As a conscientious dog owner, you work hard to fit their daily walks into your schedule. It doesn’t matter if you have to get up early in the morning or do it after the sun has gone down, because it’s about what’s best for your dogs. And since you care about your environment, you always remember to bring doggy poop bags with you.
This attitude is to be applauded, but while you’re keeping health and cleanliness in mind, don’t forget about safety! And where does safety start?
- A reliable leash and dog collar You want to ensure the leash and collar are appropriate for the size and strength of your dog. The last thing you want is for him to break free and try to run across a busy street or go after another dog or a person because the leash snapped or the collar slid off.Check the state of your dog’s collar and leash regularly, inspecting them for any damage or rust on the hardware (D-ring and leash clasp), or rips in the fabric. Replace them at the first hint of possible failure. Also avoid using variable length leads, and check your local laws. In some jurisdictions, there is a maximum allowed length of leash. For example, city law in Los Angeles limits leash length to six feet.
- Reflective clothing If you walk your dog in darkness or inclement weather, you owe it to yourself and your pup to stand out to drivers. One of the best ways to do this is by wearing a reflective running vest, and you may want to invest in reflective dog clothing as well.
- LED lights Not into dressing your dog in reflective clothing? Try something with an LED light. For humans, there are wearable bike and running safety lights. For dogs, Cesar recommends the Bright Light Leash & Collar, because it provides an LED light to make your dog visible and positions it where it can easily be seen. Even better for you, the light is solar powered and USB chargeable!
- Comfortable walking shoes When our feet hurt, so does the rest of our body. So take care of yours by ensuring the shoes that you’re wearing on your dog walks are the correct size and fit — and that they are proper walking shoes, not sandals or heels. Also make sure that they have no-skid soles or the right kind of tread to reduce the chance of slipping and falling, or of your dog suddenly pulling you off of your feet.
Of course, dog-walking safety isn’t just about gadgets. Changing up your route will confuse anyone trying to keep tabs on you, telling someone where you’re going will alert them to help if you don’t come back, and walking with others can help deter predators.
Plan ahead and your dog walks are much more likely to be peaceful and relaxing, helping you to maintain the calm, assertive energy of a Pack Leader!
What safety essentials do you always take on the walk? Tell us in the comments!