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Avoid a trip to the emergency veterinarian hospital — why keeping your dog on a leash is a good idea.


Part of the fun of owning an active dog is being active with them, such as running, hiking the foothills, walking the greenbelt, etc. However, there are a few situations that pose a danger to pets when loose/not leashed. These are common veterinary emergencies that we treat regularly at our veterinary hospital. Dr. Jennifer Pearson, WestVet 24 Hour Animal Emergency Veterinarian

In today’s blog post, Dr. Jennifer Pearson, WestVet Emergency Veterinarian, shares her advice on helping keep pets safe when off leash and at play.

“The canals and ditches that meander throughout the Treasure Valley may contain bacteria and Giardia, if dogs drink that water, it will make them sick. WestVet is Idaho's only 24 Hour Animal Emergency & Specialty Veterinary Hospital Symptoms of ingestion include diarrhea and/or vomiting. Severe cases will require veterinary treatment and it could be transmitted to humans. Read more about Giardia HERE. 

Beyond that, canals and ditches pose the risk of drowning—even for dogs considered to be strong swimmers. I have treated dogs that were swimming when they were suddenly pulled under the current and experienced a near drowning accident. Treatment and recovery, when possible, require extensive medical care. It’s recommended to avoid these areas if possible.

Leashes serve as a protection for your dog. Even a compliant, obedient dog could suddenly run up to greet another dog who is aggressive, resulting in an attack. The biggest concern is for small dogs being bitten by larger dogs as they typically sustain the most injury. All dogs are unpredictable, even “nice” dogs can become aggressive around another dog if they feel territorial or threatened. The leash helps the owner keep the dog in control and safely away from unknown dogs. In addition, depending on the area, an unleashed pet could quickly dart into traffic and suffer vehicular trauma. Sadly, we have treated this type of accident at WestVet and seen dogs with extensive injuries.”

Keep your pets safe when out and about enjoying a Treasure Valley summer day.


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