Dog walker distractions without warning can cause complicated challenges when you have one or more dogs who pull you from side to side while you try to avoid obstacles like dips in the pavement, people with dogs or friendly pedestrians, so you may want to focus more on your dog’s safety to prevent accidents or injuries from a fall or even worse, you or your dog could get hit by a car because you weren’t paying 100% attention to your environment and your dog.
This news brief gives you 4 simple things you can stop doing when you’re out for a walk with your dog that will help keep you and your dog safer and out of harms way.
4 Dog Walker Distractions That Put Your Dog at Risk
- Food and Beverages – Even if you’re good at balancing, it’s really hard to control your dog with one hand on his leash and your other hand on a cup of coffee, sandwich or ice cream cone. Your dog could easily get burned by a hot drink, grab your sandwich or take a bite off your ice cream before you even blink an eye. The best solution is to sit with your dog when you have a beverage or food and leave your cups and wrappers in the trash before you resume your walk.
- Texting – As a dog walker, you may suffer from separation anxiety if you can’t see your smart phone in your hand, however your dog will be 20 times safer if you put your phone in your pocket, leave it home, or only text when you’re not walking with your dog. In the 5 seconds it takes to send a text message, your eyes are not on your dog and you could easily miss dangers like oncoming traffic or a driver who runs a red light as you’re crossing the street with your dog.
- Smoking – Second hand smoke can affect your dog’s lungs or asthma condition and make it hard for your dog to breathe. Your cigarette, cigar or pipe smoke gets absorbed in your dog’s fur and skin like it does on your clothes. If you’re a smoker and a dog walker, you might be putting your dog at risk for health issues like cancer and lung disease. When you hold a lit cigarette in your free hand, it also takes your attention away from your dog. Consider your dog’s health and avoid smoking inside your home and when you walk your dog.
- Detachment – If you’re extremely distraught and preoccupied with something that’s going on in your life, don’t take your dog for a walk until you can really focus on your dog’s safety. Your thoughts can be a powerful distraction and capture your attention so completely that you won’t hear noises like car horns and you may not notice a red light when you are at a crosswalk. Detachment means you are not totally present with your senses. The dangers for you and your dog increase if your reflexes aren’t quick enough to save you and your dog from an accident or injury.
4 Ways to Reduce Dog Walker Distraction
- Focus – Keep your eyes on your dog and don’t attempt to multi-task when you walk with your dog. Look straight ahead of you and watch for approaching traffic so you can avoid bumping into people, other dogs, objects and cars that may pull into or out of parking lots.
- Crosswalks – Use the buttons that change the traffic light to red before you cross the street with your dog.
- Headphones – Lower the volume so you can also hear traffic and voices around you.
- Relax – Plan your walks with your dog so you have everything you need to pick up after your dog and enjoy the time you have outdoors.
The information in this short news brief is based on observations of dog walker behavior when people are distracted by their phone, food, beverage, cigarette or they are in deep thought and unfocused. These distractions can pose risks for your dog’s well being.
Share this article with your friends and family so they understand the importance of removing distractions when they walk their dog. You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.
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