog walks go. You’d think you can bring the dogs everywhere, but you’ll find it hard to do without planning. The bustle of the city is not the best place to get dogs playing around, so you need to think ahead. Where are the best places to bring dogs for a walk?
The best places to walk your dog varies according to different factors. You want to give them options for the best socialization with humans, other dogs, and the surroundings. With that said, it’s best to walk dogs in parks, hiking grounds, and off-leash sites. You can also bring them to beaches, suburban neighborhoods, and even cityscapes.
If you’re looking for inspiration on where to bring your pooches for a walk, this is the list you need. Not only do we have classic places to visit, but you’ll also find places you would never think. Let’s give these places a look.
Why Dogs Need Walks
When walking dogs, the goal is to give them a complete exercise program. Dogs are very active animals, needing walks both for physical exercise and mental stimulation. In general, dog owners bring dogs out for a walk to:
- Help them poop
- Train their bodies
- Improve their health
- Alleviate boredom
Dogs like walking to see the world around them. They like to sniff around, engage the world, stretch their legs, and connect with other dogs. Walks meet all these needs.
Even then, it’s easy to understand why dog owners can’t always walk their dogs outside. The average adult will work 8 – 10 hours a day. Between commuting, house chores, and rest, there’s almost no time for owners to walk their dogs. This niche is where dog walkers come in.
As dog walkers, the idea is to keep the owner’s dog in tip-top condition. Apart from making sure the dogs under your care get the prescribed amount of walks, they need to relax too. Why walking a dog is a no-brainer, and if you can’t do it yourself, a dog walker can do it for you.
The Goal of Dog Walking
As a dog walker, the simplest goal of the task is to give the dogs the duration of walks they pay you for. This duration can be anywhere from 20 minutes up to a few hours. It’s simple enough, but if you want to do your job right, it’s best to go the extra mile.
The true goal of dog walking is to improve the dog’s health and socialization. Through walks, you want them to enjoy the sights and sounds, taking everything. With the walks, not only do they get to stretch their legs, but they also familiarize themselves with the world.
Why should you aim to socialize the dogs under your care? Socialization is a great way for dogs to meet friends and other people. The more they familiarize themselves with the concept of people and other dogs, the friendlier they get.
Socialization helps ease dogs in new situations and new environments. Whether they’re pups or old dogs, the pooch under your care needs to understand the world around them. Every new situation, they need to know what they can do without shocking themselves into bad situations. By socialization, dogs relieve their anxiety about the unknown world.
Socialization also helps improve the confidence of dogs. By letting them socialize, they can develop good behaviors that everyone will be happy to have. It teaches them to be well-rounded dogs, if not more disciplined. By simple socialization via dog walks, you’re pushing for positive reinforcement and good experience.
By walking them, they can:
- interact with people better
- be calmer in many different experiences
- react better with different stimuli
- feel less stress outdoors
Socializing dogs also helps them make friends with other dogs. When they interact with other dogs, they extend their network beyond the walls of their home. With enough time, you’ll see they’ll find their best friend, which will make them happy.
Where To Take Dogs For A Walk?
Now, where to take dogs for a walk? Depending on where you are, the best places to take a dog are:
- National and state parks
- City and dog parks
- Hiking trails
- Suburban neighborhoods
- Public campgrounds
- Historic landmarks
- Bicycle paths
- Rural fields
- Day use areas
- Low-traffic streets
As you can see, most of these dog walking spots are public, making them great for dog walkers. These are also mostly open spaces with copious amounts of nature and stimuli. They’re safe spots in general, which makes them great for dogs who want to run around. Let’s take a look at the places where you can bring them for an enjoyable walk.
National and State Parks
If you live in an area where there is a large national park, it’s best to bring dogs there. Many national parks are not only vast but also close to nature, with many places to move around. There will be open areas for picnickers and jogging spots too.
Dogs would enjoy going to national parks due to the variety of things to do. When going to national parks, make sure that you stay around human trails. Keep dogs on a leash if you’re not on open spots. Many national parks will have complicated ways around, with a good chance of getting lost if you leave them unattended.
City and Dog Parks
City and dog parks are a staple for dog walkers everywhere for a reason. They are open fields that allow pets to run around, many letting dogs go off-leash. There’s also a good amount of activities you can do with dogs under your care.
From fetch, jogging, frisbee, to a simple walk, city and dog parks offer the best accessibility. If you live near business districts, parks within the city are great for short walks. Dogs will also likely find other dogs to socialize with during your walks.
Hiking trails are a more complicated route to take, which are good if you want to give your dog an intense exercise. If you’re a dog walker, it’s almost hard to get dogs in a short hiking trail unless it’s a playdate. Even then, getting to a hiking trail is a good chance for more intensive playtime.
Hiking trails offer a variety of terrain that dogs can enjoy, including inclines and forest trails. If the dog with you has off-leash training, it’s best to keep them off-leash. The common dangers of hiking are sudden cliffs, so extra care is necessary. Remember that not all dogs can go hiking, with short-muzzled ones being in the most danger.
For those living near beaches, dog walking along the coastline is a great place. Most beaches have a good amount of people and dogs in them, offering a ton of socialization. Beaches also tend to be open spaces where dogs can run around and play.
When picking a beach to go, make sure to check the weather first. It’s best to visit beaches only if the weather is fair, as sudden tidal waves can be a problem. You would also want to keep a few extra items with you, including some towels in case your dog gets wet.
Children’s playgrounds are a great place for dog walking as long as the facility allows them. Playgrounds have different playsets that dogs can enjoy, including slides and wooden fortresses. They’ll appreciate running around and making the entire area an obstacle course.
Before bringing them to a playground, make sure that the area allows dogs in the first place. If you’re playing with a dog at a playground, make sure to keep tabs on your dog at all times. If children want to interact with the dog, help them through introductions first. Navigate through the socialization to prevent children from scaring themselves.
If there are suburban areas nearby, dog walking around suburbs is a great choice. It’s cheap, easy, and offers a good amount of socialization for the dog. The traffic around many suburbs is negligible, so space does not become a problem in the long run.
When dog walking in the suburbs, be considerate of the people in the area. Many suburbs tend to have good foot traffic, so keeping your dog on-leash is a must. Some good activity with dogs around suburbs includes the usual jogging and brisk walking.
Public campgrounds tend to be good places for dog walking because of their open spaces. They offer almost the same advantages as national parks and hiking grounds, but with more flat areas. They also tend to be easy to access, usually a few minutes from the city itself.
If you’re taking dogs for a walk in public campgrounds, keep them on-leash. They’ll likely see many different critters in the area, so the likelihood of running around is high. It’s best to walk dogs in open areas too, where they’ll get to run around. Stay away from parts of the grounds with deep forest areas to prevent any potential injuries.
Many cities have pushed into improving their local riverbanks to convert them into walkways. Even in rural areas, many riverbanks are so scenic that your dogs would love to walk in them. Not only will dogs enjoy running around without a leash, but they’ll also get to breathe in the fresh air.
When looking for riverbanks, make sure that the government allows playing around in it. You would also want to make sure to go around these riverbanks only when the weather permits it. Most riverbanks also act as embankments and can be dangerous in inclement weather.
If you live in areas where there is a coastline, walking your dog along a marina is a unique experience for them. Most of the time, marinas are inside cities, so you don’t have to go too far. Marinas will also have a vast blue sea and a seaside view that your dog will appreciate.
Most modern marinas nowadays also double as business areas but with less foot traffic. This opportunity can be a great time for your client dogs to interact with other people. A marina is also a great place for dogs to run around if it’s not too busy.
When bringing a dog to a marina, keep the leash on. Dogs are likely to run after birds like seagulls, so the last thing you want is to run after them.
Day Use Areas
Day use areas are small recreational parks and camps in cities for picnicking and daytime relaxation. The typical settings for day-use areas are state parks that close to campers but are good in the morning. In these situations, your dogs will appreciate running around such wide, open spaces.
Much like your average parks, day-use areas are great for dog walking early in the morning. They tend to have a good local climate and modern facilities for you and your pupper. You’ll still have enough places to have your dog play and enjoy their day with you.
If you are walking many dogs, day-use areas are a great place to visit. When you start to feel fatigue setting in, relax at the picnic tables or lounge around. Take control back from the dogs you have leashed with you.
Low-traffic streets are worst-case scenarios when you’re out of ideas where to take dogs for a walk. If you don’t have time to be creative, walking around in areas away from business districts is the best. If you can find areas in your city with wide pavements and little traffic, the better.
These areas have a purpose, apart from a place to help your dogs exercise. Low-traffic parts of the city are good places to socialize your dogs and familiarize them with the cityscape. Make them hear the sound of cars and some bustle. Teach them how to get around the neighborhood.
If you’re a dog walker with a single dog at the time, walk them around the neighborhood they live in. Familiarize them with the ways back to their homes. This is useful, in case they get lost around the area. It also lets them socialize with local dogs and create new friends with the people around them.
Factors To Consider When Planning Your Dog Walks
So, where can you take dogs for a walk? You have a near-endless number of options, all of which vary depending on where you are. Whether you live near the city, in the suburbs, or somewhere in between, where you bring them will change.
Even then, there are a few factors that you would need to consider. When choosing a place to walk dogs, you want to ponder:
- proximity to nature
- size and openness of location
- opportunities for socialization with people
- opportunities for socialization with other dogs
- opportunities for activities
- number of potential stressors
- number of potential new experiences
If these details ring familiar to you, most of the considerations are what you consider when picking a place to relax. When picking a location for dog walking, the easiest method of consideration is to pick a locale that is friendly to dogs, allows freedom of movement, and can give the dogs good stimuli.
Let’s give these factors a look and use them to find some of the best places for dog walking.
Proximity to Nature
One of the top factors you want to consider is the proximity of a location to nature. When looking for walk dogs, the top factor is looking for places with nature. Parks and national parks are a staple for a reason.
Why should you have a literal host of trees and flowers around?
Many natural locations offer loads of fun for the dogs under your care. They allow dogs to run around, exercise and play on-leash. Nature is also helpful in feeding dogs’ curiosity, as many natural locales will have a thriving ecosystem within them.
Natural locations have trees, flowers, bushes, and even small animals running around. These provide an exciting opportunity for a dog to discover the unfamiliar territory. Your dogs will also get new smells that they don’t get, whether it’s at home or in the city.
Nature also provides a positive impact on dogs. It can help in stress relief, moving away from the loud noises of cars, TV, and the bustle of city life. Providing your dog some greenery is a good way to boost their mood and get some fresh air. With enough cardio, they also get to improve their immunity and respiratory health.
When looking for a natural location for dog walking, look for places that have good trails. You want a space where your dog can run around and play and even interact with everything. See if they allow off-leash movement, and the dog has off-leash training, much better.
You would want to turn away from locales with complicated terrain. Forestry with swampy terrain, muck, and other hard to maneuver spots are a no-no. You want to make sure that the entire experience is easy for the dog.
Size and Openness of Location
When walking a dog, the size and openness of a location can be a crucial factor. We’ll see many dog walkers in the city have the pups run leashed on sidewalks. This can be a good way to help socialize dogs, but it’s questionable if it’s relaxing for the dogs.
If you want to walk a dog, it’s best to bring them to more open areas where they can run. Open areas offer dogs a good perspective of the world around them. These locations also offer a way for your dogs to stretch their legs and enjoy a long stride instead of walking on pavements.
In many situations, you will see socialization opportunities when bringing your dogs to wide-open spaces. They will likely see other dogs playing around, together with small critters scurrying. A large space also gives your dogs a chance to experience freedom, which can reduce their stress.
When picking a wide-open space, always go to a public area. Look for places where the dog can play and even go off-leash. If you’re walking multiple dogs, you want a space where all dogs can relax. Go to an area where the dogs you’re walking won’t be a nuisance to other people.
On the offside, steer clear of locations with dark and dingy surroundings.
Opportunities For Socialization With People
When picking locations, always look forward to your dog to have opportunities for socialization. You want them to familiarize themselves with other people, especially strangers. Why?
Exposing your dog to a wide variety of people can help acclimate them to the idea of people. You want them to connect with other humans other than the owner. From children, men, women, and older people, your dog should hang out with others.
Dogs who don’t connect with other people will latch on the people they live with at home. They can grow wary if the person they are with is not the people with them all the time. By exposing them to all kinds of people, you teach them that there are others in their world.
It’s crucial to help diversify the dogs’ social calendar through dog walking. If you walk them, give them a chance to do meet-and-greets with people. Let small kids touch interact with them so they can familiarize themselves.
If your dogs feel scared, stay calm, and confident when dealing with the stimuli. Introduce them to the person and show that it’s ok to interact with them. Don’t make a big deal out of the entire experience.
Opportunities For Socialization With Other Dogs
Much like socialization with humans, it’s crucial to have the dogs you walk to socialize with other dogs. When there is a chance, socializing with other dogs is a stress-relieving activity for them. It helps them spend more of their pent up energy and to communicate with other dogs.
When looking where to take dogs for a walk, look for areas where there are other pet dogs. Let your dog move close to them and interact if the owner allows it. Letting your dogs play with others outside their network gives them a chance to be friendlier to other puppers.
If you want them to have a good chunk of socialization with other dogs, go to places like dog parks. If the dog has recall training, go for an off-leash park and let them play with other dogs.
Opportunities For Activities
When walking a dog, one of the factors to consider is the number of activities you can do. Dogs like a variety of activities they can do to test their mettle. If you can bring them to areas where they can play safe and have different things to do, the better.
Why look for these locations?
Much like how they do it in pet shows, dogs enjoy playing around in obstacles. These obstacles challenge an instinct within them to perform and play to their heart’s content. It also helps in trust-building and prevents boredom from creeping up.
When looking for places with activity areas for dogs, see how your dog can take advantage. Bar jumps, tunnels courses, slides, and fun fortresses are superb obstacles.
Number of Potential Stressors
When going around for dog walks, consider the number of potential stressors in the area. Dogs should experience both positive and negative experiences to become well-rounded. Even then, you want to reduce the chances of agitation for dogs.
Move them away from very loud locales that can become a sensory overload for them. Don’t bring them to areas where there’s too heavy traffic of people or vehicles. The last thing you want dogs to feel during a walk is anxiety. Streets are not a problem, but bustling ones are not something you want for them.
Number Of Potential New Experiences
The last factor that you want to consider for dog walking locations is the potential experiences. You would want to bring your dogs in as many unique places as possible within your reach. These places should offer a new experience to them when you’re visiting.
While it’s not always important to show your pooch a new place for every walk, mix things up. Whether it’s hiking up a mountain or going to the beach, giving them a new thing to do is good.
Variation is the key, and it can help your dogs enjoy the entire experience.
Deciding on where to take dogs can seem like a straightforward process. If you are a professional dog walker, it’s important to decide on the location with thought. Whether you’re a dog owner or hired to walk them, you want a productive time for the dog.
You would also want to make sure that you enjoy the entire experience. While your dog is a priority, you want the experience not only to be relaxing but productive too. Put your dog’s socialization in mind when deciding where to bring them.
What’s most important when planning the location for dog walking is the activity. It doesn’t matter how good the place is. If you don’t show motivation with the things you and your dog can do, it’s going to be all for nothing. Helping dogs exercise and gain motivation is what you want.
Where do you plan to bring your dogs for a walk? There are so many choices to pick from, so pick out your favorites where you’re from. If you put your mind into it, your dog will love the place you choose for you.
Go out there now and help your dog see more of your world. We’re sure they won’t miss some time with you for the world.