Walking your dog is an important way to get exercise and spend quality time with your pet. However, this everyday activity is not without risks. In fact, each year, people get seriously injured while out with their pets. Walking your dog in Homestead or your community can lead to trip and fall injuries, dog bites, and can even put you at risk for muggings.
Many things can go wrong when you go out to walk your dog. You may encounter another, aggressive dog on your walk, you can trip over the leash, or your dog can bolt after a squirrel or other distraction, causing you to fall. If you are not careful, walking your dog when your dog has to head outside at night can also put you at risk of pedestrian accidents.
Fortunately, there are many ways you can stay safe when you go for a walk with your favorite furry friend:
- Stay visible. Whether you are heading out at night or during the day, consider visibility. In the daytime, this means staying on sidewalks and areas where you can be seen. At night, this may mean carrying a flashlight and wearing reflective clothing so motorists can see you.
- Make sure your dog is trained. If your dog does not obey you, he or she may be more likely to try to get away or jerk on the leash. Both activities can make you lose control of the animal, leading to a dog bite. An out-of-control dog can also cause you to stumble or can even pull you into traffic. If you cannot easily control your dog, leave the walking to professionals and get into obedience school so you can learn to work with your pet. If your dog has ever shown any aggression, make sure they wear a muzzle so you are not held liable for any bites.
- Talk to your dog. This will keep the dog focused on you and can reduce the amount of pulling on the leash and distraction. Talking to your pet also helps you to develop a stronger bond, which can help you with obedience training.
- Feel free to say “no” to strangers. If strangers want to pet your dog, it is acceptable to decline, especially if you are still working on obedience. Not everyone you meet will know how to interact with a dog.
- Have the right gear, including a sturdy leash and harness or collar. Wear comfortable clothing that allows for a range of movement and shoes with good treads. Bring snacks for your pet as well as bags for cleaning up. Check the leash and collar or harness before each walk and replace worn items. You don’t want your dog to get away from you and dart into traffic.
If you are bitten by a dog while walking outside, you may have a legal claim. If you find yourself seriously injured while on a walk with your own pet, you may have a claim if your injuries were caused by someone’s negligence. To help you review legal options, arrange a free consultation with a Homestead dog bite attorney by calling Flaxman Law Group at 1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN).