As a pet parent you want only the best for your furry little friend. It’s important to note that walking your dog on a leash is the foundation to training them in every other area of their lives. As a matter of fact, in many areas it’s against the law not to have your dog on a leash when out for walks. Dog leash laws are different from city to city, so make sure you check yours before taking your four-legged pal out when you first move to a new area.

You might think that walking your pet would be as simple as clipping the leash to their collar and heading out to enjoy the warmth of the day, but it’s not quite that straightforward. Whether you’re a new parent or a dog walking pro, here are a few dog walking tips to ensure the safety of not only your pet, but yourself as well.

1. Get yourself a high-quality harness.


Not only do you want a high-quality leash, you want the best harness you can find as well. This means the leash and harness you choose will be comfortable, have adjustable leg loops, and fit snugly, whether it’s for a small dog or a big dog. You want the strap that goes across your dog’s chest to be snug, yet loose enough to be comfortable. Whether it’s a pull harness or a climbing harness, do your research before making a final decision.

2. Give yourself plenty of time.


It’s going to take more than just running down the street for five to 10 minutes if you want your pooch to be well-exercised and happy. Give yourself plenty of time to walk your dog. It’s something that both of you will come to enjoy. Make sure that you dress for fun as well. It’s not a good idea to come in from work, grab your pup, and head out on a walk in your work clothes and high heel shoes. Instead, put on something that you’re comfortable walking in, such as jogging pants and a big shirt, or walking shorts, a tank top, and one of your vanishing bras, before take-off with your pup for some fun. A good place to find a comfy bra to wear on your walks is Soma. They have plenty of variety and you’ll be able to find a bra that can be machine washed and is easy to care for so that you can use it on your daily excursions.

3. Always pick up your dog’s waste.


Not only is it the right and polite thing to do, picking up your dog’s waste is the law in most states and cities. If you’re on the street, it’s your responsibility to clean it up when your pup uses the bathroom. Even if your dog only goes out into your back yard, it’s still important to clean up their dog waste for a variety of reasons. If you find the waste is getting out of control in your yard, it may be a good idea to check into professional waste removal services in your area.

4. Bring plenty of water.


You already know that you get thirsty when you run around for a long time, so it stands to reason your dog will too. Bring enough water along for your walks to keep both of you hydrated.

5. Make sure your dog is having fun.


Every dog reacts differently to being put on a leash and taken for a walk around the neighborhood. Make sure that your dog is calm and having fun, just like you are. If you’re in a leash-off dog park, you can let your pal run around and release that doggy energy. By the time you head home, you’ll both be grinning.