Monday, February 15, 2016

Tips for Safe Walking With Your Dog

Whether you walk your dog in the morning, afternoon or at night, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings at all times. From city sidewalks to off-the-beaten-trail walks, you never know when new and dangerous situations will arise. Properly training your dog to sit, heel and stay is essential to keeping them safe. But there are also plenty of steps you can take during your walk to ensure that it is an enjoyable adventure every time. We’ve complied some of our favorite dog walking safety tips to get you started below:

Leash Training

Dogs should be kept on a leash at all times during a walk. If they spot a squirrel or feel like making friends with another dog across a busy street, you want to be sure they can’t dart across before you have time to verbally react. Make sure your dog’s leash and collar are reliable and the appropriate size for the strength of your dog. Remember to use a short leash for the most control. While first leash training your dog (teaching him/her not to pull on the leash and to walk beside you), reward them with treats whenever they walk calmly.

While walking if your dog gets loose and is running away from you, never run after him/her. They will think it is a game and keep running. Instead, call your dog’s name loudly while running in the opposite direction, and your dog will happily come running towards you. This is the biggest mistake people make while walking their dogs.

Watch What You’re Wearing

When walking at dawn, in the evening or at night, it’s important to consider what you’re wearing. Light-up dog collars are ideal for your canine pals! LED collars and/or LED leashes are a great way to ensure drivers and others can easily spot your dog from a distance. Prefer to walk with a harness? Try a reflective harness for great visibility as well! And don’t forget to dress in bright and reflective gear yourself, so you can be seen too.

Pink Nightlight LED Leash, $34.90
Lemon Lime Nightlight LED Collar, $29.90

Keep in mind that if you and/or your dog are not used to walking, you’re not going to be running a 5K with Fido tomorrow. Start with short and slower walks if necessary, and work up to longer and faster walks together. Finally, consider the weather. If it’s cold, small dogs may need a jacket for longer walks. Remember, your dog feels the cold and if you are getting cold on the walk, so is your furry friend. In severe cold, limit the walks primarily for nature calls.

Have your own tips for walking dogs? We’d love to hear them! Share your dog walking safety tips with us in the comment section below, or visit us on Facebook!