As storms continue to barrel through the United Kingdom, dog owners must exercise caution and prioritise safety when taking their furry companions for a walk. Adverse weather conditions can pose risks to both humans and pets, but with proper preparation and awareness, a leisurely stroll can be turned into a safe and enjoyable experience. At Country Boarding for Cats and Dogs, we have highlighted eight crucial safety tips to keep in mind when walking your dog during a storm. We hope that you find this article helpful!
1. Stay Informed
Keep a close eye on weather updates and forecasts. Knowing the expected intensity and timing of a storm will help you plan your dog walks accordingly. Consider delaying walks if severe weather conditions are predicted and opt for safer times when the storm is less intense.
2. Shorten the Walks
During a storm, it is advisable to shorten your usual walking routes. Quick bathroom breaks and short excursions near your home are ideal. This reduces exposure to the elements and minimises the risk of encountering hazardous conditions.
3. Choose Safe Routes
Stick to familiar and well-lit paths. Avoid areas prone to flooding, fallen trees, or other storm-related dangers. Stick to open spaces such as secure dog parks away from structures that may pose a risk of falling debris. Your dog’s safety should be the top priority.
4. Lead Safety
Always keep your dog on a lead during stormy weather. Strong winds and unfamiliar sounds can startle even the calmest pets, leading them to dart into traffic or potentially dangerous areas. A secure lead ensures you have control over your dog in unpredictable situations.
5. Visibility Gear
Enhance both your and your dog’s visibility by wearing reflective gear. A reflective lead, collar, or even a vest can make you more visible to motorists, especially during stormy, low-visibility conditions.
6. Protective Gear
If your dog is not fond of rain, consider investing in a waterproof coat or jacket. This will keep them dry and comfortable during the walk. Additionally, consider protecting their paws with canine footwear to prevent injuries from sharp debris or icy surfaces.
7. Emergency Contacts
Carry a fully charged phone and ensure you have local emergency contact numbers stored. Having a plan in case of unexpected situations, such as a sudden change in weather, will help you respond swiftly and keep both you and your dog safe.
8. Home Check
Before heading out, secure your home. Ensure that doors and windows are properly closed and that your dog’s shelter is secure. Storms will bring strong gusts of wind, so it is essential to create a safe environment for your canine companion indoors.
We hope you found these eight safety tips helpful. By following these safety tips, dog owners can navigate storms with confidence, ensuring the well-being of both themselves and their beloved pets. Prioritising caution, staying informed, and making thoughtful choices will contribute to a safe and enjoyable dog-walking experience even in challenging weather conditions.