Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Dog walking equipment can fail, but one inexpensive item can be a safeguard to keep your pet tethered to you

The act of walking a dog is as unpredictable as most anything that I can think of.

I have charges in my care that are effortless on leash no matter what we encounter on an adventure, while others can be reactive if they even see another dog. That said, there are plenty of dogs that fall somewhere in between when it comes to being able to handle themselves when out and about.

Then of course, there are other dogs that are allowed to make an unwelcome approach.

Try as I might, I realize that there are things that are out of my control. Nonetheless, I have the responsibility to ensure that not only my clients, but everyone else, stay safe.

I employ a considerable amount of mindfulness when it has comes to choosing the gear that I use when walking a dog, no matter the breed or age. What I find works best for me and my canine pals is their flat or martingale collar that includes their identification tag, an Easy Walker harness, a long lead (more on that is available by clicking here) or a 6 foot leash, depending — and a carabiner.

I find that the latter piece of gear provides me a little extra peace of mind when it comes to my staying physically connected to my charge when I use it to connect a dog's collar to the harness.

I always use and recommend those two pieces when walking a dog, and despite the fact that they are both great at staying secure, the reality is that dogs can wriggle out of their harnesses, and collars can slip off in the blink of an eye and then you've got a pooch on the loose. If your dog is like a couple of those that I care for, they'll capitalize on any opportunity to not be tethered while outdoors and away they go!

The solution: I simply clip one of my carabiners to the ring on my charge's flat or martingale collar to the ring on the harness, and then of course I connect the leash to the ring on the harness as usual.

Regardless of the equipment that you prefer to use, this is a simple trick that you can employ with your own pet for an added measure of safety — simply clip the two (whether it be a martingale, flat or head collar/halter or harness, specifically) using the rings on each with a carabiner.

Should any one of tools have a failure, the carabiner acts as a backup. Typically available at sporting goods or outdoor specialty stores, (better pet stores usually carry a leash made by RuffWear that has one built-in), a carabiner is an inexpensive and easy way to ensure that your pet stays tethered to you.

For more of my tips on making the most of your time out with your furry pal, click here.

Lorrie Shaw is a freelance writer and owner of Professional Pet Sitting. Shoot her an email, contact her at 734-904-7279 or follow her adventures on Twitter.

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