10 Tips on Walking Dogs Safely by Adrienne Domeier
Adrienne Domeier from the US has been reading and writing about dog ownership and other dog related topics for some time now and recently contacted me with her kind offer of an article specifically for my ‘dog-blog’. I was delighted and said “Yes please!” Here’s Adrienne’s contribution …
Having a pet is a serious commitment. This is especially true for dogs, who require love, affection, food, and plenty of exercise. While walking a dog can be highly rewarding, it is not without risk—especially if the dog has demonstrated aggressive behavior in the past. Individuals who wish to ensure optimal results while walking their dog should be sure to follow the recommendations listed below.
Use a Leash
According to the ASPCA, using a leash is perhaps one of the most important steps when it comes to walking a dog safely. Depending on the personality of the dog and the location of the walk, the ideal type of leash may vary quite substantially. Nylon, leather, metal, and retractable leashes can all provide beneficial results when it comes to walking a dog safely.
Avoid High-Population Areas
Avoiding high-population areas is also important for pet owners who want to ensure safety when it comes to walking their dogs. Walking in parks, neighborhoods, and other locales with large number of other dogs, cats, or pedestrians can be overly stimulating to canines. In some cases, dogs that are exposed to this high amount of stimulation can become stressed or exhibit aggressive behavior. According to one dog bite attorney, most dog to human injuries occur on the hands of arms of the human. This is often due to people getting too close when two or more dogs are fighting or getting too close to a dog that is unknown to you. Avoiding high-population areas altogether while on walks will greatly reduce the instances of stressed dogs that can result in aggressive behaviors.
Walk in Front
Individuals who want to control their dogs when out on a walk should consider walking in front of the canines. In “dog language,” the front-runner of the pack is the one who is in control—and thus, by leading a walk, owners can obtain a greater deal of command over their canines. Though it can be difficult to train a dog to participate in this behavior, it is crucial for those who want to avoid disaster while out on a walk.
Most experts agree that dogs are diurnal—they sleep at night and are awake during the day. It should come as no surprise, then, that they do most of their work and play during the daylight hours. Taking a dog for a walk too late at night can make the animal grumpy, and more prone for fights with other canines.
Though walks are typically considered to be carefree by most owners, they can be quite vigorous for dogs. In fact, depending on the size of the dog—and the speed and length of the walk—this type of physical activity can be all-out difficult! Loving dog owners should be sure to bring plenty of water along during a walk, especially those which occur during the warm summer months.
Wear Reflective Clothing
So far, this article has focused on maintaining the safety of dogs and other pedestrians during a walk. However, ensuring the health of canine owners is also a priority! Individuals who walk their dogs late at night should be sure to wear reflective clothing to ensure visibility in low light conditions. Failing to do this can have life-threatening consequences.
Watch out for Traffic
Though improving visibility can be effective when it comes to ensuring safety during a walk, it is not fool-proof. In fact, dogs—and their owners—may still be hit by a car during a walk despite high amounts of reflective clothing. Individuals who walk on busy roads or sidewalks should be aware of their surroundings and traffic to avoid injury or accident.
Clear the Way
Dogs are social creatures—and it is unsurprising that they are often drawn to other canines during walks. Unfortunately, interaction with strange pets can often have dangerous consequences. Pet owners should “clear the way” when approaching other dogs and owners during walks to avoid rough-housing or potential dog fights.
While walking one’s dog can sometimes be seen as a chore, it is an absolute joy for the canine. While it is important to follow the recommendations described above, this should not come in the way of plain old fun during a walk. These are the memories that will last for a lifetime, long after the walk has been completed.
Reward Your Dog!
Finally, pet owners who wish to ensure the good behavior of their animal should be sure to reward the dog with a treat following a walk. This is especially important when the dog behaved particularly well during a specific outdoor session. Be sure that the treat chosen for the animal is safe, and fits within the recommendations provided by a trained veterinarian.
Thank you Adrienne for this very useful and enjoyable article, I'm sure my readers will enjoy :)