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Safety Tips for Walking Your Pet

Our pets are important to us and in most cases we think of them as part of the family. With this in mind it is important that we keep them safe when we go for walks. Walking your pet may be a fun and exhilarating thing to do. However, keep in mind that in most cases you are at some point sharing the road with numerous vehicles. It is possible that at some point you and your pet can be a distraction to drivers. As most pet owners know taking a walk can be very unpredictable! So, as a responsible pet owner please keep in mind these suggestions:

  1. Make sure your pet has an appropriate collar and/or harness. If you have the wrong collar you could be choking your pet or if too loose your pet can get loose and run into traffic.

  2. Take walks when traffic is light and take a cell phone with you if you have one. Talking on your phone is not advisable but if you must do so remain calm at all times. Animals pick up on our behavior and our stress or emotions can affect them. Your cell phone should be used in an emergency situation ONLY!

  3. Train your dog to sit and check in with you - meaning look you in the eye - before crossing the street. You should get to a point where your pet will know not to run into the street without your permission. Even then make sure you stop at stop lights and intersections and so do any vehicles at the intersection before you cross over to the other side.

  4. Keep your pet on a leash at all times! This cannot be stressed enough.

  5. Make sure you and your pet walk in the same direction as the traffic. If your pet faces the opposite direction and your pet runs or darts away unexpectedly then they will be going in the wrong direction towards on-coming traffic and so will you.

  6. Remember to bring treats to re-enforce good behavior and a water bottle. Doing so makes for a happy and healthy walk. Try not to over "treat" them or give them too much water as we don't want to give them an upset stomach but watch for panting and signs that your pet might be getting tired and slowing down.

  7. Always give positive reinforcement to your pet by saying "good girl" or "good boy". Showing affection can be rewarding for both you and your pet!

  8. Always be alert and do not wear headphones as this may cause you to be distracted. You are responsible for your pet. Show you love them by remaining alert and ready to take action should you encounter and excepted situation.

Selected resources taken from the website of Hellum, author, Eddie Brawley

Safety Tips for Walking Your Pet

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