Getting fit and training with your dog does take many to new areas, trails, and urban settings. Of course this leads to unfamiliar situations and dogs. Being prepared will make your experience more fun as well as a safer journey for you and your dog.
Loose dogs that may not “play well with others”
… sometimes that means aggressive towards other dogs…. and sometimes in some areas that could mean towards people as well, are something you should know how to deal with and feel safe doing it.
Dog Walking Safety Tips: Keeping You and Your Dog Safe While Walking Outdoors
by Meg Getchel – Co-owner, Safeguard Self Defense
Walking your dog is one of the best ways you and your pooch can spend time together. During daily walks, your dog can get the physical exercise they need and so can you! They will know they are loved and can stay healthy. But, before you head out to the great outdoors, it’s important to know how to stay safe during your dog walk.
Here are a few tips to help you keep yourself and your dog safe while walking outdoors:
- Before you even venture out on your walk, be sure you have an overall plan of where you’re going. Think about where you’ll walk and if the area allows dogs. Some areas hand out hefty fines for dog walking, so think ahead.
- When trying to decide where you’ll walk your pet, be sure to think about if you prefer walking the dog on a leash or unleashed. Most cities do require a dog to be leashed at all times. However, many walking trails in the woods will allow you to unleash your dog if you feel comfortable doing so. Be sure to abide by all rules of leashing while on your dog walk.
If you do plan to use a leash, be sure the leash you’re using is comfortable for you and the dog. Also ensure there are no damages or defects in the leash, to avoid problems while walking.
- Along the same lines, it’s important for you to make sure the dog’s collar fits properly. A dog can suffer physical damage during a walk if their collar is too tight and they can also get away if it’s too loose.
- Take long plenty of water for both you and your pooch. When on your walk, it’s important you and your dog stay completely hydrated. To stay healthy, be sure to stop often to rest, find shade to sit in and have plenty of water for you and the dog. A travel bowl might be useful for your dog unless you’ve trained him to drink from a bottle.
- In case you do stumble into trouble, be sure you are carrying identification. This goes for both you and your pet. Your dog’s tags should be up to date and if you want extra identification verification you can even choose to microchip the dog. It’s quite safe and painless for the pet.
- To ensure your safety if a loose dog attack does occur while you’re on your daily walk, it’s a great idea to carry dog pepper spray with you at all times. You can get handy dog pepper spray products that will even fit on your key chain (like this Muzzle spray for dogs), which allow you to be protected without loaded down.
Remember, if you do find yourself in contact with a loose dog you should never try to outrun it. Simply stand tall (don’t crouch down toward it), spread out your arms wide and take a step toward it. If you don’t have dog pepper spray handy, this can help you “signal” the dog that you’re larger and more aggressive than they thought. These signals can be enough to deter the dog from attacking you.
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