When you walk your dog, you’re probably thinking of getting exercise
for your pup and yourself. One thing that is not likely to be on your
mind is the dangers of your dog’s leash. In fact, leash injuries
are very common and often require emergency care. In some instances, leashes cause
orthopedic injuries that can cause prolonged periods of pain. Avoid becoming a leash injury
statistic with this advice.
Avoid Retractable Leashes
Retractable leashes are associated with a wide range of injuries, from
eye injuries and severe lacerations to finger amputations. The speed with
which these leashes pull out of the handle and snap back is the root of
the problem. In addition to being a danger for you, they can also make
it more difficult to control your dog. If you choose to use a retractable
leash, read and follow the instructions very carefully, and think about
the environment in which you’re walking your dog when using one.
It may be more practical to use retractable leashes in open spaces where
your dog will have lots of freedom to roam instead of on your usual evening
walk around the neighborhood.
Commit to Dog Training
Invest time in training your dog early and often. An unruly dog is more
likely to wrap you up in the leash, causing you to trip, or to pull hard
enough to drag you down. Your dog should be responsive to basic commands,
so that you can stop him easily on a walk when necessary. Consider attending
a dog training class or hiring a dog trainer so you can learn safe leash
Get Smart About Your Shoes
Don’t walk your dogs while wearing shoes that are not supportive
or appropriate for the terrain. Skip flip-flops, high heels, and sandals
in favor of tennis shoes, boots, and other sturdy shoes that protect your
feet and make it more difficult to trip if your dog tugs on the leash.
It’s not possible to avoid every
injury, so if your dog makes you take a tumble, Regional Medical Center of San
Jose is here to help. Visit us for emergency care any time of the day
or night, or call (888) 762-8881 for a referral to a specialist.