Thursday, April 7, 2016

Dog walking safety: Are you wearing the right shoes?

Boston terrier ready for her walk
Most people who have dogs really look forward to spring. Why? Because it's so much easier to have a fun and successful walk when the weather is nice. Warmer temps mean ditching the winter parka. Drier days mean losing the boots and umbrellas. And sun means leaving the flashlights at home. I just need a lot less junk in order to do walks with my dogs in the spring and summer. And that makes me oh-so happy.

But, there's one thing I don't leave home without, even when the summer is upon us. Even when the temperatures are warm, I pop on the heavy-duty running shoes and thick socks for my walks. And I wear that gear every single time. It might seem crazy, but I have my reasons.

For starters, the walks my dogs go on stretch on for a little more than a mile, which is a lot of ground to cover. If I tried to take that same walk in sandals or flip-flops, my poor feet would simply buckle due to the abuse. We humans need arch support and cushion in order to do a longer walk safely. And that means walking shoes are a must.

Walking shoes can also help with an additional dog-walk hazard. Let's allow Sinead to demonstrate.

Sinead spots somehting in the distance that she wants to investigate

See that alert expression? And the perked ears? She's spotted something interesting. If we were out on a walk, she might follow up this expression with a quick dart off to the side.

I don't use a flex lead, and Sinead doesn't weigh more than 8 pounds. In theory, if she were to run off and check out something, she couldn't do a lot of damage to me or get away from me. But, there have been times when I've had a leash or harness malfunction, and I suddenly had a wee dog on the run. When that happens, I need to be light on my feet, so I can dash after her.

Unfortunately, too, Sinead has used this expression to warn me about a loose dog in our neighborhood. Once or twice, I've had to pick her up and run away from an unusual dog on the prowl.

The right shoes can let you make those quick and athletic moves, so you can keep yourself and your dogs safe. Without those shoes, you really don't have a chance of saving the day.

So when it's time for a walk, off go my cute sandals and on go my grimy Saucony sneaks. I may not be fashionable, but I can certainly get the job done.

What about you? If you walk dogs, what shoes do you wear? Love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

And have you entered my kitty grooming contest yet? It runs for another week or so, and you could win a ton of cool prizes. Even if you're a dog person and couldn't use these items, I'm sure the cats in your local shelter would love them. Go ahead! Enter here.

1 comment:

  1. Sneakers/boots in the winter and fall. I just switched over to wearing my Keens sandals.