Lincs Training dog expert Helen V (MBIPDT) with Harriet.

Safety tips for winter walkies

The dark nights are well and truly upon us, but our dogs still have to have their daily walks.

The safety of both ourselves and our dogs is paramount. Our advice to you is to make sure that both you and your dogs are visible. High-visibility jackets or light coloured clothes with reflective bands or patches should be worn by both you and your dogs so that you can be seen by any approaching vehicles, both cars and bicycles.

There are also many other visibility items available in all good pet shops, such as flashing collars, discs and leads, which ensure that you can be seen at some distance by the traffic.

Another hazard in the winter period is the salt and other road treatments used to prevent or de-ice the roads and footpaths during this period. Please remember to wash your dog’s paws and feet after walking to get rid of these salts which are toxic to dogs if ingested.

The dog’s natural reaction is to clean themselves, which could lead to problems and necessitate treatment at the vets. Although not specific to winter, please remember to be a responsible dog owner and always pick up your dog’s poo, you should always carry a poo bag (and at least one spare) to cover these eventualities, as dogs do what come naturally and not always where you want them to.

By some local by-laws, you can now be fined for not having a poo bag when walking your dog.

You must pick up after your dog everywhere, except on arable land, in the road where the speed limit exceeds 30mph and on your own property. If caught you could be liable for a fine of up to £1,000.

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