We all understand how vital daily walks are to a dog’s physical and emotional well-being, but it’s also crucial to be aware of any potential dangers you might encounter. Fortunately, we’re here to give you our top ten safety recommendations for dog walking.
- Select Quality Walking Equipment: The secret to a risk-free walk is to use high-quality pet equipment, which is best composed of cotton, nylon, or leather. Use harnesses and short, reflective leashes instead of retractable leashes and a collar. Before taking your dog outside, make sure all of the equipment is in good condition, fits properly, and is free of any defects. As a result, your dog won’t be able to escape its leash and avoid getting into trouble.
- Bring Hydration: During long walks or in hot weather, don’t forget to bring water for you and your dog. This can reduce the chance of heatstroke and prevent a serious medical situation. If your dog is unable to drink water from a bottle, there are bowls specifically made for dog walking.
- Plan the Timing of Your Walk: In general, taking your dog on a stroll at night is not the safest choice. To avoid needless accidents, try to walk when it is still light outside. Plan your route before leaving the house at night, and make sure the area is well-lit and well-known to you. Also, send a message to a relative, friend, or neighbor letting them know your path.
- Wear Reflective Clothing: Use reflective clothing to be spotted by oncoming traffic when out at night or during times of the year when it gets dark earlier in the day. Having flashlights on hand and equipping your dog with an LED collar are additional helpful methods for remaining visible.
- Be Aware of Traffic: It’s crucial to remain mindful of oncoming traffic when you’re walking. Learn the local traffic patterns and steer clear of jaywalking if possible. Try changing your route to a safer spot if the traffic in your region is especially high.
- Avoid Other Dogs: To prevent any altercations, it is recommended to try and avoid other dogs while you are out. Do not let your dog approach unfamiliar animals and keep an eye on their body language. Your pet might not respond negatively to people, but other animals might react differently. Since these circumstances are unpredictable, it is better to be safe than sorry.
- Prepare for Weather: We can’t control the weather, but fortunately enough, we can prepare for it. Monitor your local forecast to ensure you and your dog remain comfortable while out for walks. Try investing in dog boots for extreme conditions, and remember that if you are uncomfortable, your dog is too. Dogs are often quite sensitive to temperature changes and toxins that could be present on the pavements. If you’re confused about whether or not to go outside, a good general rule of thumb is to stay indoors whether it’s below 40 degrees Fahrenheit or above 80 degrees.
- Self-Defense: Unfortunately, stray branches and moody weather are not the most dangerous thing you may encounter while walking. Remember to carry a self-defense tool (pepper spray, airhorn, keychains, etc..). These tools can be used to keep away wildlife and prevent strangers from sneaking up on you.
- Avoid Using Electronics: Being constantly aware of your surroundings is another method to improve your self-defense. It is unsafe to use headphones, listen to music, or consistently stare at your phone while walking. It’s critical to be on the lookout for any incoming vehicles, individuals, or animals that could endanger both you and your dog.
- Identification: It’s crucial that both you and your dog have identification in case you become separated while out walking. In the event of an emergency, having an ID tag on your dog’s collar with your contact information will make it simpler for you to find your dog. Unfortunately, collars and tags are readily lost or broken, so microchipping is suggested as a more long-lasting solution. A microchip implanted under your dog’s skin is completely safe. By doing this, a vet is able access to a national database that holds your contact details.
As always, walks are one of the best ways to spend time with your dog, so ensuring that you both remain safe and comfortable is incredibly important. Understanding your environment and your dog’s needs will keep you both looking forward to that daily stroll. Do you have any dog-walking tips you’d like to share?