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Pet Column: Dog walking safety tips

Kendall and Dash enjoy a walk around the neighborhood. Photo by Elle Williams.

By Elle Williams  
Pet Columnist, Canyon Lake Insider  

Walking your dog is one of the most important activities to provide for your pup. But walks come with risks. The most common is the threat of an off-leash dog charging toward you and your dog. Although leash laws are in place, dogs being off-leash is a common occurrence, whether allowed by their owners or because they got out of the house.

In my experience, most off-leash dogs only want to say hi, but I have experienced having a dog who felt territorial and attacked my dog while on a walk. I felt helpless trying to drag my dog away from a dog who had all the freedom to continue attacking. After this unfortunate event, I quickly found myself preparing in case it happens again.

So what can we do to stay prepared? Dog spray. PetSafe Spray Shield to be exact. It is easy to carry and is an effective way to break up a dog fight. The spray is citronella-based, so think lemons and oranges. Although It’s highly irritating to a dog’s nose, it’s not painful and it won’t leave any long-lasting effects for either dog. 

A pop-out umbrella is also an effective barrier for any fast-approaching dog. The pop-out sound also serves as a startling noise that can frighten off an approaching dog.

Lastly, if you see a dog that is off-leash and its owner is nearby, there’s no harm in politely asking the owner to bring their dog inside instead of risking walking by and hoping their dog won’t approach.

Elle Williams is a local in-home dog trainer and the owner of Give a Sit Dog Training. She is certified in dog psychology, nutrition, and grooming, and specializes in basic and advanced obedience, puppy prep, and behavior adjustment training.

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