When you take your dog for a walk you know they’re getting the exercise they need. However, did you know that your dog may not always be as safe and healthy as you’d like?
It’s easy to become distracted by your surroundings when walking your dog. So, you may not spot anything that could potentially be dangerous to your dog. Don’t worry, this article will explain how you can keep your dog as safe as possible.
Avoid Walking Your Dog When It’s Too Hot
It’s up to you to make sure your four-legged friend is out of harm’s way. If the weather is hot, it may not be ideal for your dog to go on a walk. Dogs can suffer from burns on their paws if the temperature is too high, and this is something we really want to avoid.
If you’re unsure if it’s too hot out to walk your dog, do a quick test. Place the palm of your hand on the sidewalk and see if you can hold it there for a few seconds. If the surface is too hot for you, it’s too hot for your dog.
If you’ve established that it’s ok to take your dog out, be sure to offer them fluids. Take a small bowl and a bottle of water with you on your walk. When you reach the park or wherever you’re going, offer your dog a drink. Chances are, they’ll appreciate being offered something cool.
Keep your dog on a leash if it’s really warm outside. You could always wait until the evening to walk your dog, it’s usually much cooler then.
Looking After Your Dog’s Paws
It’s not uncommon for dogs to need veterinary orthopedic surgery due to issues with their paws. Keep an eye out for your dog limping, washing their paws frequently, and showing signs that they’re in pain. Dogs don’t use protective footwear as we do, so you’ll need to keep an eye on them.
Check your dog’s paws after every walk, no matter how long or short it is. Keep an eye out for anything sticking in the paws as it could cause them pain. If you’re concerned about your dog’s paws, ask your vet for help.
Talk to Your Dog
When you’re out and about with your dog you should ideally talk to them. Teach your dog some vocal commands. Most dogs can be trained easily to respond to a range of commands. Commands such as “Stay,” “Sit”, and “Come here” can be useful if your dog is off the leash. Dogs can easily become excited by the presence of other dogs so being able to control them can help your four-legged friend stay safe.
Use a Retractable Leash
Ideally, if your pup is leashed, you should put your dog on a retractable leash. The leash should be no longer than 6 feet and allow your dog to walk quite freely. If your dog tends to pull, use a harness instead. Harnesses are a great option for most dogs as they help to prevent choking, and they make controlling a dog much easier. Large breeds of dogs tend to be quite hard to control. Using a harness can help you with this as they are much less likely to pull.
Your dog may not like using a harness or leash at first, but they will get used to them. After a while, they will associate the harness or leash with going for a walk. As soon as they see the leash or harness their tail may start to wag. Sometimes you may even struggle to get the leash or harness on quick enough!
Make Sure You’re Both Seen
If you tend to walk your dog during the early morning or evening, you need to make sure that both you and your pet are safe. Put a clip-on light or a light-up collar on your dog so that they can be seen at all times. You should also make sure that you wear some high-visibility clothing. It’s important that you and your dog are seen by other people and vehicles. You may feel a little conscious about what you’re wearing at first, but it can help keep you safe.
Use the above tips to help you to keep your dog safe on a walk. Dog walks should be fun for your canine. They can stay fun if you know how to control your dog, reduce the likelihood of injuries, and make sure you’re both seen. Make those much-needed changes today so that walks are more enjoyable for you and your four-legged friend.