Toronto Veterinarians - Pet Wellness Network


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Contact Willowdale Animal Hospital

Open 24 Hours, Year Round

256 Sheppard Ave. West
Toronto, ON M2N 1N3
(416) 222-5409

It’s the time of year when the days are getting shorter, the nights are getting colder and your daily dog walks are getting a whole lot darker. At the Pet Wellness Network we know that the streets of Toronto and the GTA can be dangerous enough for pets with out the addition of decreased visibility.  That’s why we’ve complied a list of helpful tips that can make your winter dog walks safer.

While you’re still at home it’s a good idea to prepare for your walk before you leash-up and are out the door:

* Map your route – know which streets you’re going to take and where the high-risk areas might be. These may include major intersections or schools where your dog could become distracted.

* Check the weather beforehand – If you’re walking in the dark it’s important to know if it’s going to rain or snow and how that might impact your route. For instance, walking up a slippery hill in the snow may not be the best choice.

* Carry a mobile phone in case of emergency. If possible, tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back. This way you can call for help or contact your vet should an emergency situation arise.

* Always ensure your dog is leashed before you get to a leash-free area. At night it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

While walking you can use the following tips to make your journey a safer one:

* Ensure you take the Alpha role while in transit. Your dog needs to understand you are the boss and that he needs obey your commands – especially when it’s dark out.

* No grazing at night! There just too many hazards that are difficult to sees in public areas that could make your dog seriously ill.

* Be aware – Don’t chat on your mobile phone while walking your dog. You need to be alert and hold your leash firmly at all times.

* Consider switching to a harness. These allow the dog to feel less stress than a conventional collar and also give you more control over your pet.

* Carry water – This way you can ensure your dog is getting refreshment from a safe source.

* Should your dog begin to behave strangely after a walk, call us immediately! In situations where accidental consumption is involved time is of the essence.

If you have more questions or are looking for advice on the best dog walking routes in the area? Give your local vet at the Pet Wellness Network a call and we’ll be happy to help.

In the meantime we wish you a safe and happy winter walking season!

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