Pokemon Go, the smartphone game sweeping through the United States this summer and fall, has proven to be both a blessing and a curse for dog owners and their pooches. Although an animal shelter in Muncie, Indiana, used Pokemon Go to encourage volunteers to walk dogs at the shelter, some dogs have been left worn out from going so on many walks, based on the zany photos posted by their owners. Here are some tips, tricks and basic rules for walking your dog while playing the game.
The game already comes with a warning to remain alert in your surroundings. Be careful near traffic or when other dogs approach. Keep a good grip on your dog’s leash at all times. Pay more attention to your dog rather than what’s on the smartphone screen because you don’t want Fido to run after a squirrel, cat or trash truck. Your dog has plenty of distractions out there, so look away from the phone for a while.
Battery Saver Mode
The game comes with a battery saver mode so you don’t have to look everywhere you walk. Put the device in your pocket or in its holder, and battery saver mode uses the vibrate function to alert you to a nearby Pokemon. Capture a Pokemon or two when your dog is relaxed and stopped.
Plan a Dog-Friendly Walk
Plan your walk ahead of time, especially if you know where Pokemon might appear near your house. Dogs can’t walk too far, especially on hot summer days. Stick to routes that aren’t too crowded. Walk in dog-friendly areas. Don’t go in parks that disallow dogs, and most certainly don’t trespass on private property attempting to catch ’em all.
Know Your Dog
This game isn’t for every dog. If your dog is very active on walks, needs a lot of attention, pulls a lot on the leash or has leash aggression, you might leave the game off. Although it’s convenient to talk your dog on a walk and play the game, that might not be the best choice. Your dog only needs 15 to 30 minutes outside, so you can always play the game at another time. Pokemon Go can be a great addition to your dog-walking routine as long as you do it safely. Read these important rules for taking your pooch to a dog park.
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