It’s a fact that your dog needs to get out for a daily dog walk, for their general health and wellbeing. But it’s important that when you take your dog out for a walk or hire a dog walker to take them, that you are aware of any potential hazards or dangers that you/they might face while on their walk.
Safety of your dog on a walk is key after all, your dog is part of your family and you want them to be as safe as possible all the time.
So, what can you do to make sure that you and your dog can enjoy your dog walk?
Tips For Keeping Your Dog Safe On A Dog Walk
Don’t Let Your Dog Off The Lead
Letting a dog off the lead is great for your dog. They get to run free and enjoy the space you have taken to them. You know your dog and have probably trained them to have great recall and come back to you when called.
The problem comes when they don’t want to come back to the person who is walking them. Or maybe they run off and you lose sight of them, meaning potentially they could get lost, chase after a rabbit or worse they could get stolen.
Never Leave Them Unattended
When you take your dog for a walk we would recommend that you never leave them unattended, even just for a moment. Whether that is leaving them outside a shop while you go in and get a bottle of water or leaving them unattended while you fetch something from your car at the beach.
There are so many terrible stories of dogs being stolen that it’s becoming increasingly important to know where your dog is at all times. Dogs can go missing in seconds, so it’s best to know they are at the end of the dog lead at all times.
Be Wary Of Other Dogs
Some dogs love to sniff each other and are playful, whereas other dogs need their space. It’s always important to assess each situation and make sure that the owner is comfortable you are approaching their dog and that they don’t have any fears of other dogs.
Our dog Coco is a pointer and she is really scared of small dogs. She had a bad experience in the rescue and that fear has never gone. If she is on the lead she can get very stressed, so I know that I wouldn’t want a small dog to approach her.
Watch What They Are Sniffing At
You never know what someone has dropped on the streets or in long grass, so it is best to be aware of everything your dogs is sniffing at. People leave all sorts in open areas and there have been reports of people leaving poison down for dogs.
A short lead does help keep you aware of what your dog is getting into and means you can be sure where they are walking and what they are eating. Be careful when walking on grass that there is no broken glass that could hurt their paws.
Only Walk In Well Lit Safe Areas
It’s important to assess the safety of where you are walking your dog, for both you and your dog. It wouldn’t be advisable to walk your dog in the dark along the beach, instead, a busy lit road would be safer.
Be aware of where you are walking your dog at all time and adopt a common sense approach. Your dog might love the beach, but at night, it’s not safe for you or your dog. Tide times are also important to be aware of if you are taking a long walk on the beach.
It’s important for both you and your dog that you carry water with you to keep you both hydrated. There are lots of collapsible bowls you can get for your dog to drink from.
In hot weather, this is extremely important so they don’t overheat. We tend to think Ireland is never that hot, but we do have days during the year where the heat needs to be taken into account when you walk your dog. For example, hot sand or pavements could burn your dogs paws in really hot weather.
Stay Off Your Mobile Phone
We are all guilty of being on our phones, checking Facebook or listening to music. But when you are walking your dog try and take the time to enjoy the one on one experience and be alert to your surroundings.
Make sure you are aware what your dog is doing, what dogs are approaching and if there are any dangers you need to avoid. Being alert is the best way to keep safe.
Don’t Be Afraid To Walk Your Dog
Never feel afraid to walk your dog. Yes, you should be alert and be cautious of where you are working your dog and what other dogs and people are around you, but walking your dog is FUN!
It’s vital to their health and wellbeing, and it’s something that will keep their tails wagging!
How Can Pet Sitters Ireland Help?
At Pet Sitters Ireland we never let any dogs off the lead during walks. We strongly believe that if we do let a dog off the lead we cannot be 100% in control of what happens to them. The moment we let that dog off then it’s impossible to be sure that they are safe. Whereas on the lead, we know we can control the situation to make sure they are safe and sound.
We also conduct a thorough meet and greet before we walk your dog to find out where you walk them, what they are like on their lead, if there are dogs, or people, in the area that they don’t like and we should avoid, where you keep towels to dry them etc.
In this video below I talk about why we don’t let dogs off the lead and how that’s a benefit to your dog.