Walking your dog is part of the responsibility that comes with being a dog owner. This task also requires you to have some training techniques in case you run into extreme weather conditions or walk at night. You want to make sure that you are using the right tools and have the proper knowledge when it comes to walking with your four-legged friend. Here are some pet walking safety tips that will help you and bring awareness the next time that you are out for a stroll with your pup.
- Collar or harness
The answer truly depends on your dog. For small breeds, such as Yorkshire terriers or Chihuahuas, harnesses are the best way to go. Collars tend to put more stress on the neck and the trachea. These small dogs are at a higher risk for tracheal collapse. However, some dogs just don’t like harnesses and will show that when the owner is trying to put on the harness. As for collars, you have to be aware and check that it is not too loose. Collars are easier to slip out, especially if you have a dog that fights the leash. Picking between a collar and a harness depends on the breed and your pets’ response towards you when it’s time for a walk.
- Encountering other dogs
After some days of walking your dog, you’ll start to notice other dog walkers in your neighborhood or park. The best way to go about this is by following this pet walking safety tip. First of all, learn to be relaxed. The owner’s first instinct is to tighten up the leash. Nevertheless, this signals tension and send your dog the impression that something is wrong. In this case, the best you can do is loosen your grip, watch the behavior of both dogs, and ask the other walker or owner if it’s alright for the dogs to meet. Usually, people know their dog’s behavior. You’ll learn how your dog reacts and you’ll know what to do next time you’re out on your walk.
- Nighttime or extreme weather
Walking your dog in either of these scenarios requires a little extra work from your part. During night walks, be alert for night creatures like raccoons or coyotes. If there’s a lot of traffic, make sure to take extra precautions. Use flashing lights and reflective gear for you and your furry friend. In extreme weather, you also need to be alert. During cold and icy winter days, make sure that you wipe their paws. Take a moment and check for redness, cuts or cracks. If needed use petroleum jelly and if your pet doesn’t mind, use dog booties. The other end of the spectrum is hot summer days. During this time, walk your dog on the grass and always have some water handy so your pup doesn’t get dehydrated.
If you follow these tips, your walks with your dog will be more relaxing. Remember that your safety and your pet’s safety is important. Taking these tips and small precautions into consideration will grow the bond between you and your pet.