20 safety and etiquette tips for dog walking

Stepping out of your everyday routine and taking the dog for a walk is enjoyable for both the dog and for you. There are beaches and parks in South Africa that allow dogs, so be sure to check for signage that indicates when no dogs are allowed. It is a privilege to enjoy a public area, and our responsibility to leave it the same way we found it, or better! Animaltalk gives you 20 tips.

20 safety and etiquette tips for the outdoors

  1. Choose pet-friendly places to visit, and only areas that allow dogs.
  2. It is best to have socialised your dog from a young age with other animals and people. Aggressive dogs (toward humans or other dogs) in public places can lead to trouble.
  3. Keep your dog on a lead at all times, especially when exiting the car, when there are many people and other animals, and when there are moving vehicles nearby.
  4. Release your dog only when there are no other dogs or people he may disturb, and it is completely safe. Be diligent to watch for other dog arrivals and re-attach your dog to the lead if necessary.
  5. Train your dog to respond well to commands of recall.
  6. Do not allow your dog to chase or kill any wildlife, destroy nesting sites or eat bird eggs.
  7. Do not allow your dog to beg from people enjoying a braai or picnic.
  8. Watch out for and prevent your dog from eating risky leftovers (there could be dangerous, sharp bones in the scraps). Train your dog to allow you to inspect what he has found and take away unacceptable titbits if necessary. On a beach or at a fishing dam, be extra diligent to avoid leftover fish that may contain rusty and dangerous fish hooks. Stay away from fishing areas at the beach or in parks if at all possible. The risk of a fish hook and the damage it can cause if ingested (not to mention vet bills) is not worth it.
  9. Train your dog not to urinate on any objects that belong to people.
  10. Take a small poop scoop and bag with for all poop to be collected and later disposed of properly in the waste bin.
  11. Keep your dog from bothering people. Animal lovers will usually approach with the intention of greeting your animal, in which case it is their choice to pet your animal. Do not allow petting if your dog is snappy.
  12. Do not allow your dog to bark a lot in public places.
  13. Any swimming should always happen under strict supervision.
  14. Do take care not to throw a stick, Frisbee or ball over other people or dogs, or into the water where there are swimmers or other dogs playing in the water.
  15. Do not allow digging in public lawns.
  16. Watch and keep your dog under control at all times.
  17. Do not allow your dog to investigate refuse bins.
  18. Keep your animal’s vaccinations and deworming up to date, and keep your dog free of ticks and fleas, thereby keeping the environment free of parasites.
  19. Do not take an ill animal out so as not to spread illness via diarrhoea and vomit, and also further weaken your sick pet with exercise.
  20. Take fresh water and a bowl to rehydrate your dog during and after the walk.
x

Check Also

Kriel SPCA closes its doors

The National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) confirmed the closure of another SPCA ...