Does your dog jump for joy when he knows it’s time for a walk? Those daily strolls are important for many reasons beyond sanitation. They help keep your canine buddy fit, and also offer him both mental stimulation and a change of scenery. In this article, a LA Mesa, CA vet offers some advice on walking Fido.
Don’t forget that your four-legged friend is running around bare-pawed! Fido can get painful burns and blisters from hot or harsh surfaces. He can also cut his furry feet on broken glass or sharp rocks. Stick to soft ground as much as possible. You can also use paw wax to protect and moisturize your dog’s paws.
As you’ve probably noticed, Man’s Best Friend is pretty fond of sniffing plants. Pay close attention to the areas Fido wants to nose around in. Don’t let your canine pal explore any spots that look like they could make tempting hideouts for snakes or other wild critters. You’ll also need to be cautious of dangerous plants, such as foxtail grasses.
When you are walking along the side of a road, walk so that you are facing oncoming traffic. It’s also best to keep Fido on the outside. He’s shorter, and may be hard for drivers to spot. Plus, this will keep him from veering into traffic.
Make sure to wear shoes or boots with a good tread, so you don’t slip and fall. As for Fido, he’ll need a comfortable collar or harness. When walking your furry buddy after dark, use a reflective leash on him, and wear a pale shirt or jacket yourself. Retractable leashes can be great, but they aren’t safe for every situation. If the mechanism jams, your pet could run out into traffic, get entangled with another dog, or run into a dangerous area.
Many people like to listen to music while walking their pups. That’s fine, but keep the volume low, so you can hear what’s happening around you. You definitely need to hear the sound of brakes squealing or your furry friend growling at something!
When walking your canine companion after dark, be extra alert. Always take a phone with you, and stick to well-lit, safe routes. Better safe than sorry!
Please reach out to us, your local LA Mesa, CA vet clinic, anytime. We’re here to help!