Keeping your dog happy and healthy means giving them lots of exercise. They can get exercise from playing in the backyard, trips to the dog park, nature hikes, or, most commonly, walks around the neighborhood. Keeping yourself and your dog safe is a top priority when walking your dog. One of the easiest ways to do this is by leashing your dog. Here’s why leashing your dog is so important.


Three Important Reasons Why You Should Leash Your Dog


1: Leashes Help You Keep Your Dog Safe

The most important function of a leash is safety. Leashes can help prevent everything from injuries and fights to poisoning and car accidents. Here are some of the most common risks that leashes help you avoid:

  • Traffic 

No one wants their dog to get hit by a car! If you live anywhere with traffic you know how dangerous it can be. Keeping your dog on a leash will prevent them from running into traffic and causing accidents that can be fatal for both dogs and humans.

  • Other Animals 

While your dog might be friendly and love everyone and everything, other pets might not be the same. Having your dog off leash and allowing them to greet every dog, cat, or rabbit along the way puts your pet at risk.

Dogs who harass wildlife are at risk of running into roads or encountering other animals that can harm them, like snakes. And cats, like other small animals, can often set off prey drives in dogs—they might chase a cat across a road or so far away that they get lost.

Dog fights are also more common when dogs are off-leash. Without leashes, they can get up into another dog’s space and make them feel threatened. Fights between dogs sometimes end horrifically and often result in an emergency vet visit

  • Other People

Not everyone is comfortable with loose dogs. People are often fearful of dogs for many different reasons. Fear can make people lash out if they feel threatened, and attack a dog by kicking or throwing things. Keeping your dog on a leash helps you give other people their space, and keeps them from reacting to your pooch. 

  • Getting Lost 

The world is full of exciting things that might be more thrilling than coming back to you when you call. Wandering dogs might let their noses lead them too far away, getting them lost. Pets with an ID collar and microchipped are more likely to be returned to their owners if they get lost, but using a leash can prevent unnecessary worry and heartbreak.

  • Ingestion of Toxic Things 

Dogs will eat anything—and they don’t know how to tell if what they’re eating will make them sick. From toxic plants and garbage to carcasses or other animals’ fecal matter, there are many things an unleashed dog might find and eat that can cause serious harm. 


2: Leashing Your Dog Is the Law in Most Areas

No matter where you live, there are usually leash laws. Established to protect yourself, others, your pet, and the environment, it is essential to familiarize yourself with your city’s local regulations. For example, in Gilbert, Arizona, if you are in a public space with your pup they must be under your control, and on a leash that is no longer than 6 feet. 


3: Leash Training Makes Walks More Fun

Leash training can be fun and exciting for both you and your dog. You can teach your dog many different types of commands that will make walking on a leash stress-free and exciting. Many of them can come in handy off-leash as well, making you and your dog much safer in an emergency or in off-leash areas. 

Some leash training commands to teach your dog include

  • Heel: Walking next to you, or behind you
  • Freeze/Stay: Remaining in one spot until released 
  • Down: Laying down 
  • Come: Returning to you when called 
  • Left/Right Side: Switching the side they are walking on when asked
  • Cross: Staying on the sidewalk rather than walking right into the street
  • Leave It: Leaving items on the ground unless prompted to take them


Veterinary Care in Gilbert, Arizona

Exercising your dog is only one part of keeping them healthy. You also need to have a veterinarian you trust. Along with exquisite medical care for your pup, East Valley Animal Hospital is here to help answer any questions you have about leash training and why you should leash your dog. Contact us today for an appointment, so we can discuss the best ways to keep your pet healthy and safe. 



Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (12/26/22). Photo by Rhiannon Elliott on Unsplash.