Dog walking is a necessity for every dog owner, but there is a lot you need to be concerned about when walking your dog. You need to focus on being a conscientious owner, by carrying poop bags, and stopping your dog from chasing after wildlife, but you also need to focus on your pet’s safety. Pet safety when walking your pet involves a number of factors, such as safety around other animals, both wild and domesticated, protection from the environment, and safety around traffic.
Dog safety when you’re taking them out for a walk starts when you first leave your home. You need to focus on training your pet to be calm, but cautious around traffic, so that they don’t run out into the middle of the road. If you’re travelling during bad weather or darker periods of the day, giving your pet high-visibility clothing or flashing LED’s could give them greater protection from moving vehicles.
If you’re heading to a park, you’re going to need to have socialised your pet around other dogs beforehand, and if necessary, give your pet a muzzle to avoid incidences with other dogs. Other dogs are often the biggest risk to your dog’s safety, so you should try to be present whenever your dog is interacting with another. If you think that your pet is the risk factor in this situation, it’s best if you leave your dog on their lead, so that you’re always present and close by when they do meet another dog.
Another potential risk to your dog’s safety is the environment. If you’re walking in an urban environment, this could mean broken glass or sharp pieces of metal in trash bins, while in a park or rural environment (which could still have broken glass, so be careful), the risks are to your pet getting cold and wet, or drowning.
Most owners who regularly let their dog walk about off the lead during a trip to the park or other rural environment will have seen their pet chase after wildlife. When these are just birds or squirrels, it is less of a problem (unless they actually catch something), but it becomes a problem when the animals present are a lot bigger. Having them chase after a squirrel is one thing, but having them charge a deer is an entirely different, and far more dangerous, situation.
It is also very important that you choose a correct collar and leash for your dog’s size and strength. A small collar could cut more into their throat, and it could break too. A leash which has an adjustable length is also not ideal, as it gives them too much freedom to move around, which can be dangerous. Harnesses can be a good option, as it can be less dangerous for your pet, and provide you with greater control over what they do. If your dog is more powerful than you are though, a harness can let them take control a lot more easily.
In conclusion, every dog owner needs to be aware of the potential risks to their pet’s safety when giving them a walk. Walking your dog is a learning experience for both you and them, and as you learn you will begin to understand which of these problems are applicable to your pet, and following that you will understand what leeway you can give them when taking your dog for a walk.