Smart tricks for walking your dog

There are a few tricks you can use to make your daily walks with Fido safer and easier. Here are some of them.

Smart tricks for walking your dog

Panty hose leash

Need a leash in a pinch? Your dog will appreciate the elasticity of a leash made from an old pair of panty hose. The idea is to knot it along every four or five inches and create a handle at the end by looping the hose and knotting it.

Wet T-shirt, no contest

Hot enough for you? Yes, and for your pooch, too! If you're walking him on a warm day, dampen a large (or small, depending on the dog's size) children's cotton T-shirt with cool water, wring it dry, and fit it over Buster's head, pushing his two front paws through the sleeves. Tie a knot on the side to take up the slack, making sure the shirt fits comfortably — neither too tight nor too loose. (Check it periodically to make sure it stays that way.) If the shirt dries out after a while, spritz it with water.

Glow-in-the-dark collar

Even a few regularly spaced strips of reflective tape along your dog's (or cat's) collar will help drivers see them if they happen to be out at night or at dusk.

Plastic bag pooper-scooper

Never throw away those plastic grocery store bags. They make prefect pooper-scoopers, and you've probably paid for them, so use them. Just stick your hand into the bag, pick up the poop with your now-gloved hand, and turn the bag inside out before tying it off and disposing of it.

Cardboard cleanup tool

Cut a section from an empty cereal or cracker box to use as a disposable pooper-scooper whenever you walk your dog. Slide it under the pile of poop and put both the pile and your scooper directly into a plastic grocery bag. Tie the whole thing up, and it's ready to throw in the trash.

Soothe hot/cold paws

Extreme temperatures can damage a dog's paws during a walk. Hot sidewalks, freezing paths and road salts may irritate his foot pads and lead to cracking. Keep your dog off hot asphalt and pavement during hot summer days and let them walk on the cooler, grassy boulevard instead. If you like long winter walks, consider investing in a set of neoprene dog booties.

Your dog will know you're his best friend when you incorporate some of these helpful hints into your daily walk.

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