January is Walk Your Dog Month! Of course, for many people, it’s always Walk Your Dog Month. Unless you have a yard for your canine buddy to chase squirrels around in, you’ll need to take him out every day. However, you may find that walking Fido has become so routine that you don’t pay much attention anymore. That can be dangerous! A Sarasota, FL vet offers some safety tips below.
Make sure that your furry bff knows (and obeys) basic commands, such as Stay, Come, and Heel. This is very important! If Fido breaks his leash or pulls it out of your hand, training can keep him from running off or approaching dangerous areas.
We know, flipflops are the shoe of choice for many Floridians. However, they’re not the best footwear for dog walking. Opt for sneakers or sandals, preferably ones with good tread. As for Fido, remember to keep him off searing-hot sidewalks in summer.
Florida summers can be pretty brutal. Your canine companion can get dangerously hot in just a few minutes. Unless you’re going for a very short stroll around the block, bring water along for both you and Fido.
We recommend getting reflective leashes, collars, and/or harnesses, so drivers can see you at night. Retractable leashes can be great, but they can be dangerous in certain areas or situations. Don’t use these near busy roads, or in areas where there’s a chance of Fido getting entangled in something.
Many people enjoy listening to music or podcasts while walking their pups. This is fine, but don’t turn the volume up too loud. You need to be able to hear what’s going on around you. And, while it’s a good idea to bring your phone along, don’t take it out unless you need it.
Florida is a beautiful state, but we do share it with some pretty dangerous critters. Don’t take Fido near canals or ponds that could be housing gators. Keep an eye out for snakes and fire ant colonies as well.
If you are walking along the side of a road, go towards oncoming traffic, and keep Fido to the outside. Last but not least, don’t let your pooch get ahead of you when crossing driveways or intersections.
As your Sarasota, FL animal hospital, we’re dedicated to providing top-notch veterinary care. Contact us anytime!