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Safety Tips for Walking Your Dog

The first week of October is Walk Your Dog Week! Of course, for many of you, every week is Walk Your Dog Week. However, this is a beautiful time of year to take a nice long stroll with Fido: the leaves are changing, and the weather is absolutely perfect. Just be sure to keep your pet’s safety in mind. In this article, a London, ON vet offers safety tips on taking Fido for a stroll.

Leash

Make sure you have a steady leash and a suitable collar or harness. Retractable leashes can be great, but they aren’t safe in every situation. For instance, you don’t want to use one on the side of a busy road: if the mechanism sticks, Fido could walk into traffic! Dogs can also get tangled up in these if they meet another pooch.

Training

Make sure your pup knows basic doggy commands, like Sit, Stay, Come, Heel, and Lay Down. This is very important! Proper training can stop Fido from running off or approaching dangerous areas.

Pulling

Does Fido have a habit of lunging whenever he spots a squirrel or the neighbor’s cat? To break this habit, immediately turn around and go the other way whenever he pulls. Training can get tiresome … but that’s kind of why it works.

Traffic

If you and your pet are walking along the side of a road, be sure to keep Fido to the outside. He has a shorter profile, and will be harder for drivers to spot, especially around corners.

Night Walks

When walking your pooch at night, wear a reflective jacket and shoes, and get a reflective leash for Fido. Stick to well-lit, familiar paths, and always bring a phone with you. Keep after-dark strolls short and sweet: save the explorations for daytime.

Ear Buds

Many people like listening to music or podcasts while walking their dogs. If you do this, be sure to keep the volume low enough for you to hear what is happening around you.

Ground

Pay attention to the ground you are walking on. Steer clear of objects like broken glass, grates, and steep cliffs or banks. In winter, take care when there is fresh snow on the ground: it can hide these dangers.

Please reach out to us, your London, ON vet clinic, for all of your dog’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

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