Tag Archives: dog leash

Safety Tips for Walking Your Dog

Do you walk your dog daily? If so, that’s terrific! Even if Fido has a yard to play in, daily walks will still benefit him by keeping him active, preventing boredom, and offering mental stimulation. However, it can be easy to overlook basic safety precautions when something becomes routine. Here, a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses walking your dog safely.

Leashes

Be sure to use a steady leash, and check it regularly for signs of wear. Retractable leashes are great in certain situations, but they aren’t necessarily safe for all occasions, as the mechanisms do sometimes jam or break. Don’t use retractable leashes while walking along roads, or in areas where you may run into stray dogs or wild animals. Ask your vet for more information.

Night Walking

Always use reflective gear at night. Save exploring for daylight: after sunset, stick to familiar, well-lit paths, and keep walks short and sweet. Many predators are nocturnal, so don’t let Fido sniff around in wild or wooded areas.

Paw Care

Don’t forget that Fido is barefoot! Keep an eye on the ground, and re-route your pooch around glass or other sharp objects. In summer, try to walk your furry friend in the mornings and evenings, when it’s cooler out. Dog can get painful paw burns from hot tar! In winter, snow, salt, sand, ice, and chemical deicers can hurt your canine buddy’s feet. Fresh snow can also hide dangerous objects. Always try to keep your pet on soft ground, and use paw balm to protect his feet.

Hacks

Designate a specific jacket for doggy walking. Keep spare keys, a portable phone charger, waste baggies, treats, a small flashlight, and a whistle in the pockets. You may also want to clip a carabiner around your pup’s leash.

Roads

If you are walking along the side of the road, keep Fido to the outside. He has a shorter profile, and is harder for drivers to spot, especially on curves.

Pulling

Does your furry pal walk you, instead of it being the other way around? This can not only take the fun out of those daily walks, it can also be quite dangerous. To break Fido of this bad habit, you’ll want to stop and change direction every time he yanks on his leash.

Please contact us, your Fort Collins, CO animal clinic, anytime. We are here to help!

Adventures With Fido – Safety Tips for Exploring with Dogs

Do you enjoy hiking or camping? Do you like exploring new places? Your canine pal may also enjoy these things. Fido certainly makes a wonderful trail mate and camping buddy. Before heading off with your pooch, you’ll want to read these safety tips from a Fort Collins, CO veterinarian.

Vaccines

Make sure Fido is current on all vaccinations, especially rabies. You’ll also want to be sure that his tags and are current, and that he is wearing them. Otherwise, you could end up facing many problems if your canine pal comes into contact with another dog or wild animal!

Training

All dogs should know the five basic commands, which are SitStayComeHeel, and Lay Down. Make sure your pooch will obey these commands every time before taking him on any explorations. This will allow you to keep Fido from venturing into unsafe territory, approaching another dog or animal, or running off.

Fitness

Not all dogs are suited to long or strenuous hikes. Senior dogs and puppies can overheat or overexert themselves very easily. Small dogs also tire out quickly, as they have to work hard to cover ground on those cute little legs. Brachycephalic breeds, which are dogs with those cute pushed-in faces, can’t pant as effectively as other dogs. Don’t push Fido beyond his limits!

Water

Always bring water along for your canine friend. Look for collapsible plastic dishes, which can fold up small enough to fit into your wallet. These are a lot easier to carry than a regular dish! Also, try not to let Fido drink from standing water, as it may not be safe.

Parasite Prevention

Be sure to keep up on Fido’s flea and tick control, as well as heartworm prevention. Also, check your pooch for ticks after returning home, just to make sure he didn’t pick up any hitchhikers. Better safe than sorry!

Leash

We recommend keeping your pooch leashed at all times. A retractable leash will give Fido leeway to explore, but still allow you to reel him in as needed.

Manners

Don’t forget baggies for Fido’s waste! In some areas, you may be able to bury it instead, as long as it isn’t near play areas, wells, or water. Check local ordinances for details.

Please contact us, your Fort Collins, CO vet clinic, for all of Fido’s veterinary care needs!

Hiking Safety Tips for Dog Owners

If your dog is the outdoorsy athletic type, it’s a safe bet he’ll love hiking. The smells, sights, and sounds of a wilderness excursion will probably be the highlight of your dog’s week! Make sure your next hike doesn’t turn dangerous, though—follow these safety guidelines from a Fort Collins veterinary professional.

Identify Properly

Before heading out into the forest, make sure your dog is properly identified with up-to-date ID tags, a microchip implanted under the skin, or both. You just never know what could happen, so if your dog gets lost or runs away, proper identification is your best chance of getting him back safely. Ask your vet about getting updated ID tags, and ask if microchipping is a good option for your pet.

Keep Vaccinations Up-to-Date

Consider the various possibilities for infection while you’re out on the hike—stagnant water, rusty nails, and even rabid animals are just a few possible offenders! The best defense against these situations is keeping your dog’s regular vaccinations updated. Call your vet’s office to see what your dog already has and what he might need to stay safe outdoors.

Always Use a Leash

Even if your dog is obedient to a fault and can walk by your side without a leash, it’s always a good idea to use one while outdoors in the event of emergencies. Even obedient dogs might bolt after a squirrel if the mood takes them. Plus, you may run into other hikers who won’t appreciate your dog saying hello.

Bring Water

Don’t let your dog drink from puddles or public bodies of water, since there’s no telling what kind of bacteria could be living there. Bring along a bottle of fresh water just for your dog, and let him have sips from it periodically throughout your hike.

Post-Hike Check

When your hike is over and you’ve returned to the car or gotten back home, be sure to give your dog a thorough once-over. Feel the sides, back, legs, and head area to check for ticks, cuts and scrapes, or debris stuck in the coat. If your dog got especially dirty on the hike, you may want to give him a bath.

Follow these tips to make your next hike an exhilarating and safe event for your pooch, and ask your Fort Collins vet for even more helpful tips!