Safety Tips for Walking Your Dog(Last Updated On: August 7, 2019)
Walking your dog is important so as to keep your dog entertained, healthy and energized. This daily exercise will allow your dog to explore the surroundings. A daily walk is necessary so as to uplift your dog’s energy and to give it an opportunity to socialize with other animals and also human beings. Puppies need about thirty minutes of daily exercise to keep them energized. Some breeds require more exercise than others.
However long your dog needs to stay outside, it’s important to take every precaution to ensure you have a safe walk. Below are some safety precautions you should take to ensure every walk is successful.
1. Get a quality leash and collar
A collar is a piece of material which is put on the neck to help control your dog. The recommended type is the flat collar, that is made with a buckle closure. The collar should not be too tight because it can choke them. A collar that fits properly is that which you should be able to get two fingers underneath it.
A good leash should be appropriate for your dog’s size and physical strength. You should be able to handle the leash safely. It should be about 4 to 6 feet long. It should also be of good quality so that it can prevent your puppy from running away.
Check on the equipment regularly to replace the faulty collars and leashes in case they have gotten rusty or damaged. If your dog is aggressive or has behavioural issues, go for the front clip harness and avoid the back clip one because it offers little. Instead, opt for a front-clip one.
2. Ensure your dog has identification
Make sure that your dog’s tags are current. Your tags should have your current contact information and your dog should be wearing an ID at all times. Your dog should also wear a microchip because sometimes it can lose its collar.
3. Carry poop bags
Carry a small disposal bag to help you pick up the dog’s waste because it may contain harmful parasites such as roundworms. These pathogens can be harmful to human and animals. Carry several bags before going for your walk.
4. Carry water for your dog
Always want to carry water in a water bottle for your dog in case it gets too hot. This water will help keep your dog hydrated. Carry treats also for your dog. These treats will help in keeping the dog refocused and drive his attention away from distractions.
5. Start off slow
You should start with 10-15 minute walks and gradually continue to increase their walk time.
6. Stay on sidewalks when walking your dog
Always use a sidewalk when walking your dog in order to prevent your dog from being hit by the fast-moving vehicles.
7. In dim lighting, wear reflective clothes
Some drivers have a difficulty seeing the dogs during dusk and dawn because the sunlight is dimmer. Ensure both you and your dog have worn reflective clothing before going out at night or very early in the morning.
8. Carry a flash light for night time walking
Night time is not a recommended time to walk your pet, but one can get busy with life or the weather is favourable at night. Always have a flashlight while walking your dog at night so that you can see your surroundings.
9. Check the weather
Check the weather forecast to know how the weather in order to protect your dog from harsh weather conditions. Never walk your dog when there is a thunderstorm or snowstorm. You can dress your dog in heavy clothing to protect it from cold temperatures. Ensure to check the path way and make sure it’s not too hot for the dog’s paws. If it’s hot for you then it’s definitely too hot for your dog’s paws.
10. Avoid objects that can hurt your dog’s paws
While walking, your dog’s paws can be hurt by sharp objects such as glass, rocks, plastics etc. Another way you can protect your dog’s paws is by buying the specially made shoes for dogs or you can create a simple shoe at home.
11. Avoid walking multiple dogs at once
It is advisable to only walk 1 dog at a time. Walking the dogs with leashes that split such that 2 dogs can be walked on the same leash offers little control and it is never recommended. If you have two dogs to walk at the same time, ensure that you offer complete control of both dogs and also you should be aware of the possible dangers of walking multiple dogs at the same time.
12. Avoid the Retractable Leash During Dog Walks
When it comes to choosing the right leash for your dog, avoid going for the retractable leashes. Retractable leashes cause many problems compared to the other leashes. The length of these retractable leashes are difficult to maintain especially in places where there is high traffic.
Retractable leashes are known for hurting dogs and humans. Holding onto the leash to control your dog while he is moving can easily cause severe burns to your hands. Retractable leashes are definitely a poor choice of leashes for normal walks, but in certain situations for example, in the beach they can be convenient. It’s always much easier to maintain control of your dog using a traditional leash other than using retractable one.
Don’t allow the possible hazards stop walks altogether. Consistency, taking control and a leashed dog reduces most dangers. Before you go for walks with your dog, visit your veterinarian for check-ups and recommendations especially for those that have issues with their joints or bones and puppies whose bones are immature.
Exercise can sometimes be painful to both the young and the old dogs. Request your veterinarian to outline the appropriate exercise for your dog. Your dog may need a massage or medication to become comfortable after exercise. Walking your dog will help him shed a few pounds.