Being a responsible pet owner means keeping your furry friend safe at all times, and this includes daily walks – something we do so regularly that it can become easy to overlook the more common dangers and risks out of habit. Have a think about your walking routine and whether you’re doing everything you should to ensure your dog’s safety while they enjoy their daily exercise, like some of these simple steps:
- Always keep your dog within view so that you’re able to keep a close eye on them; if you can’t see them then you won’t know if anything happens which may put themselves, or others, in harm’s way.
- Sniffing is natural for dogs, but make sure it doesn’t go any further – be careful not to allow your dog to eat or drink anything unfamiliar; it’s always better to be safe than sorry!
- Make sure anytime you’re out of the house that your dog has proper identification on, this can be in the form of an ID tag or microchip. The Control of Dogs Order (1992) states that ‘any dog in a public place should wear the name and address of the owner either inscribed on the collar or a name plate or disc attached to it’, so be a responsible owner and follow this at all times.
- Nice day? If the sun is out and you’re planning on going for a walk then check the temperature of the pavement before you set off. In summer, they can get very hot so if it’s too hot for your hand then it will also be too hot for your dog’s paws!
- Take some water along with you. This way, should your dog become tired or dehydrated, or something happens which means you’re out for longer than expected, then you’ll be prepared. It also prevents them from being tempted to drink other unknown water sources which can cause an upset stomach.
- Walks through parks or the countryside can be full of all sorts of objects your dog will come across. Some are prone to eat anything, regardless of any dangers, so be aware of their actions and look out for this. Sticks and rocks can be especially dangerous, causing intestinal blockages if swallowed. If this is a persistent problem then keeping your dog on the lead or making it wear a ‘basket’ muzzle can help you to spot and prevent this behaviour, or keep them busy with other activities such as playing with an interactive toy (our Busy Buddy range is ideal for this).
- The warmer seasons mean higher pollen levels and also fleas, both of which dogs can have allergies to. Other irritants include grass and various plants, so if you notice your dog suffering from a reaction or symptoms such as scratching, sneezing or even losing fur that seem to be heightened by time spent outdoors then it’s likely they’re suffering from an allergy. Your vet will be able to help you identify what’s causing it and advise on any suitable treatments.
- Dogs are more likely to pick up ticks on walks in the summer too, which can carry diseases that are transmitted to dogs when they are bitten. Using repellent sprays can prevent ticks from settling on your dog and biting them.