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Tips for walking your dog

With the weather being warm and the sun coming up earlier in the day, we are seeing many pet owners
walking their pets on the streets. As we share the sidewalks, here are a few things to remember.
1. Always ask permission from the pet owner to greet their animal. Some animals could be working
and shouldn’t be approached.
2. Let the animal approach you. This will ensure that the animal is ready and feels comfortable. Be
calm and move slowly. Moving too fast can startle the animal and can lead to them being
intimidated or become defensive.
3. Let the animal sniff you. Dogs have a keen sense of smell and use scent to understand their
environment. You don’t need to stick out your hands to let the animal sniff you, just keep a
natural stance and don’t make sudden moves.
4. Pay attention to their body language. Seeing a wagging tail or excited walking is a good sign the
animal is comfortable with you or wants to play. If the animal is stiff, tail goes erect or baring
teeth are signs the animal is stressed and could become defensive if it feels threatened.
5. When talking to a new animal, many of us tend to use the “baby talk” but instead we should use
our normal speaking voice.
6. Stand in a natural stance or crouch down, never lean over the animal. Try to keep your hands
from immediately petting the animal on the head and keep your face out of their face. Don’t
hold eye contact because in the animal world, this can be a sign of aggression.
If you come upon another animal while with your own animal, you will want to make sure you have
a good hold on your leash and you give them some space. They will likely sniff each other and circle
until they are comfortable. If your animal ever goes stiff, you will want to lead them away. You can
even reward your animal with a treat if they were well behaved. You should be careful of treats and
toys that they could fight over.
Enjoy your time out with your pets and respect other pet lovers and pets space as you see them out
in your community.

First Published by Beatrice Daily Sun:

  • Beatrice Himane Society
    Beatrice Himane Society
  • Oakview Veterinary Clinic
    Oakview Veterinary Clinic
  • Shelter Animals Count Participant
  • 24PetWatch

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