If you’re my client, follow me on social media or have heard me talk about dogs, you know my most favourite (and often unsolicited) piece of advice is to walk your dog everyday.*
Dogs need physical and mental exercise on a DAILY BASIS regardless of breed (even if you have a pug) to ensure overall health, longevity and happiness. Regular walks on varied routes can really improve the quality of your dog’s life (and yours!). In addition to being a fun activity for your dog, it can help reduce and prevent a range of behavioural issues and can create a wonderful bond between you and your dog!
Two of the biggest complaints I hear are:
- “There’s no park nearby.” That’s totally okay! Remember, a dog needs varied routes for mental stimulation. Walking routes around colony roads and alleyways is super duper fun for your dog because they get to sniff, see and hear so many interesting things. Maybe you can visit a city park once a week!? (List below!)
- “So many stray dogs!!” Most stray dogs just bark, rarely bite. But yes, it can be intimidating. It will help if you walk with a stick, remain calm, keep talking to your dog. maintain eye contact and keep walking.*
Start small – one outing a week, or one new colony road that you explored today. Allow your dog to sniff 🙂 Grab your friends/family and dog and start a healthy and fun routine! Walk on-leash, and remember to carry newspaper/plastic to pick up your dog’s poop!
10 dog-friendly locations for South and Central Delhi below (click for Google Maps location):
- Aravalli Biodiversity Park – Many trails and off-paths to choose from, fewer and friendlier stray dogs, autos are available if you wait a bit and there is ample parking!!!
- Deer Park, Green Park/Safdarjung – Too many stray dogs at the entrances, however, they just bark. There’s actual deer in here, and that’s pretty cool 🙂
- Haus Khas District Park, Hauz Khas – Beautiful lake in here 🙂 Beware of the monkeys!
- Hauz Khas/Siri Fort forest, Panchsheel Park – An amazing find! No proper parking here though.
- India Gate – Yes, take a walk around it.
- Lodhi Garden/JorBagh area – Gorgeous! You could also try walking around it, on Lodhi Road, Amrita Shergill etc. for a change. The roads are tree-lined, clean and there’s not much traffic.
- Jahanpanah City Forest, GK – It’s HUGE! Stray dogs at the entrance, but no real trouble. I am not sure of parking. Entrance at Chiraagh Delhi, Masjid Moth and Tughlakabad we well!
- Rose Garden, IIT Delhi – I think it’s new-ish, very pretty and connects to HKV.
- Nehru Park, Chanakyapuri – Really pretty! Walk on the suspension bridge inside, and when you’re done, get some green juice at the parking lot for a kick of health 🙂
- Sanjay Van, Vasant Kunj – Hike up to the machaan and take a selfie with the Qutub Minar!
- Shahpur Jat DDA Park – A beautiful walk, but there are some packs of stray dogs that can be intimidating though.
I haven’t been to these. Have you? – Aravali Biodiversity Reserve, Hauz Rani City Forest, Central Ridge Reserve Forest, Kamla Nehru Ridge, Roshanara Garden, Asola Bhatti, Rock Garden (Patel Nagar)
Please leave other suggestions in the comments!! Would love to hear from you all!
*If your dog is aggressive or fearful of traffic, other dogs, people etc, work with a behaviourist to fix these issues first!