City living: advice for dog owners

City life can be overwhelming for dogs, especially if they are used to living in more rural areas. Traffic, pedestrians, flashing lights and loud noises can be frightening and owners need to make sure they take steps to ensure their pet’s safety when travelling in city environments:

  • Take things slowly and gradually introduce your dog to busier areas. Reward calm behaviour and calm reactions to new sights and sounds. Take a look at our tips on reward based training for dogs.
  • Make sure your dog has a secure collar with an ID tag and a strong lead. Dogs can easily pull out of loose-fitting collars when they are scared. Use a slip lead if your dog is very nervous.
  • Concrete and tarmac can become incredibly hot in the heat of summer, so check pavement temperatures before walking your dog on hot days.
  • Litter and soiled foods are a common occurrence on pavements and near rubbish bins. Make sure your pet can’t get at any rotting foods as they contain harmful bacteria.
  • Due to the number of rats in urban and some rural areas, the risk of leptospirosis (Weil’s disease) can be high. Make sure your dog is fully vaccinated and doesn’t drink from stagnant water sources.
  • Make sure dog vaccinations are up to date. Dog-friendly areas such as parks can be used heavily and so the risk of the spread of infectious diseases is higher.
  • Pigeon poo contains potentially harmful bacteria and fungi so keep dogs away from areas of high contamination.
  • Don’t leave dogs tied up outside shops as they are an easy target for thieves.
  • Make sure you know where your nearest vet is located, even if you are only visiting for a short period.

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