Dog walks require attention
Anybody can walk a well-behaved dog without worry, right?
If we had to watch only the dog, that would be true. But as with driving, you have to look out for more than yourself. When you take your dog for a walk or let someone else walk your dog, be attentive to the possible dangers below.
* Chards of glass or plastic. Metal, such as flattened cans or pop-top tabs from cans
* Other animals. Even a well-behaved dog can be distracted – or worse – surprised by another animal such as a dog roaming off-leash or a cat. One memorable time, I was walking a dog on Christmas night, and he came upon a possum. That threw us all for a loop! Possums are unpredictable and look scary! Other dogs want to chase squirrels, rabbits or birds. Keep your dog on a canvas or leather leash and be sure to loop the handle around your wrist for double safety. If you have an unruly dog and believe they would benefit from dog training classes houston, don’t hesitate to reach out.
* Insects. When walking a dog of any age, glance frequently at the ground. You will see dogs plod right through ant beds or over yellow jackets’ nests. Ants quickly climb into fur and disburse over the body, and yellow jackets live in the ground and swarm viciously when disturbed. The flying insects will victimize dogs and people, which could lead to allergic reactions in both.
*Of course fleas, ticks and mosquitoes are dangerous to you and your canine. In the south, any of these can be out any time of the year, as with snakes. So be sure to treat your pet for fleas, ticks and mosquitoes year round. Mosquitoes are the source of heart worms, and heartworm larvae take six to seven months to develop into a dangerous worm in not only the heart, but other organs, as well.
* Some dogs like to catch bees in their mouths, so be aware! A bee sting is painful, especially in a tender mouth.
* Dangerous treats. Dogs love to sniff, and sometimes they sniff and consume vomit, feces, gum, cigarette butts, and other “goodies” found along the way. Watch what your pet is sniffing.
* Snakes. Serpents seem an obvious danger, but snakes camouflage well in leaves, pine straw and on trees. Be attentive to anything that looks out of the ordinary or feels unsafe.
* Grass. Even grass can be dangerous if it was treated with insecticides or fertilizer. Often, you don’t know what is in anyone else’s yard, so try to keep dogs from eating grass you don’t know is chemical free.
* Raccoons. Since parks and trails can’t get raccoon removal, as it’s their natural habitat, raccoons are often in bushes and fallen trees. Be careful what your dog is poking their nose in.
* Standing water. Just as dogs snack along the way, they will drink from puddles or other pools of water. This can be dangerous because of mosquito bites and diseases like leptospirosis and giardia borne in stagnant water.
* Other people. We all know that kids and adults don’t always pay attention. Some drivers, runners and walkers weave in the road, so be aware of your surroundings.
* Cars. One last thing to beware is the cars going fast or swerving and the sound of a car backfiring. That noise is scary for animals and their walking partners!
When you walk your dog or trust someone else to care for your furry loved one, keep these dangers in mind so you can both be safe!
By Beth Crosby