Walking your dog is about the best thing you can do for your dog. Do it at least once a day, and apart from improving your own fitness, your dog will get to know you and your preferences a lot better. He’ll get to know his own neighbourhood, your favourite paths, how close you want him to walk, and which people you like.

There are numerous health benefits from dog walking. Many dogs prefer to poo away from home, so not enough walks can lead to constipation. Lots of walks lets him meet other people and other dogs, mark his territory, play, and go to the toilet. Prevent obesity, and keep joints flexible, with frequent dog walking.

Start walking with your puppy as soon as possible. Be gentle, and if he keeps pulling on the lead, instead of getting angry and yanking on the lead, simply stop still, until he turns to look at you.

Consider the health and age of your dog. A healthy young dog should be able to walk or jog a few miles. Bigger dogs will cover more distance than smaller dogs. Older dogs may suffer from arthritis, and find it painful to take long walks.

Light-coloured dogs and short-haired dogs may get sunburnt in summer, so use dog sunscreen on their nose and ears. Make sure the footpath is not so hot that it hurts their paws.

Ensure your dog has a name tag, and is registered with a microchip, in case he gets lost. Our dog Harry escaped quite a few times when he first moved in, and his dog tag ensured we got a welcome phone call from friendly rescuers. Even when he crossed a busy road and went to the beach for a swim.

If you walk at night a lot, consider reflector strips on you and your dog (his leash and collar), or The Beacon – a battery-powered, waterproof flashing safety light.

Always keep your dog on a leash, unless it is a designated off-leash area.

Many Australian councils have designated areas where dogs can play off-leash during specified times. Check (online) at your council’s website to find when and where. It is a great opportunity for your dog to get exercise and socialise.

Dog walking businesses have boomed in Australia in recent years, as people hire others to do a daily walk, or even to supplement the walks you do give, for active dogs.

Businesses offering Dog Walking and Pet Sitting are excellent for when you go away on holidays. This service is good for dogs that get stressed in strange environments. A carer will come to your house, feed, water and exercise your dog, and ideally also check the mail, water plants, take the garbage out and check on security.

Leave contact details, and those of your vet, and warn your neighbours that a stranger will be coming to care for your dog.

Pet Minders are families that will care for your dog in their home while you are away, for dogs that are used to a lot of personal attention.

Pet Sitters are people who will care for your dog in your home while you are away. Kind of like a babysitter.

Please use our site search to find a dog walker near you.