With winter fast approaching and the nights drawing in, many dog owners find that by the time they get home and are able to walk their pets, the light is already fading. This makes it quite hard for motorists and other people to see things which is why wearing something reflective is so essential whether you live in town or a more rural part of the country,
However, staying safe when out on walks with your dog is of paramount importance, even during daylight hours. Naturally, if you are safe, it would be fair to say your dog would be too. Below are a few tips and some advice on how to dress and behave when out on a walk with your canine companion.
It's really important to wear appropriate clothing when out walking your dog. This means wearing the right type of footwear even if you intend on going out for just a short walk because you might need to put a spurt on if you find yourself in a dangerous situation that you need to get yourself out of fast!
You should also wear the right type of clothing and even if the weather looks fine, you have to bear in mind that this can change fast in certain rural areas like moorlands and mountainous regions of the country. As previously mentioned, high-visibility clothing is a must not only for you but for your four-legged companion too, and this is especially true if you intend on letting them run off their leads in a park, woodland or elsewhere that's safe for them to run around in.
It's also important to carry your dog's lead in your hand or to place it in a pocket. The one thing you should never do is put it around your neck because somebody would easily be able to grab you by it if you do. The other thing to bear in mind is that if you are out in the countryside with your pooch, you should ideally check a weather report before setting out on a long walk and to carry enough water and other things you might need with you, just in case you get stuck somewhere.
You should always take your mobile phone whether you are out for a short or a long walk making sure the battery is fully charged before you set out. Another thing that's worth taking with you is a whistle because this is a sure fire way to draw attention to yourself should you and your dog need to be rescued from a situation. If you are planning a very long walk through the countryside, it is also a very good idea to tell someone where you intend on walking your dog and how long you would expect to be out with them.
It goes without saying that you need to stay alert when you are out on a walk with your beloved pooch, no matter where you happen to be walking them. It is never a good idea to walk along wearing headphones because this means you won't be able to hear anything that's going on around you which could put both you and your pet in danger.
It's all too easy to get lost in a daydream when you are out on a walk with your dog, especially if you are traipsing through lovely countryside. However, you need to keep an eye on your pet to make sure they are safe and not getting themselves into any trouble with other walkers, any wildlife they may encounter along the way or farm animals if you are crossing through fields.
You have to bear in mind that some cattle take offence to dogs whilst others tend to be a bit inquisitive which could frighten your pooch and make them run which could be a cue for the cows to chase them. If you are on a public track that takes you through a field with cows grazing in it, you should put your dog on their lead and not let them run free. By law, you have to keep your dog under control when they are around farm animals and wildlife.
At certain times of the year, you have to think about ground nesting birds too because the last thing you want to do is disturb them if they are sitting on eggs which is from March through to the end of July. Deer too, can be a little aggressive at certain times of the year and this includes hinds that protect their young and bucks during the rutting season.
If you plan on taking your dog for a walk through unfamiliar territory, you need to make sure the maps you use are up to date and that you take a compass with you. Having said this, it is far safer to stay on marked paths because you don't know how safe the region is and whether there are any bogs your dog may get stuck in. If you see any warning signs along the route, you have to pay attention and take them seriously.
If you are walking in town, try to avoid dimly lit areas both in the mornings and at night too. If you can, always walk on pavements, but if there are none, then make sure you walk as close to the side of the road as you can always facing the oncoming traffic and always remember to cross to the other side of the road if you need to negotiate any right hand bends.