One of the best things about having a dog is being able to get outside for some mutual activity! Most dogs love going to walks, because it breaks up their day and is like going on a mini adventure every single time! They will love licking, smelling and often peeing on everything they see! However, there are a few important things that dog owners should keep a lookout for on their daily walks, which will ensure a safe and happy experience for everyone.
Perhaps the most obvious! If you are out walking your dog, chances are other people are doing the same. When approaching another unknown dog, always err on the side of caution, because it is impossible to tell how that dog (or your own dog!) will behave. Even if you dog is friendly and social, sometime others are not so tolerant and an innocent sniff can quickly turn to an undesirable situation for all involved. Keep your leash short when passing other dogs, and if you want to stop and say hello, be sure to ask the other pet’s owner if it is ok for your dog to approach theirs. This will give them the opportunity to let you know if their pet is not social.
Traffic and Roads
Be sure to always walk on the designed pedestrian areas. Avoid taking your dog onto the main road unless safety crossing and stick to the footpaths. Keep your eye on the traffic around you, as footpaths are often adjacent to some very busy roads and having your dog pull suddenly and unexpectedly in the direction of the road could be disastrous. Keep your pet on a short lead to avoid other pedestrians getting tangled, and to ensure that your pup always stays out of the gutters and away from the road.
Signs for Dog Areas
As much as you might like your dog to roam freely through various park and recreational areas, it is important to take note of the council signs and stick to the rules. There are some areas that are designed as off-leash dog parks, and these are a great option for letting you let run free under your supervision. Any other areas that are not designated as pet friendly, or specifically state that pets are not allowed, should be respected to ensure that all members of the community can feel safe and always enjoy those areas.
Hot hot hot!
Be mindful of how hot the roads and footpaths can be! Whilst this is particularly important in summertime, the road can still heat up quickly on a warm day in some areas of Australia all year around. Dog’s feet are tough, but they are still susceptible to burnt skin just like us. It is important to check how warm the surface is before taking your dog on a long walk, otherwise you risk them injuring their paws and sustaining burns.
Kids are drawn to animals, and in most cases children will want to approach a dog and give them a pat and cuddle. Children are not always aware of the dangers that this can pose, and so it is extremely important for dog owners to be aware of their surroundings at all times and watch for unexpected little hands. If you dog would prefer not to be touched suddenly in this way, invest in a coat or jacket that clearly shows your dog is not to be approached. This will help alert parents to keep their children back and give your dog the space they need when passing by.
What can you do to ensure a safe and happy experience?
- Take your dog on regular walks, from a young age if possible. This will desensitise them to the various situations that they will encounter, and they will be less likely to get anxious or overexcited when they see other canines around.
- Get to know your dog’s behaviour habits and their triggers. If you know that something in particular is a trigger for them to display certain undesirable behaviour, work on desensitising them to it, or enlist the help of a professional dog trainer to assist you.
- Always be mindful of the weather, and ensure that the temperature is comfortable for your pet, including checking the ground surface to ensure that their paws can safely walk without injury.
Provided by Australian Pet Care Association (APCA) – Become a member with us at https://www.australianpetcareassociation.com.au/membership/application/ or contact us anytime by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org