Growing up with several pugs, I quickly learned that they aren’t the most active dog breed. So, when rescuing my very own pug, Peanut, I knew I’d have to get creative when including her in my daily walks.
In the beginning, I tried walking her on a leash, but after a couple blocks (or sometimes just one), I’d end up carrying her to get where we needed to go. Peanut was undoubtedly tired — and so was I.
She gave it her best effort, but I could tell long-distance walking wasn’t for her. And then it dawned on me: Although she was still somewhat of a young pug at 4 years old, a stroller could help her safely get to where we needed to go.
A dog stroller may sound ridiculous in theory, but I should preface that when it comes to Peanut's life, we like to say that too much is never enough. Peanut's clothes hang in my closet, her food is made from fresh ingredients and one of her beds is in the shape of a crown. And if a stroller would give her the freedom to adventure while keeping her safe (also stopping her from eating New York City's street trash), I was all for it regardless of whether people thought it was extra.
So, I ordered one, and here's how it helped our life.
While scrolling on the web with visions of Peanut’s future travel opportunities floating around in my head, I decided that a stroller with certain safety features and extra room for our things was the way to go.
For safety, I looked for strollers that had straps that latched to her harness since she’s no stranger to jumping at a passing squirrel or someone munching on a slice of pizza. Then, for extra precaution (and to keep her cool in warm weather), I made sure the stroller had a canopy over the top that could essentially lock her in while still providing air flow through vented sides and shade above.
People often ask how Peanut gets her exercise, and I should clarify that we don’t use her stroller for every walk. Typically, her stroller is her ride on long-distance walks (like to brunch reservations across the city) or acts as her chariot when the pavement is super hot for her paws.
According to Dr. Aliya McCullough, Fetch’s on-staff veterinarian, you should walk your dog (without the stroller) three to four times a day. However, every pup is different, and the number of times you walk them largely depends on their breed, age, fitness level and health status, she adds.
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When we go for stroller walks, I take advantage of my ability to carry more pet accessories than usual. These are the things I bring on my dog’s walks that help to make our adventures go smoothly:
Even though I purchased the stroller when Peanut was around 4 years old, it still helps her today. Now, she's about 8 years old, and as an elderly dog, it gives her the freedom to travel with me, walk when she wants to and take a (much-deserved) break when necessary.
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Photo by Cullen Ormond