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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!