One of the best things about having a dog is being able to get outside forsome mutual activity! Most dogs love going to walks, because it breaks uptheir day and is like going on a mini adventure every single time! They willlove licking, smelling and often peeing on everything they see! However, thereare a few important things that dog owners should keep a lookout for on theirdaily walks, which will ensure a safe and happy experience for everyone.

Other Dogs

Perhaps the most obvious! If you are out walking your dog, chances are otherpeople are doing the same. When approaching another unknown dog, always err onthe side of caution, because it is impossible to tell how that dog (or yourown dog!) will behave. Even if you dog is friendly and social, sometime othersare not so tolerant and an innocent sniff can quickly turn to an undesirablesituation for all involved. Keep your leash short when passing other dogs, andif you want to stop and say hello, be sure to ask the other pet’s owner if itis ok for your dog to approach theirs. This will give them the opportunity tolet you know if their pet is not social.

Traffic and Roads

Be sure to always walk on the designed pedestrian areas. Avoid taking your dogonto the main road unless safety crossing and stick to the footpaths. Keepyour eye on the traffic around you, as footpaths are often adjacent to somevery busy roads and having your dog pull suddenly and unexpectedly in thedirection of the road could be disastrous. Keep your pet on a short lead toavoid other pedestrians getting tangled, and to ensure that your pup alwaysstays out of the gutters and away from the road.

Signs for Dog Areas

As much as you might like your dog to roam freely through various park andrecreational areas, it is important to take note of the council signs andstick to the rules. There are some areas that are designed as off-leash dogparks, and these are a great option for letting you let run free under yoursupervision. Any other areas that are not designated as pet friendly, orspecifically state that pets are not allowed, should be respected to ensurethat all members of the community can feel safe and always enjoy those areas.

Hot hot hot!

Be mindful of how hot the roads and footpaths can be! Whilst this isparticularly important in summertime, the road can still heat up quickly on awarm day in some areas of Australia all year around. Dog’s feet are tough, butthey are still susceptible to burnt skin just like us. It is important tocheck how warm the surface is before taking your dog on a long walk, otherwiseyou risk them injuring their paws and sustaining burns.

Children

Kids are drawn to animals, and in most cases children will want to approach adog and give them a pat and cuddle. Children are not always aware of thedangers that this can pose, and so it is extremely important for dog owners tobe aware of their surroundings at all times and watch for unexpected littlehands. If you dog would prefer not to be touched suddenly in this way, investin a coat or jacket that clearly shows your dog is not to be approached. Thiswill help alert parents to keep their children back and give your dog thespace they need when passing by.

What can you do to ensure a safe and happy experience?

  • Take your dog on regular walks, from a young age if possible. This will desensitise them to the various situations that they will encounter, and they will be less likely to get anxious or overexcited when they see other canines around.
  • Get to know your dog’s behaviour habits and their triggers. If you know that something in particular is a trigger for them to display certain undesirable behaviour, work on desensitising them to it, or enlist the help of a professional dog trainer to assist you.
  • Always be mindful of the weather, and ensure that the temperature is comfortable for your pet, including checking the ground surface to ensure that their paws can safely walk without injury.

Provided by Australian Pet Care Association (APCA) – Become a member with usat https://www.australianpetcareassociation.com.au/membership/application/ orcontact us anytime by emailing [email protected]

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