There’s been some recent publicity about the danger of using dog leads ‘improperly’ – if that’s possible! From an initial reading of the headline, I was also a chuckling sceptic.
Safety tips for walking your dog.
Walking your dog safely by roads
Roads can be scary and intimidating for dog owners, especially if you live in a high-traffic area. Being constantly on your guard and putting in appropriate safety measures are key to being safe when walking your dog near a road. Here are a few tips to make sure you and your dog can enjoy your walk worry-free.
You should always keep your dog on a lead whenever you’re not in an enclosed area. Even if your dog is extremely well-behaved off-lead, it can only take a small distraction for an accident to happen. Seeing a cat, another dog, or even being taken by surprise could cause your dog to stray into a road, so it’s best to eliminate that risk by making sure you use a lead.
Ensure you have a good quality lead and well-fitted harness or collar so your dog can’t get loose. Harnesses are generally more beneficial than collars as they allow you to have more control over your dog. They also don’t cause excess strain on your dog’s neck and fit snugly over your dog’s body. Additionally, you should keep your dog on a short lead when you’re near a road. If you have an extendable lead, make sure it is properly locked so your dog can’t suddenly run off ahead.
Close Control Lead
The Chemeyes Road Safe Lead is an innovative way to keep perfect control of your dog when you really need to. Used in conjunction with your existing lead, the Close Control Lead provides a short handle which removes the need to wrap the lead around your hand or grab the lead close to the collar. Both of these can lead to injury if your dog makes a sudden dash for it.
At night or in poorly-lit areas, cars could have trouble seeing you and your dog. It is, therefore, crucial you put in safety measures to ensure you are seen. Wearing light-coloured clothes or reflective vests will help cars see you when you’re walking your pooch. You could also invest in a reflective jacket and lead for your dog. There are also LED blinkers you can attach to your dog’s harness or collar that will flash constantly to help you and your dog’s visibility.
Training your dog so it’s aware of road dangers is very important. Even when your dog is on a lead, it could still try to jump or walk into a road. When you’re walking your dog and you want to cross the road, walk up to the curb and stand still. Tell your dog to “sit” or “wait” before you cross. When your dog obeys, make sure you look left and right and ensure the road is safe to cross before you move. After you reach the other side of the road, praise your dog and give it a tasty treat. Make sure you repeat these steps every time you need to cross the road so your dog learns what to do near roads.
You should also make sure your dog is good with recall. This is especially true if your dog decides to run away off-lead and bolts towards a road. Telling your pooch to “wait” or “leave” when it’s too close to a road are a couple of commands it should know, as well as coming back when called. Try not to panic and frantically run towards your dog when it is close to a road as this could spook it. Your dog might also think you’re trying to play and wander further into the road. Make sure you have some treats handy or try shaking the container they’re in to get your dog’s attention.
It’s a good idea to always bring treats with you on a walk for when your dog is being especially well-behaved!