A Walk in the Park: Dog Walking Safety and Etiquette
Ah, spring! What a beautiful time of year to dust off your dog’s leash and get back outside for some exercise and fresh air. Dog walking is one of the greatest pleasures of dog ownership, and ensuring a good time for your dog relies on dog walking safety, awareness, and, of course, etiquette.
Beyond the Basics: Dog Walking Etiquette
What exactly goes into becoming a dog walking pro? A lot! First and foremost is knowing whether your dog is ready for a walk. This includes understanding his or her temperament, addressing any training needs, and being prepared to give your full attention during the walk and when encountering other people and animals.
Dog walking etiquette also means:
- Make certain your dog has a grasp of basic commands and leash training and has been socialized.
- Realize that not everyone loves pets (as hard as that is to believe!), and offer plenty of space for other pedestrians and cyclists to pass. This is also safer for your pet.
- Ask for permission before approaching another dog, and ask others to do the same before interacting with your pet.
- Discourage your dog from chasing wildlife or other pets by maintaining control and keeping him or her leashed (unless it’s safe and appropriate to be off leash).
- Prevent your dog from jumping up on others. If your dog is too excitable or distracted, opt to exercise him or her at home and try again when he or she is more relaxed.
- Pick up after your pet, and carry plenty of bags for pet waste.
- Stow away all distractions (yes, this includes your phone) so you’re better able to monitor your dog and prevent any potential problems.
Another important element of good etiquette is making sure your pet is healthy and up-to-date on all vaccines and parasite preventives. This protects your pet and ensures the safety of other animals and people. If you’re unsure of what your pet requires, please call our team to schedule an appointment.
Dog Walking Safety
Because some dogs may have health or behavioral challenges that require a bit more TLC and room, it’s important to respect the space of all dogs.
For more information on these precious paw pals, there are two notable groups that help raise awareness of dogs in need of space (DINOS). DINOS and the Yellow Dog Project aim to help pet owners understand why space is necessary for these dogs, as well as offer helpful products, such as vests, shirts, and yellow ribbons, that alert others to these issues.
The Whole Pet Vet encourages you to check out their sites and to learn more about how to make dog walking safe and enjoyable for all. If you have any questions about dog walking safety and etiquette, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.