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Safety Tips for Walking Your Dog

Did you know that people with dogs tend to be healthier and fitter than people without pooches? As it turns out, walking our canine pals is really good for us. Those regular strolls are also crucial to Fido, not only for sanitary purposes, but because they keep him active and help prevent doggy boredom. Just be sure to put your pet’s safety first. A Burlington, ON vet discusses dog-walking safety below.

Leash

Choose a sturdy leash, one that won’t break if Fido lunges after the neighbor’s cat. Retractable leashes are great, but they aren’t the best thing to use in every situation. If you’re on a sidewalk and the mechanism breaks, your pup could run into traffic. Fido could also get tangled up with another dog. Save these for safe, open spaces.

Training

Make sure that your furry friend knows basic doggy obedience commands, such as Sit, Stay, Come, Heel, and Lay Down. This is very important! If the leash breaks or you drop it, you need to be sure your four-legged pal will obey you. You don’t want Fido running into traffic or racing off after a squirrel!

Nighttime Walks

When walking your pup after dark, use a reflective leash and collar for him. We also recommend wearing a reflective coat yourself. Always take a phone with you, and stick to well-lit paths. Night walks are best kept short and sweet. Save the explorations for daytime!

Roadside

When walking your dog along the side of a road, keep your pooch to the outside. He has a smaller profile, so drivers may not see him. It’s also best to walk towards oncoming traffic, so you can see what’s coming. Last but not least, don’t let Fido get in front of you as you are approaching driveways, intersections, or parking lot exits.

Weather

In winter, snow can hide dangerous objects, such as broken glass. Try to stick to well-plowed paths after a snowfall. Sand, salt, ice, and chemical de-icing agents can also do a number on Fido’s paws. Use paw balm or wax to help protect those furry feet. If your canine buddy has thin fur, he will be more comfortable with a jacket or sweater on cold days.

As your Burlington, ON vet clinic, we’re dedicated to keeping your beloved pet healthy and happy. Please contact us for all your dog’s veterinary care needs.

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