Dog Safety Tips

As a dog owner, you have responsibilities to prevent your dog getting injured or from hurting other dogs and people. Here are some tips on keeping your dog safe when out walking:

  • Pet Insurance.
  • Do consider taking out pet insurance. If your dog is injured or develops an unexpected illness, vet bills can cost thousands of pounds.
  • Dog Recall.
  • Train your dog to come back to you when called to prevent him running into dangerous situations. Visit our Dog Recall Training page.
  • Poisonous Plants. Many common garden plants, including daffodil bulbs, are toxic to dogs and can cause severe illnes and even death.
  • Seasonal Canine Illness (SCI) is a mystery illness occurring between August to November, and can be fatal. Symptoms of SCI are sickness, diarrhoea and lethargy. It is thought that dogs contract the illness from walking in certain woodland areas.
  • Hot Weather.
  • Never leave your dog unattended in a car on a warm, sunny day. It only takes a few minutes to cause brain damage or death to a dog, not to mention the unspeakable suffering that this type of heat stroke would cause to your dog. When out walking, take extra care with young or old dogs. Take a bottle of water with you and a fold up travel water bowl. Do not make your dog run around chasing a ball on very hot days. Try to walk in the shade in wooded areas if possible.
  • Collar and Identity Tag.
  • It is a legal requirement for your dog to wear an identity tag, even if your dog is microchipped. The tag should display the name and address of the owner, and preferably their contact telephone number. The address may be abbreviated to the house number and postcode. You can be fined up to £5,000 if your dog does not wear an identification tag.
  • Broken Glass and Barbed Wire.
  • When out walking, watch out for items that can injure your dog. If the dog walks on broken glass, barbed wire or thorny branches, this could damage his paws, cause an infection and require veterinary treatment.
  • Cars and Road Safety.
  • Always keep your dog on a short lead when walking near traffic. Even if you are outside your own house, it is best to keep the lead on until you are inside. Dogs can easily be distracted by the sudden appearance of a cat, bird, squirrel or even a neighbour and could run out into the road.
  • Aggressive Dogs.
  • Keep a look out for dogs which may be aggressive, and could potentially get into a fight with your dog. If walking on a park where most dogs are off lead, and you meet someone with a dog on the lead, please treat with caution. The dog may just be on a lead because he doesn't come back when called. But the dog may also be on a lead because he is not good with people or other dogs. If necessary, give them a wide berth unless you know why the dog is on his lead. Dangerous dogs should be reported to the Local Council Authority Dog Wardens. Keep your own dog on a lead if approached by an aggressive dog.
  • Female Dogs in Season.
  • Female dogs (bitches) usually have their first season between six and eight months of age. This is when the dog has a menstrual flow (signs include a swollen vulva and vaginal bleeding), and can become pregnant. The season can last for 21 days and occurs two to three times a year. Dogs in season must be kept away from male dogs, and should be kept on lead during all walks. Speak to your vet about the best time to have a female dog spayed in order to prevent unwanted puppies.
  • How to Break up a Dog Fight.
  • Training your dog to move away on command from an object or another dog is extremely useful. This could prevent the escalation of dog aggression. When a dog is in attack mode, it can be difficult to break them apart. The best way to stop a dog attacking another is to hold the collar and twist it so that it chokes the aggressive dog. You can then pull him away from the other one.
  • Stray Dogs.
  • If you find a stray dog, you should contact the local dog wardens. In areas under the jurisdiction of Broxtowe Borough Council, the dog wardens are known as Neighborhood Wardens and can be contacted on (0115) 917 7777. Stray dogs are usually taken to Babbington Hall Rescue Kennels.