Animal Friends Blog
This week (18-24 November) is Road Safety Awareness Week, coordinated by Brake, as part of a vision of a world where everyone moves in a safe and healthy way. With frosty mornings, shorter days and darker evenings it’s an opportunity to remind ourselves of dog road safety etiquette.
How to keep your dog safe around roads
Keep them on the lead
If you like giving your dog some time off the lead while on your walks, make sure this isn’t done anywhere near a road. The sight of a squirrel on the other side of the road can make the most well-trained dog switch to chase mode and disregard their dangerous surroundings.
Be seen, be safe
By wearing reflective clothing and investing in high visibility accessories for your dog, motorists will be able to see you. This can help reduce the risk of road traffic accidents when walking near roads when it’s dark.
Work on your lead control
Keeping your dog under close control and on a short leash can help keep them safe when walking next to busy roads. This leash control can also make your life a lot easier if you mare mostly limited to street walks, as you won’t get frustrated with the pulling as you’ll lead the walk.
Cross the road safely
Dogs don’t know they need to stop, look and listen when approaching the end of a path or pavements. Teaching your dog to ‘stop’ or ‘wait’ as you come up to a kerb can help make sure that they don’t carry on walking into the road.
Make sure that you pull on their lead and repeat your command if they make any attempt to step towards the road without your permission.
Using a word like ‘cross’ or ‘let’s go’ can help signal for your dog to start walking again. Your dog will soon understand your commands and crossing roads will be much safer for you and your pooch.
Collar, tag, microchip and insurance
Unfortunately, accidents do happen so make sure your dog wears a collar and identification tag, their microchip is up to date and that they’re insured in case the worst happens. This means that you can be contacted by a vet if your dog is involved in an accident and you’re not around while and insurance policy can help cover the vet bills if they’re injured.
Following these steps will allow you and your dog to enjoy your walks safely.
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