Being a pet parent comes with a lot of responsibility; our fur babies are like our family members and we naturally want to protect them from harm. Dogs need a lot of attention and physical activity, so you should only commit to adopting one if you are ready for that. You will need to walk your pooch regularly, but walking a dog is much more than just putting on a leash and heading out. You should not go out unprepared – so here are a few tips for dog safety in the great outdoors.
1. Always use a collar and a leash
It should go without saying that you should not walk your dog without a leash and a collar. You cannot predict what might happen while you’re outdoors, so it’s best not to let your dog roam free. Traffic, for one, poses a threat even if your dog is well aware of it, as they may get distracted by something and run into it. Keeping your dog on a leash also prevents unpleasant encounters with other animals. Moreover, your dog can get lost as well if they start chasing something and there is no least to stop them. Therefore, even if they are not too enthusiastic about it, use a leash for their own sake.
2. Make sure your dog has identification
We just mentioned the eventuality of your dog getting lost. While you want to avoid it at all costs, you also need to be prepared if it ever happens. First of all, your dog should always wear identification. For instance, practical pet tags that you can attach to their collar are a great way to make sure that your dog is carrying your contact information at all times. In case they wander away and a stranger finds them, they will be able to call you and get your puppy back to you in no time. Besides identification tags, your dog should also have a microchip. A microchip also serves the purpose of identification, and you can get your dog microchipped by your veterinarian. Should they end up in a shelter after getting lost, they will likely be able to read the microchip and contact you.
3. Keep them hydrated
When you go out jogging, you probably carry a water bottle with you. The same should apply to your puppy. Whenever you head out with your dog, make sure you carry some water and a bowl for them as dehydration can be particularly dangerous for dogs, especially during warmer months. They can start showing symptoms even after losing only a small percentage of their body water, so if you notice your dog panting, losing their skin elasticity, or any of the other warning signs, give them water immediately and get them to a vet.
4. Train them before heading out
Another important thing to mention is that your dog should receive some basic training before they get to go outside and interact with other dogs and their environment. It will not only be safer for them this way but it will also be much more manageable for you to control any kind of situation that might arise. Teach them how to walk on a leash and to obey your commands so that you can stop them if they are about to engage in a dangerous activity or eat something that they shouldn’t.
5. Protect them from parasites
When your dog is outside, they are also exposed to the threat of parasites which can harm their health. Fleas and ticks are the most common example, and the good news is that you have a lot of options when it comes to protection. You can give your puppy chewable treats or pills, use topical treatments and shampoos or ask your vet for the most effective solution for your puppy. What’s important is that you check your dog regularly to catch them sooner than later.
As a dog owner, you have a lot on your plate. However, if you love and care about your puppy, it won’t feel like a chore. Make sure you stick to the aforementioned tips to always keep your dog out of harm’s way!