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Keeping your Dog Safe on Unfamiliar Dog Walks

 Mon 07 Aug 2017 by Judy

Keeping your Dog Safe on Unfamiliar Dog Walks

One of the great things about owning a dog is exploring new areas and discovering new dog walks. However, walking in unfamiliar areas with your four-legged friend can present your dog with unexpected meetings with livestock and other dangers that you may not confront on your normal regular dog walk.

Be well prepared before you set off on a new route

Before you set off on a new walk, be sure that sure the details on your dog’s identity tag are correct and clearly visible. Remember to take plenty of water, so that you and your canine friend can rehydrate on the walk. Apply sunscreen to your dog If you’re walking in warm and sunny conditions with a dog breed that is prone to sunburn, such as the Chinese Crested and Boxers.

Watch out for livestock and cattle

Part of the fun of exploring new walks, is you never know what is around the next corner. Flocks of sheep can often appear unexpectedly and without warning. The law covering dogs and livestock is extremely strict and all dog owners should be aware of the consequences of allowing their dogs to worry livestock and cattle.

The best advice is to keep your dog on a short or retractable lead if you are walking in agricultural areas. Remember, cattle and livestock are often found grazing around hilly costal paths too.

There have been several sad reports of dog walkers being trampled and even killed by cows over the years. In the main, cows are placid animals that will tend to ignore walkers. However, dog walkers should always be alert for any sign of problems. Cows that are kept indoors in the winter can be excitable when they are let out to graze in fields in the spring. Cows with young calfs can become very protective if they sense a threat from dogs and may charge. It is advisable to keep your dog on a short leash when walking through a field with cows, although if you are in risk of physical harm, your dog should be set loose to remove the risk. Ideally, it is best to avoid walking through fields of cows if you possibly can. Always check signs for bulls in fields too.

Alabama rot

Alabama Rot is a disease that was discovered in the USA in the late 1980s. There have been a number of suspected cases
in counties across the UK, including the dog walkers favourite, the New Forest since 2012. Alabama rot causes wounds, lesions or blisters om your dog's legs or face. Symptoms normally appear up to 10 days after exposure to the disease and lesions can be difficult to spot. but you may notice your dog licking itself more than usual. Be aware that most lesions will not be caused Alabama Rot and normally be routine cuts and scrapes. Additionally, if your dog becomes quiet, starts vomiting or stops eating then please seek immediate advice from your local vet.

Alabama rot can quickly lead to kidney failure, so should be taken very seriously. The disease doesn't appear to pass from dog to dog.

Going to the beach

The beach gives our dogs the chance to really have fun and let off steam, but don't  allow your dog to annoy other beach users! Remember not everybody loves dogs. Always check whether dogs are actually welcome on the beach you plan to visit, as many beaches have seasonal restrictions through the summer months.

Many dogs love swimming in the sea and it's a great way of providing a good work out. Be sure to check tidal conditions and be aware that sometimes the rip tides can occur in the calmest of seas. Avoid encouraging your dog by throwing sticks into the water, to prevent your dog becoming exhausted. Remember to take plenty of fresh drinking water for your dog.