We have all seen them, and perhaps we have also been them: the person who multitasks while walking their dog. Sometimes we do it ourselves. More often than not, this means catching up on work emails or the latest news on your smart phone while walking your pup. After all, Fido is taking his time sniffing this particular spot, why not send your coworker a text asking if they want coffee?
Yes, we are all incredibly busy people, but is it really necessary for any of us to be on our phone while walking our dogs? No. In fact, it’s quite dangerous.
Here are five reasons why you should unplug for your dog walks.
1. You need to be aware of your surroundings
Even when you are not walking your dog, it is common sense to be aware of your surroundings while walking around in public. Nothing is more embarrassing (or annoying) than bumping into someone or stepping in a big wad of dog poop while on one of your daily walks. Paying too much attention to your phone while you are walking instead of your surroundings is also a safety hazard. People have walked straight against the light and into traffic when they were distracted by their smart phones. Don’t put yourself or your dog in that kind of danger – put the phone in your pocket or leave it at home.
2. Your dog could get into something
If you are busy catching up on your favorite Twitter comedian’s latest rant, you are probably going to be too distracted to notice Fido getting into that discarded fast food bag or enjoying their favorite snack, another dog’s feces. Save yourself the trouble of an emergency vet visit due to ingestion or poison issues by leaving the Twitter check for your 15.
3. Your dog could get into an avoidable fight
Your dog may not be leash aggressive, but other dogs on your daily dog walk path could be. Keeping yourself 100% in the moment will help avoid altercations that your pup could have with other dogs or unsuspecting children who run up without permission to pet your dog. Is checking to see if your assistant responded to the email you sent ten minutes ago worth a potential lawsuit? Highly unlikely.
4. Your dog may be trying to tell you something
You won’t notice your dog panting a little too heavily or limping on one paw if you are playing Yahtzee with your boo on your smart phone. On hotter days or longer walks, this is especially important – you wouldn’t want your dog to be severely dehydrated or even worse, suffering from heat stroke on a warm summer walk.
5. Your dog would appreciate it
We all lead busy, hectic lives. It can be easy to get caught up in it all and not give our dogs the one on one attention they need and deserve. There is (almost) nothing that cannot wait the fifteen minutes to walk your dog so you can spend some uninterrupted, quality time with your pup. Leave the phone at home the next time you take your dog for a walk. Trust me, they will appreciate it.
Do you use your phone while you walk your dog? Are you going to break the habit? Let us know why or why not in the comments.