Your dog may be well behaved and obedient and will come to your commands, but you still need to walk him on a leash. Aside from dog parks, most public areas require your pet to be on a leash at all times. You may think it's foolish, but there are numerous reasons to leash your dog. It's the only way to keep your dog safe while out and about.
Your dog isn't the only one you need to worry about when he's walking off leash. What about the other dogs and people who are in the area where you're walking? Anything could happen, and without a lead you'll have no way of controlling or helping your pet. Just because your pet is well trained, doesn't mean everyone else's is.
There are many reasons to leash your dog, and here, I'm going to discuss the top ten. Let’s take a look at them now, and if you have any additional reasons to add to this list, I encourage you to leave a comment below.
10 Reasons to Leash Your Dog
1. People may be scared of dogs
One of the most important reasons to leash your dog is because other people may be afraid of him. You know your dog and you know that he loves people, but others don’t know your dog and they might be frightened of him. Has a dog ever run up to you while off leash? Even as a dog person, it can be very intimidating.
Elderly people, young children and mothers or fathers with babies may be very scared if they see a dog without a leash. Some people may have had an encounter with a dog that bit them in the past and that is the reason as to why they are scared of dogs.
Whatever the reason, you can't tell that someone is afraid of dogs just by looking at them, so you need to make sure your pet is under your control at all times while out and about.
2. Other dogs may attack your dog
While you know that your dog is a big softie and wouldn’t harm another dog, you don’t know other people’s dogs, and they may be very aggressive.
If your dog is off leash and runs towards another dog, how do you know that the other dog won’t attack yours? He might not like other dogs as much as yours does and may bite your dog or worse.
If the other dog is off leash too, then a serious fight could take place which could lead to negative consequences for one or both dogs. When you are in full control of your dog everyone is safer and that includes your Fido. If another dog comes at him, at least you'll be able to pick your pet up or guide him in another direction.
3. Your dog may do his “business” anywhere
When you have total control of your dog you know exactly when and where he is doing his “business” and you are there to pick it up. If however, your dog is off leash, you have absolutely no idea where he is going to the toilet.
One of the top reasons to leash your dog is because it shows you’re a responsible owner and are ready to clean up after your pooch has been to the toilet.
RELATED: Top 5 Best Dog Poop Bags
4. Your dog could cause accidents or be in an accident
If your dog is off leash he could cause accidents. Many people go running or cycling, and if your dog is off leash he may trip up a runner or run in front of a bicycle and cause the cyclist to fall off their bike. Not only could your dog cause trouble to the person, but he could get injured too.
These reasons to leash your dog aren't about how well behaved your dog is, they're about all the variables in the environment that could cause your pet to lose focus.
Cars and other forms of traffic can also cause serious consequences to your off leash pet. Dog’s don’t have much road sense, and accidents can and do happen. Even if you're not close to a road, you never know when your pet may see something and get the urge to chase it.
5. Dogs can be unpredictable
You think you know your dog, and obviously you will have a better idea of your dog’s character than anyone else would, but your dog can still surprise you. Just like us, their moods and emotions can change suddenly. Your dog could be the biggest softy in the world and then all of a sudden he could get spooked and completely change.
Dogs can get frightened very easily. It could be because of people, other dogs or cars. Once they have been spooked you don’t know what their reaction will be. Your dog may see a cat for instance, and suddenly start barking and chasing it. When your dog is off leash you have absolutely no control over him.
6. Your dog may disturb wildlife
Your dog may just be sniffing around in the grass, but you don’t know what’s lurking there. There may be insects that could sting him or even snakes that could bite him and potentially cause serious health issues.
RELATED: Eye Infections in Dogs: Diagnosing and Treating Dog Eye Problems
Of course, even when your dog is on a leash he can still get stung or bitten, but at least you’ll be there to have an idea as to what could have harmed him. One of the best reasons to leash your dog is to make sure you have eyes on him at all times.
7. Your dog may eat plants
Along the same lines, some plants are poisonous to dogs and can cause them serious health problems if touched or ingested. Dogs can develop allergies which will cause itchy skin and possibly even blisters.
Poison Ivy is a big issue for dogs, just like humans, and it will cause your pet to develop itchy, blistery skin. When your Fido is on a leash you will know exactly where he is and what plants are about, so you can avoid anything dangerous if possible.
8. Your dog may eat anything that’s on the ground
Dogs love to eat things, and they will eat anything they can get their paws on. If your pet isn’t on a leash you have absolutely no idea as to what he could be picking up off the ground and eating. Some things may even be poisonous if ingested, which will result in disastrous consequences.
When your dog is on a leash you will see things that may be on the ground and can direct him away from them. Preventing your pup from eating things is one of the best reasons to leash your dog. It allows you to prevent upset stomachs that may occur if he gets into something he shouldn’t have.
9. Builds a bond between you and your dog
Dogs are pack animals, and they think of us as one of their pack. By walking your dog on a leash you are helping to develop a strong bond between the two of you. Your dog will think that he is one of your pack, which obviously he is.
10. You could lose your dog
Sadly this is quite often the case when dogs are allowed to go off leash. This is the single most important reasons to leash your dog. When a dog becomes lost, it is a disaster for the owner and is very distressing for the pet, too.
Of course, sometimes it all works out well and you may find your dog, or, someone will recognize him and you will be reunited. But, that's not always the way it goes. Sometimes the worst occurs and you may not be reunited with your best friend at all. Keeping your dog on a leash will prevent this disaster from occurring in the first place.