This Is About You, Not Fido
Pet safety is a huge priority of mine so if I see distracted dog walkers act a certain way, it really concerns me. And the bottom line is very simple.When you are outdoors exercising a canine, being in control helps to keep your four-legged companion safe.
Now, although this article focuses on walking your dog, the recommendations also apply when you’re out jogging together.
Furthermore, I’d like to point this out, too, and it involves some careful self-reflection. You may come to realize that you are not looking or listening properly. That you are not being attentive and fully aware of your surroundings. So, if that’s the case, then it’s probably time to make some changes.
Definition Of A Distracted Dog Walker
The topic here is dog walkers being distracted and how they can stay focused. For that purpose, I have made a short but really important list of the things that take your mind off what should be your priority.
- cell phones
- ear buds
- the mail
- neighbors and passers-by
Maybe you’re wondering why I’m mentioning these seemingly unimportant things. What do they have to do with safety? Well, here’s what can happen.
Reality Number One
First Fact: You use your phone to talk, text or read when you walk your dog.
Question: If you absolutely have to do any of the above, how should you do so safely?
Answer: Step away from the road and hold your dog on a very short leash. Look around you to be aware of your surroundings, and remain stationary.
This next one isn’t exactly a dog walking situation. Nevertheless, I wanted to mention it here because I have witnessed many single family home owners doing this.
Reality Number Two
Second Fact: You let your dog out in your front yard off-leash to potty while you walk to the curbside to pick up your mail. And, as you walk back towards the house, you’re looking at leaflets and envelopes.
Question: You do this all the time. Why shouldn’t you?
Answer: In my world, this is taking an unnecessary risk. You really do need to stay focused. Go out front with your dog on a leash, let him potty, then take him back inside. Now go and pick up your mail.
Reality Number Three
Third Fact: You use ear buds to listen to music.
Question: Is it okay to have the volume turned down low?
Answer: No, it is not okay. This is yet another distracting habit dog walkers have. Leave the ear buds at home. You need eyes to see AND ears to hear what’s going on around you. Beware of cyclists, traffic, verbal warnings, and so on.
Reality Number Four
Fourth Fact: You stop during your walk to talk to neighbors and passers-by.
Question: How can this possibly be a potential problem?
Answer: You’re right. It’s quite unlikely. However, make sure your dog is on a short (unretractable) leash and that you stay well clear of traffic. Also, step out of the way of other walkers, joggers and cyclists.
To Sum Up
Dog walking warrants staying fully focused. That means focused on your dog. Not on yourself. So, please think about the examples mentioned here. Make the necessary changes so that your pleasure outings are a little safer. Safer for your faithful companion. And safer for you.
Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!
More must-read articles in this category:
How to take your cat for a walk http://petpeevesunmasked.com/walking-cats-provides-enrichment
Behavior awareness tips for dog parks http://petpeevesunmasked.com/dog-park-safety-precautions
Daily physical activity for good health http://petpeevesunmasked.com/dog-exercise-consistency-is-key
Defensive dog walking is like defensive driving http://petpeevesunmasked.com/avoid-confrontation-walking-dogs