It’s a normal part of the daily routine for dog owners to take their furry loved ones for walks. In other words, it is a task that can be done while slipping into autopilot. The tragic incident with Lady Gaga’s dog walker being shot while walking her three French Bulldogs exemplifies why it is important to always stay fully aware while taking your dog on a stroll. Anything is possible and it is best to be prepared for the unexpected. Consider our tips on dog walker safety to ensure your daily strolls are safe and sound.
Make yourself visible by wearing bright clothing, especially if you’re taking your dog on an evening walk. It will be easier for drivers to see you and your pup while wearing bright colors such as yellow, green, or orange. To ensure your dog is also visible at dusk, it is suggested to dress your dog in a reflective vest, collar, and leash. You can also add clip-on flashing lights to your own clothing as well as your doggo’s.
If it is a rainy day, wear a proper rain jacket or poncho instead of using an umbrella. This way, you will have both hands available to control the leash.
Wear shoes that have quality grip in case your dog changes direction on you or if you need to chase after your dog getting loose from his/her leash. Running/training shoes work best.
Your undivided attention is necessary to safely walk your dog. While it is a safety bonus to have your phone on you, leave the earbuds at home. Only use your phone for emergencies. Make your walk with your dog a “just you and me” moment and enjoy your energy spent with your dog. You can always check your phone when you return home.
If you are distracted by your phone or music, you may not hear fellow dog walkers, joggers, or traffic coming in your direction. This is a risk for possible accidents and injuries!
Always stay on the sidewalk if possible. Keep your dog on your side that is away from the street and keep the leash short. Drivers will always see you before your dog, so staying in between traffic and your pup is much safer. The chance of your dog darting into the street after an animal or object is greatly reduced by having them stay opposite of your street side.
As it was stated in the beginning, anything can happen and it is always best to be prepared for the unexpected. Not much is scarier than being attacked by a dognapper or another dog. There are such things as dog deterrent sprays you can purchase to use to ward off attacking dogs. Just be careful when using the spray on the attacking dog(s) that you don’t accidentally spray your dog.
There are also legal taser guns available one can buy without needing any sort of license. And of course, if you are legal to carry a gun, you can certainly have that on your person for you and your dog’s protection from dognappers.
Keep your walks in an open, well-lit, and familiar area. Get to know your neighbors and all of their dogs too! Knowing your neighbors will work in your favor as extra protection if you are ever attacked. Knowing their dogs will help you know which dogs are friendly and which are best to be avoided while out and about.
With a small amount of preparation that takes little time and money, you can ensure yourself and your furry loved one a safe and worry-free stroll!