Safe dog walking measures are incredibly important to know about for the comfort of you and your pooch. Being privy to safety measures for dog walkers, four-legged friends, and those around you will ensure all of your walks are enjoyable and memorable!
Opening the door and setting off on an adventure is the easy part. But before you go on walkies, there are a couple of things you should know!
In this month’s article, we discuss the necessity of puppy manners, safety measures for dog walkers and pooches, and the preparation you should do before taking your pup out on the town!
Brush up on manners
Did you know that your dog’s nose is over 1000 times more powerful than yours? With all the new smells, sights, sounds, and friends the sweet spring air brings, your puppy is likely to get very excited!
However, not all friends will want to play and could create quite an unpleasant situation on your walk if your puppy doesn’t know how to behave.
Teaching your puppy manners is the best way to ensure they know who wants to play, and who’s just there to relax.
Being prepared for unexpected behaviours is the best way to achieve safe dog walking, but putting in the effort to train your pup as soon as possible will always pay dividends in the future. Take some treats with you to encourage recall and for times when you really need your dog to come back quickly.
You may find a harness helps give more control and support whilst also helping to prevent pulling and other dog owners prefer a collar. It’s a matter of personal preference which is worth exploring.
Ensure your dog’s lead is appropriate for their level of training, weight, and size to ensure it’s comfortable and safe. Retractable leads can be handy in certain situations but shorter leads allow more control and give less risk of other people or dogs getting tangled up.
And if you are taking walkies about town, it’s always worth scanning ahead for discarded rubbish or open litter bags that may contain tempting morsels that could end up giving your pup a poorly tummy. Or worse, takeaway chicken bones that can be super dangerous. There’s nothing worse than a scavenged treat ending up in a vet's visit.
Spring is often accompanied by warming temperatures. Be prepared and bring a nice supply of fresh drinking water to keep your dog hydrated throughout your walk.
Visit the vet
As your pup grows older, visits to the vet will become more regular, and walks may become less frequent. But if you notice your pooch is still looking at you with those longing eyes, just begging for the park, they’re clearly not done yet!
When taking your older dog out for walkies, a great way to maintain safe dog walking is to ensure they are up to date with their vet check ups to check in on their joints and muscles.
As they say, you’re only as old as you think you are! And if your older dog is still jumping up at their lead every day, they could very well be ignoring their aching joints just to spend some time with you! Your vet can thoroughly examine your pooch to ensure they keep their little tail wagging when you’re out and about. So ask your vet for advice before taking long walks and new routes if you are at all concerned.
The same applies to puppies, be very conscious of overwalking and exercising when they are young! It could be a good idea to have a waterproof dog carrier on hand for younger puppies for when their little legs might need a rest! It’s also great for socialisation whilst they are waiting to be fully vaccinated in those first few months so they can get out and about and experience the sites and sounds of your local area.
Check Your Identification
Many dog breeds thrive on zooming across large fields as fast as their legs will carry them, and if your pooch is curious, you may have found them in a bush a time or two!
Should the worst happen and your pup decides to go on a solo adventure ensuring their collar tag is up to date with your latest contact information is essential. Many forget to update the tags when they get a new mobile number or move house. The same goes for your dog’s microchip.
You could also check out GPS tracking for extra peace of mind such as the PitPat GPS tracker which is simple to set up and only costs a one-time fee!
Check their Paws & Bodies
Your pup's paw pads are as sensitive as the soles of your feet. So it’s a good idea to check their paws before, during, and after your walk to see if they’ve got any cuts, bruises, or splinters that might make the walk painful for them!
Equally, grass seeds and ticks can cause havoc in various places around your dog’s body. So it’s always worth checking all over to ensure there is nothing lodged under legs, ears, and any other hotspots.
If your dog has enjoyed a swim in a local river, it is worthwhile showering them clean with fresh water to ensure that nothing stays on them that shouldn’t be there! Portable washers/showers are becoming quite popular and can be popped in the back of your car so you don’t even have to wait until you get home.
Fortunately, we don’t get much exceptionally hot weather here in the UK during spring! But if it’s a particularly hot day (especially for our readers in other countries), you should be very conscious of the ground temperature before you set off. If the ground is too hot for you to touch, it's too hot for your pup.
If you’re not sure, it’s best to be on the safe side and wait until the evening to go out! In this case, the best times to take your dog out for a walk, particularly when the weather starts heating up, are the early morning or the late evening.
Research new locations
When taking your pup out to a brand new place, make sure you research the general area before setting off and pay attention to helpful park warden signs as you enter. There could occasionally be specific viruses or waterborne diseases which could impact your dog’s health. It's always better to be safe than sorry!
We hope you have enjoyed this post and that you feel set to safely take your pup out on walkies! If you’d like to look a little more fashionable whilst out on the town, check out our range of bow ties, harnesses, collars, and leads. Be safe and make a statement!