Living in a busy city like Chicago is an adventure within itself. The best part is, you can’t turn a corner without seeing a happy puppy face, tongue hanging, strolling through the city streets. There’s endless dog friendly cafés, bars, and restaurants in Chicago which makes going out with your pup and friends even more fun. But with that, comes responsibility to keeping your pup safe in a high traffic and high stress environment. As a dog owner, you want nothing more than to keep your dog happy and healthy. That’s why it is so important to take precautions when taking your dog on a city adventure. Here are some Chicago pet safety tips you can follow:
Dog’s love to venture out, to find new smells, new sights, and new sounds. Think about it, that’s their whole life! Our city is in high traffic with tons of cars and pedestrians on the streets. It is so important to always pay attention to your dog on walks. Street safety, such as teaching your dog to stop and sit before crossing any street, is crucial. Learning to stop at curbs can keep your dog from attempting to cross the street. Another great walking tip to instill in your pup’s training is to sit whenever you stop walking. This can be a great way to avoid any negative interactions that could come from another dog or even pedestrian. Teaching key commands such as come, sit, stay, heel and lay down are always useful as well.
As city residents, we are used to the busy city life, large crowds of people, bikes zooming by and runners. But for many dogs, this type of environment is stressful. If you notice signs of stress or anxiousness from your dog in these situations, try taking a less populated route. Even finding a nearby open field or park where they can sniff through the grass without any close distractions will not only make your dog’s walk more enjoyable, but they will appreciate you even more for finding a better solution for them.
Unfortunately, Chicago streets are not as clean as we keep our homes. Long before you spot a danger on the ground, your dog’s nose will be able to sniff it out. Being diligent by watching your dog walk through the city is imperative and can quiet possibly save their life. We highly recommend to teach your dog the “leave it” or “drop it” command. By doing so, your dog will learn that the icky stuff on the street is not for them. By helping them learn, you can even reward them with a delicious treat when they ignore it.
As dog walkers in the windy city, we have definitely been through our fair share of ice slips. But, rain, snow, or sunshine, dog’s still need their exercise and outdoor potty time regardless! Teaching your dog not to pull when walking on the leash can reduce the chance of any slips, trips or falls (for both you and your pup). Also, since the chemicals used in many ice-melting products are toxic to dogs, booties or paw balm are some great investments to their health! On the other hand, Chicago’s bipolar weather also has us keeping an eye out for hot sidewalks.
Did you know that the temperature of the sidewalk cement typically reaches about 10 or more degrees warmer than the air temperature?
This can cause your dog’s paw pads to crack and burn if exposed to the hot cement for too long. Finding a shaded sidewalk or a path that has some grass alongside will help your pup still get the adventure and exercise they deserve but without causing harm to their paws.
Being a city pup is one of the most exciting part of a Chicago dog’s life. So, let’s enhance that experience for them by keeping our sweet babies safe and happy.
Check out some more resources on Chicago pet safety provided by the City of Chicago: