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Why You Should Use a Leash
Many owners don't even realize the possible dangers that await their unsupervised dog. You should treat your dog as you would your toddler. You wouldn't let your 2-year-old play outside without any supervision, and you shouldn't let your dog do so either.
Most pet owners are unaware that if a dog consumes rotting garbage, he could go into shock and possibly even die. Another danger not often recognized is that if a dog is left to wander the woods, and plays with or ingests small prey carrying parasites (such as a rabbit), he too may become infected with those parasites. In addition, there can even be dangers for a dog on your own property, such as antifreeze on your driveway or different types of shrubs or toxic plants in your own backyard. A leash is a great way to protect your pet from the dangers the outside world can hold.
By leashing your dog, you are also acting as a good neighbor. Your neighbors may not think too fondly of you or your pet if your dog goes digging holes in their lawn or relieving himself on their property. Leaving your dog to run free without a leash, even within your own community, can also put your dog's health at risk. You certainly wouldn't want him to be hit by a car or on a lawn that has just been sprayed with pesticides. Also, if you have a homeowners association, you can be fined and/or even asked to remove your pet, if they have a leash rule that your pet is caught breaking. In many states you can even receive a fine for an unleashed dog from your city or county.
Another important thing to remember is that in most states, you can also be held legally and monetarily responsible if your dog were to bite someone. Some cases of dog bites have even resulted in the owner being forced to have their dog put to sleep. Having your dog on a leash can greatly reduce the risk of this occurring.
While your own fenced is yard is the safest place for your dog to run free, for those pet owners who have limited space or just want to allow their dog some larger stomping grounds on occasion, try an official Dog Park. A Dog Park is intended as a place to allow dogs to roam without a leash. However, be sure that you still use caution that your dog isn't aggressive with the other dogs in the Dog Park. To find out if there is an official Dog Park in your area, you can contact your local city government or ask your veterinarian.
In closing, being a dog owner is essentially like being a parent. Your dog must be supervised at all times. He needs you to keep him away from potential hazards and dangers, and above all, to keep him safe. Putting your dog on a leash is a sign of your love and devotion to him and can help spare you and your dog from any potential harm. After all he wants your attention! Having him walk side by side with you is the affection he needs and craves. For the safety and love of your dog, put a leash on him!Christina Cole is the owner of Indulge Your Pet, a website dedicated to providing pet owners with quality pet aromatherapy products, dog treats, pet toys and more.