Have you ever seen someone trip over their dog’s leash because they’re staring at their phone? Or seen someone so deep in conversation that they tug their dog along when they haven’t finished pooping yet? Don’t be that guy! Distracted dog walking is not only dangerous, it’s unfair to your pet. Here’s why you should keep your phone in your pocket when you’re out for a walk. 

So I’m on My Phone—What’s the Worst That Could Happen?

If you’re distracted by your phone, you might not see danger approaching, like a truck that’s running a stop sign, or an aggressive off-leash dog running toward you. Or your pet might eat something gross they found on the sidewalk, and the next thing you know, you’re cleaning up dog diarrhea in your living room. 

If you’re not watching where you’re going, you might stumble off a curb or walk straight into a dumpster and hurt yourself. Or your dog might see a squirrel and leap after it so vigorously that you lose your grip on the leash and they dart across a busy road. Or they might lunge into the path of a passing bicyclist, tangling their leash in the chain and causing an accident that harms the cyclist, you, and your pet, too. 

Accidents can happen at any time, but they’re even more likely if you aren’t paying attention to your surroundings. So stay alert! Keeping your phone in your pocket and your hands on the leash will keep you and your dog safe when you’re out for a walk.

If You’re on Your Phone, You’re Not Paying Attention to Your Pet, Either

Dogs don’t go for walks just so they can poop and pee outside. They also need the mental and social stimulation that walks provide. Even if it doesn’t make sense to you, your dog actually needs to spend five minutes sniffing that tree or stopping to pee every ten paces. So don’t rush them—letting your dog set the pace will ensure that they get the physical exercise they need and help prevent boredom at home.

When you’re multitasking during a walk, you might even miss the signs that your dog is uncomfortable. If they’re too hot or too cold, if they’re getting tired, or if they stepped on a thorn, you won’t notice if you’re on your phone. Paying attention to your dog’s signals during a walk will help you prevent minor injuries like burned paw pads in the summer or ice between their toes in the winter

If you’re on your phone during your walks, you’re also missing out on training opportunities. Whether you’re trying to teach your dog to walk on a leash without pulling, or to stop and sit at intersections, consistency is very important. Your dog knows when you’re not paying attention, and will be less likely to obey your commands if you’re on your phone. You’re also missing out on those valuable one-on-one interactions that your pet craves, so be sure to give them your undivided attention.

Dog Walking Tips: How to Walk Your Dog Safely 

  • Always keep your dog on a leash and obey the leash laws in your area.
  • Let your pet set the pace. Pay attention to their cues so you know when they’ve had enough.
  • Bring treats to reward good behavior or reinforce training exercises.
  • Pay close attention to your surroundings, especially to vehicles, children, and other dogs.
  • Keep your phone in your pocket! It’s okay to keep it handy for cute photos or emergencies, but don’t get distracted by text messages or social media.

Compassionate Veterinary Care for Dogs in Gilbert, Arizona

At Anasazi Animal Clinic, we treat all our patients with the same loving care that we give our own pets. We offer a full range of veterinary services, including dental care. If you live in Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, or the surrounding areas, we’d love to meet you and your pup. To make an appointment, please send us a message or give us a call at 480-497-0505 today.


Photo by Dominik Kempf on Unsplash used with permission under the Creative Commons license for commercial use 3/18/2024.