As a dog owner, your top priority should always be keeping your dog and yourself safe, including while you’re taking them out for walks. While you probably don’t want to think about your beloved pet being harmed, you never know what’s going to happen. So today I’m sharing some of the best safety tips for dog walkers.
Whether you walk your dog once a day or multiple times a day, you must always be aware of your surroundings. There are potential dangers everywhere, and it only takes a split second for something to go wrong.
Dog theft is on the rise, with certain dog breeds being more targeted. Thieves are often not afraid to hurt you in the process, so they can quickly run away with your four-legged friend, too.
But it’s not just thieves that you need to be wary of when you’re out and about with your dog; it’s also other dogs that you need to consider. You can never predict when another dog is going to attack your pet, potentially causing serious injuries.
How to Stay Safe When Dog Walking
Taking the right safety precautions during your dog walks will protect both you and your pet from danger. Here are some top safety tips for dog walkers to help you stay safe when walking your dog.
Make sure your dog’s lead is secure
One of the first safety tips for dog walkers is to ensure their lead is secure. Failing to secure your dog’s lead increases the risk of them squirming their way out of it and running away. Even if you’re sure that your dog wouldn’t try to make a swift escape if their lead fell off, a loose lead makes it easier for an opportunistic thief to steal your dog.
Make sure to always secure your dog’s lead before you set off on a walk. For maximum safety, consider getting them a harness.
Dog harnesses are more secure than collars, and they reduce the risk of your dog pulling too hard and hurting themselves. Harnesses are also harder to remove, so thieves will have a tough time stealing your pet when you’re not looking.
If your dog tends to pull when out on a walk, you can find the best harnesses for dogs who pull to maximize their comfort and make sure they can’t escape.
Stay visible at all times
Visibility is key when it comes to safety tips for dog walkers and for keeping yourself safe. Avoid walking down alleys or forest trails where it’s dark and isolated to reduce the risk of someone attacking you or your dog.
You can make yourself as visible as possible by wearing reflective clothing. If you don’t want to wear a high-via jacket, you can buy yourself a pair of trainers with reflective strips on the sides.
You should also get your pup a high-vis dog coat. A reflective harness or jacket will make them more visible to other dog walkers and drivers, so they can keep a distance when they are approaching you.
Carry a personal safety alarm
Next on the list of safety tips for dog walkers is carrying a safety alarm. Most of us don’t think about carrying an alarm when we’re dog walking, but a small alarm could make all the difference to your safety.
If somebody tries to attack you or steal your dog, you can quickly activate your alarm with the press of a button. For easy access, keep your personal safety alarm clipped to your jacket or onto your bag.
Note that the alarm might scare your dog when it starts beeping. You’ll need to control your pet while also seeking safety from the attacker.
Be aware of other dogs
Being aware of other dogs is one of the key safety tips for dog walkers. As friendly as another dog might seem when you’re approaching them, you never know their capabilities. Dog attacks can cause serious injuries and even fatalities.
It’s always best to keep your distance from other dogs to keep yourself and your pet safe. If another dog owner approaches you with their pup, keep your dog close to your side and tighten their lead. This provides you with as much control over your pet as possible so you can quickly pull them out of the way if the other dog becomes aggressive.
Be aware of your surroundings at all times
Even if you’re walking in a familiar area, it’s essential to be aware of your surroundings. This is especially important if you’re walking your dog alone at night.
Always keep your eyes open for potential dangers or strangers lurking nearby. The quicker you spot dangers, the quicker you can respond to keep yourself and your furry friend safe.
As unappealing as it might sound, walking without headphones or earphones is a good idea to maximize your safety. Leaving your audio devices at home enables you to listen out for suspicious activity and seek safety as soon as possible.