City life offers unique benefits and challenges for all animals, human and non-human. Key examples of the urban difference are how a dog walk in a city is stereoscopic smellovision compared to the suburbs.
Weather can also be factor, a walk in the rain down city sidewalks is usually the last thing you or your dog would like to do but absolutely necessary, scaffolding or a large umbrella are your dog's best friend.
Hot sidewalks are just the beginning of your concerns when it is terribly hot out. If you share your life with a dog or dogs you know heat and dogs are a tough mix. But dogs need to get out of the house to take care of business. When this happens I try to cope with the heat by getting out as early as possible with our dog and as late as possible but that still leaves the middle of the day, a quick walk down the shadiest sidewalk works best.
Problem is that in a city like New York, especially in an aromatic neighborhood like East Harlem, where we used to live, quick walks are seldom the preference of your dog. Smells, odors, fragrances we’ve got them all and for your dog this is a rich and fulfilling experience. As humans we simply cannot begin to imagine the wealth of information or sensation the dog is aware of when a scent is encountered: who’s been here when and how and what’s here now and so much more of what we still don’t and may never know.
Getting the opportunity to properly sniff is more than just a luxury in perception. Dr. Peter L. Borchelt, a noted animal behavior consultant, practicing in the metropolitan area, once made the observation during a lecture I attended, that being allowed to sniff was in fact an almost athletic activity for your dog. Dr. Borchelt intimated that a good walk with sufficient sniffing opportunities is a chance to allow your active, apartment or house bound hound a proper chance to expend the right amount of energy to return home properly tired from his or her canine efforts.
So do time your dog walking for the best times of the day and when the temperature is on your side please, please, let them smell it all in…
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copyright Frania Shelley-Grielen (contact us)
"Getting the opportunity to properly sniff is more than just a luxury in perception. Dr. Peter L. Borchelt, a noted animal behavior consultant, practicing in the metropolitan area, once made the observation during a lecture I attended, that being allowed to sniff was in fact an almost athletic activity for your dog".
copyright 2011 Frania Shelley-GrielenCare to donate to subsidize our research or work with ferals and rescue groups? Click here to do just that. We thank you and the animals do too.