7 Canine Strolling Risks You Ought to Know About

By Sophie Vershbow

Reviewed by Sarah Wooten, DVM

Regardless of the breed, all canines must go exterior regularly. Relying in your pet’s bodily means––and your personal schedule––that may imply something from a fast stroll across the block to an all-day hike within the woods.

“Canine strolling has nice well being advantages each for the pet and the walker,” says Dr. Ian Wright, a veterinary surgeon and head of the European Scientific Counsel for Companion Animal Parasites (ESCCAP) U.Okay. and Eire. Nonetheless, “there are potential hazards that have to be thought-about earlier than, throughout, and after the stroll.”

Fortunately, there are steps you may take to assist preserve your pet secure whereas exploring the outside. The extra you realize in regards to the potential risks to be careful for when strolling your canine, the higher you may defend her.

7 Potential Outside Risks When Strolling Your Canine

Scorching Temperatures

Since canines can’t communicate for themselves, it’s our job as pet dad and mom to maintain them out of hurt’s method. A part of which means paying shut consideration to the climate after we are strolling the canine.

In the event you’ve ever seen a canine panting within the solar, it’s no shock that scorching climate poses a threat to our canine companions. “On scorching, sunny days, canines’ ft could be burned on paths which were heated up within the solar,” says Wright. “Canine additionally typically undergo from heatstroke if exercising in scorching temperatures.”

House owners of short-nosed or flat-faced (brachycephalic) breeds ought to be notably cautious when bringing their canines out in scorching climate, he provides, as a result of they’ll’t settle down as simply as long-nosed canines.

How one can defend your canine: Undecided if it’s too scorching to your canine to be exterior? Wright recommends testing the pavement your self. “[If] a floor is just too scorching so that you can preserve the palm of your hand on, then it’s too scorching for the canine’s ft,” he says. Keep away from strolling your canine at peak temperature instances in the summertime. Lower walks brief, and all the time be certain that your canine is getting loads of water.

Chilly Temperatures

Regardless of their fur coats, canines are simply as susceptible to winter circumstances as we’re. Past the apparent risks that include icy streets, chilly climate can exacerbate present medical circumstances, resembling arthritis, diabetes, coronary heart illness, or kidney illness, in canines––particularly senior canines, in keeping with the American Veterinary Medical Affiliation (1). Small canines, or these with brief hair, are notably liable to hypothermia, regardless of their age.

Pets with diabetes, coronary heart illness, kidney illness, or hormonal imbalances (resembling Cushing’s illness) could have a tougher time regulating their physique temperature, and could also be extra prone to issues from temperature extremes. The identical goes for very younger and really previous pets. In the event you need assistance figuring out your pet’s temperature limits, seek the advice of your veterinarian.

How one can defend your canine: Restrict your canine’s out of doors publicity in frigid temperatures. When exterior, there’s no disgrace in having them put on a sweater or coat to remain heat. To keep away from thermal harm and defend your canine’s paw pads from snow, ice, and salt, attempt placing booties on them earlier than leaving the home. It’s also possible to wash your canine’s paws off after a stroll to take away any de-icer which will have gotten on their ft.

Inside Parasites

Whereas strolling your canine, he might be uncovered to a wide range of inside parasites—particularly if he’s recognized to roll round in (or eat) filth or poop from different animals. Canine may also be uncovered from cleansing and licking soiled paws after a stroll, choosing up muddy sticks, sticking their nostril within the filth after which licking it off, and ingesting from out of doors sources.

“There are various microscopic parasites that lurk within the out of doors setting (eggs from roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and others),” says Dr. Jennifer Pearl, assistant director of the Animal Medical Middle of Mid-America.

Canine can contract roundworms, hookworms, or whipworms from ingesting infective eggs in contaminated soil or feces. Whereas out for a stroll, your canine could encounter worm eggs in any location frequented by different canines or wild animals like foxes and coyotes. Eggs can stay within the soil lengthy after the stool is gone.

In case your canine ingests water (or different substances) dirty with feces, he might be uncovered to giardia, one other frequent parasite that causes digestive misery. In the event you stay in an space with rodents, squirrels, raccoons, pigs, or cattle, your canine could also be in danger for leptospirosis, a bacterial illness.

In the event you stay in an space the place mosquitoes are prevalent, your canine may be liable to contracting heartworm illness if bitten by an contaminated mosquito and could be deadly if left untreated.

How one can defend your canine: Be educated in regards to the parasitic dangers you would possibly encounter when taking your canine for a stroll. “Consuming prey animals also can result in parasitic an infection,” Wright warns, so watch out if letting your canine off-leash. In case your canine enjoys searching or chasing smaller animals, like rodents and rabbits, know that he might be uncovered to roundworms, hookworms, or sure species of tapeworms. These parasites may also be unfold from animals to individuals. You also needs to use warning round unknown water sources, Wright advises. In case your canine drinks out of a stagnant pond, it could possibly result in toxicity or intestinal upset.

Each Wright and Pearl stress the significance of year-round parasite safety for the well being of canines. For example, Interceptor® Plus (milbemycin oxime/praziquantel) is a tasty month-to-month chew that helps defend canines towards 5 kinds of parasitic worms: heartworm illness, hookworm, roundworm, whipworm, and tapeworm. To search out the correct choice to your pet, speak to your veterinarian.

See essential security data under for Interceptor® Plus.


One of the critical potential hazards for canines are infectious ailments handed by ticks, Wright says. Ticks are exterior parasites that usually reside in lengthy grass or shrubs. They watch for an animal (or individual) to brush by to allow them to seize on and begin feeding. Except for Lyme illness, ticks can transmit a number of different life-threatening ailments that diminish a canine’s high quality of life, resembling Rocky Mountain noticed fever and ehrlichiosis. People are additionally prone to a few of the identical tick-borne ailments that have an effect on pets.

Though ticks are extra energetic throughout heat months, some species like cooler climate, so think about them a year-round risk. Ticks could be out questing any day that the temperature is above freezing. Wright strongly advises year-round tick safety for any canines who stroll in tall grass or undergrowth, in areas of recognized tick infestation, areas shared by wildlife or livestock, and in these canines with a historical past of tick publicity.

How one can defend your canine: There are a number of strategies of tick safety for canines, resembling month-to-month chewables like Credelio® (lotilaner). Along with defending your canine’s well being, year-round tick management can assist cease your pet from bringing ticks into your house that would probably feed on different pets—otherwise you. As a result of tick-borne ailments differ by area, each Wright and Pearl suggest consulting your veterinarian about protecting measures particular to your canine.

See essential security data under for Credelio®.

When doable, avoid tall grass on walks and all the time examine your canine for ticks once you get dwelling. (Don’t neglect to look between his toes and in his ears!)

Car Site visitors

All of us wish to suppose our pets are completely behaved, however the fact is that canines have to be underneath our watchful eyes to remain secure, particularly when strolling alongside or crossing busy streets.

There’s nothing scarier than the considered your canine working into oncoming site visitors, but 1000’s of animals are killed by vehicles every year. Regardless of how a lot you belief your canine, it’s very important to maintain her leashed when shifting autos are close by.

How one can defend your canine: Study the indicators that your canine is about to make a break for it. As quickly as you see this taking place, attempt distracting your canine with treats or toys. Use optimistic reinforcement and reward all through the stroll to speak that not reacting to vehicles can be rewarded.

“Some canines have noise phobias and may change into very frightened or reactive to the noise,” Pearl provides. “Loud site visitors noises and vans could be problematic in addition to the noise of bicycles, skateboards, and skates…avoiding and/or coaching could also be used to defuse or desensitize the pet to the noises.”

Most essential, Wright reminds homeowners to “preserve canines on a lead exterior of designated canine train areas” for security.

In case your leashed-dog remains to be chasing after vehicles following intensive coaching, you might need to see a behaviorist for extra particular steering.


Each proprietor has cried “what did you simply eat!” after seeing their canine lurch at a mysterious lump. “Canine like to eat issues they shouldn’t,” says Wright, warning that “this [behavior] can result in toxicity or intestinal obstruction.” There are numerous dangers lurking inside the rubbish or on the bottom: prescription drugs, cleansing merchandise, poisonous meals––so all the time concentrate on your environment as your canine sniffs round.

How one can defend your canine: Train your canine to “go away it” so he’ll transfer away from questionable objects. Pearl additionally recommends “utilizing treats, reward, consideration, and play all through the stroll, [so] the canine could be skilled to show their consideration to the walker for additional instruction resembling sit, when the walker asks the canine to take action.”

Different Canine

Regardless of how well-behaved your pet is, you may’t account for the habits of different canines whereas out on a stroll. Pearl notes the significance of taking each canine’s distinctive character into consideration. Understanding your canine’s habits—“notably relating to triggers or conditions which will trigger the canine to change into overly reactive”—is essential to preserving them secure, she says.

How one can defend your canine: “Having correct leashes, collars, and harnesses for the canine…[is one of] the very best precautions that canine homeowners can take to make sure a secure and fulfilling stroll outdoor,”  Pearl reiterates. “Collars and harnesses want to suit effectively in order that they’re snug and the canine gained’t slip out of it,” she says. As well as, “harnesses, the place the leash attaches to the center of the chest relatively than on the again, will deter pulling by the canine and permit larger management.”

Pearl additionally advises towards retractable leashes. “In an pressing scenario, a canine proprietor’s reflexes to shorten the leash is probably not quick sufficient to maintain the canine from working and increasing the leash, thereby getting right into a harmful scenario, like interplay with an unfriendly canine or consuming one thing inappropriate.” That is particularly essential with younger or untrained canines who’re simply studying their talents and limitations exterior of the home.

So long as you’re taking the correct protecting measures and preserve a watch out for potential hazards, all walks together with your canine could be good ones.

Credelio Indications

Credelio kills grownup fleas and is indicated for the therapy and prevention of flea infestations, therapy and management of tick infestations (lone star tick, American canine tick, black-legged tick, and brown canine tick) for one month in canines and puppies eight weeks and older and 4.Four kilos or larger.

Credelio Vital Security Data

Lotilaner is a member of the isoxazoline class of medicine. This class has been related to neurologic adversarial reactions together with tremors, incoordination, and seizures. Seizures have been reported in canines receiving this class of medicine, even in canines with out a historical past of seizures. Use with warning in canines with a historical past of seizures or neurologic problems. The secure use of Credelio in breeding, pregnant or lactating canines has not been evaluated. Probably the most steadily reported adversarial reactions are weight reduction, elevated blood urea nitrogen, elevated urination, and diarrhea. For full security data, please see Credelio product label or ask your veterinarian.

Interceptor Plus Indications

Interceptor Plus prevents heartworm illness and treats and controls grownup roundworm, hookworm, whipworm, and tapeworm infections in canines and puppies 6 weeks or older and a pair of kilos or larger.

Interceptor Plus Vital Security Data

Remedy with fewer than 6 month-to-month doses after the final publicity to mosquitoes could not present full heartworm prevention. Previous to administration of Interceptor Plus, canines ought to be examined for present heartworm infections. The protection of Interceptor Plus has not been evaluated in canines used for breeding or in lactating females. The next adversarial reactions have been reported in canines after administration of milbemycin oxime or praziquantel: vomiting, diarrhea, decreased exercise, incoordination, weight reduction, convulsions, weak point, and salivation. For full security data, please see Interceptor Plus product label or ask your veterinarian.

Disclaimer: The writer acquired compensation from Elanco US Inc., the maker of Interceptor Plus and Credelio, for her companies in writing this text.


  1. Chilly Climate Animal Security. American Veterinary Medical Affiliation. Retrieved from https://www.avma.org/resources-tools/pet-owners/petcare/cold-weather-animal-safety

Credelio and Interceptor are emblems of Elanco or its associates.

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