Dog walking tips for renters
You’ve just moved out from your parents’ house in the ‘burbs into your very own city apartment and you’re loving it. The only thing you truly miss is the family pooch. Since you know your folks will never let you move Ezra Hound into the city, you decided to adopt a dog. But having a house pet and an apartment pet is not the same thing. For example, your furry best friend can’t get her exercise in the backyard, so you need to get used to regularly walking her.
- Always use a leash. No matter how well-trained your furry companion is. No matter how much she hates it in the beginning. Even if local ordinances don’t require it. Even if she’s never aggressive. You can never know what might scare her into running run off or snapping at someone. Always use a leash. It’s the best way to keep your dog and yourself safe. If you’re afraid of a leash hurting your dog, simply attach it to a harness instead of a collar.
- Speaking of leashes, have you heard about The Yellow Dog Project? It’s an international initiative that protects pets, their owners and the general public, by the means of a simple, yellow ribbon tied on a leash. The yellow ribbon (or anything yellow on the leash) signifies that the dog in question needs space and should not be approached. If you have an easily scared, infirmed, unsocial, elderly or traumatized dog or you simply dislike random people or their pets approaching your fantastic duo, tie something yellow on the leash. Although according to care2 the initiative has made it into at least 45 countries, it’s always a good idea to spread the word. Put up some fliers around your community.
- Know your route and keep it varied. Using at least three alternative routes in no particular order keeps the activity interesting for the both of you and prevents unwanted people from predicting your moves. It also allows you to avoid potential puppy hazards such as loud playgrounds or construction sites.
- Stay safe. Don’t walk in poorly lit, dangerous or heavily wooded areas or in the dark hours. Be aware of your surroundings. Don’t listen to music, talk on the phone or wonder around aimlessly. Trust you instinct. If you feel uneasy somewhere, even if you don’t know why, leave. You might be unconsciously picking up some danger signals. Trust your dog’s instincts. Remember that his senses are superior. There might be smells and sounds he’s registering, but you’re not. If your dog acts uneasy, leave.
- Don’t approach unknown people and their pets. You can’t predict the behavior.
- Get renter’s insurance. It covers you in case of theft, fire, windstorm and personal liability, which includes a liability provision for dog bites. You can also opt for Pet Damage Coverage, which has your back in the event of pet damage to the apartment.