The Safety Guide for Walking Your Pet

Here are our top eight safety tips for walking your pet!

  1. Treat them. Trying to get your dog or cat to behave or go a certain way? Time for a treat! Reward good behavior and it will become like second nature to your pet.
  2. Hydrate. If it’s very sunny, warm out or you’re going on a long walk, bring a collapsible water bowl and water with you. It’s important to stay hydrated. Stop by Adopt & Shop for your travel-friendly bowl needs.
  3. Lighten up. If it’s early morning, dusk or nighttime, make sure you and your pet are properly illuminated. Look into leashes, collars and harnesses with reflective material. We offer some of these at the store. We also carry clip-on LED lights for their collars!
  4. Choose collars or harnesses. Every pet should wear a collar. Full stop. This collar requires an ID tag in case your pet gets loose and runs off (yes, even devoted well-behaved pets sometimes get spooked and make a run for it). Then you should decide if you’re going to attach your pet’s leash to their collar or a harness. We generally recommend harnesses. They might be slightly more expensive than collars, but they cut down on neck strain. We carry a variety of collars, ID tags and harnesses in the store, for both cats and dogs.
  5. Choose the right leash. Choose the right leash based on the size and weight of your pet. Obviously the smaller the pet, the smaller the leash should be. Small dogs and cats will do well on a half-inch leash. Larger pets will require a thicker leash.
  6. Stick to sidewalks and other paths. Walking along the road just won’t cut it. Pets might pull away from you and wander into the street. This is why it’s best to stay on sidewalks and other designated paths for pedestrians. You can keep things new and fresh by walking in the woods or along a hiking path!
  7. Start off with short and slow walks. If you’re new to walking your pet, you don’t want to exhaust them. Even if they seem to have endless energy, slowly work your way up to longer and faster walks.
  8. Microchip your dog or cat. If your pet slips out of their collar or harness, a microchip will help reunite the two of you. This permanent form of ID reveals your pet’s unique identification number when scanned by a pet professional. This number is connected to your contact information, so long as you register your pet’s microchip. You can register for free at It’s free to register, free to use and free to update for the life of your pet!