Often when you walk your dogs during this time of year, it is dark outside. Many times when you're walking you're alone with your children and dogs. What should you do to avoid unnecessary dangers?
Former Royal Canadian Mounted police officer, Terry Downs, has seen many people take unnecessary risks that could have resulted in unfortunate circumstances. She shares a few things lessons learned over the years while outdoors with her dogs and working as a police officer.
What is in the environment where you are walking? Be aware of animals, gravel, cars, broken glass, or anything else that can hurt you or your dog. Be aware of people around that watch or follow you.
Awareness about your surroundings is imperative for your safety as well as for the safety of your dog. Be aware of what people are wearing, what they are driving, what they look like and what they say.
Pay attention to their body language especially if the hair on your neck is standing up. This sixth sense—our safety mechanism—can tell you a lot. Lastly, be aware of your dog's body language. Are their hackles up, are they growling, and are they keeping an eye on a certain person or place in the trees?
While you are walking, be sure to stand tall, square your shoulders, and hold your chest high. Walk with a purpose and look around continuously. When you get scared, you give the appearance of folding in two—you slump over and round our shoulders. This makes us look weak and helpless. Walk your dogs with that same determination and alertness. Your physical presence alone, not size, can be your first line of deterrence for anything untoward.
Carry a Cell Phone
Always make sure you have your fully charged cell phone with you while you are walking in case of an emergency. Avoid walking and talking at the same time so you can be aware of what is going on around you.
Ensure you are prepared for your walk with your dog. Always carry ID, and the phone number of your veterinarian in case of an emergency. Have extra poop bags, and a key for the car in case you lose your main set of keys. Carry water for you and your dog no matter what the temperature.