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 walking techniques.
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.