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Imagine peering into a stranger's stroller and seeing not the expected baby but a 30-pound ball of fur, sharp canines and a wagging tail peering back at you. While a dog riding in a stroller may be startling at first, strollers and other forms of wheeled transportation are becoming more popular in the canine world.
Strollers aren't just cute — they're functional. A stroller, wagon or trailer can be helpful for elderly dogs or those with injuries or physical limitations. Dogs who can’t safely withstand the heat, such as Bulldogs and Pugs, may also benefit from the shade a stroller provides. A stroller can make running errands with your dog more convenient, especially in the summer when it’s hazardous to leave canines in the car. Jogging strollers or bike trailers allow pooches to enjoy the company of their athletic humans even if they can’t run the distance themselves. And then there are dogs, like my first dog, Scooter, a Wire Haired Fox Terrier, who just plain loved the thrill of the ride.
Introduce the stroller at home. Bring the stroller into your house or backyard, someplace with minimal distractions; secure the wheels so that they won’t move. Either pick your dog up and place him in the stroller or lure him in with a treat. Once he is inside, scatter treats around to encourage him to investigate the space and to associate it with good things. Long-lasting chew toys or food puzzles stuffed with canned dog food or peanut butter are an excellent way to encourage your dog to settle in for long rides in the stroller.
Make sure your dog is secure. When you take your dog out in a stroller, make sure he is appropriately secured, to prevent him from running away if he falls or jumps out of the stroller. Some modes of doggy transportation have areas designed for clipping a leash, while others require the handler to hold the leash. In either case, the leash should be secured to a back-clip harness to prevent it from choking the dog if it gets caught on something. If your dog is likely to jump out of the stroller, opt for one with a covering, such as secure netting that will hold him in.
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