3 min read
A lot of negative headlines in the recent past have raised many questions for pet parents in India. What are the rules governing our pets? Now is even more important for pet parents to know their rights.
So the basic answer to your question ‘Can I take my dog for a walk in a park’ is—yes, you can. Parks are a great space for your dogs to get exercise and socialise. According to the AWBI (Animal Welfare Board Of India), “...dogs that are not properly exercised can turn aggressive, and it is also illegal to deny them the exercise they require.”
But it doesn’t end there. The AWBI has also written down certain guidelines that you ought to follow as a pet parent while taking your dog out on a walk. Don’t worry, we’ve simplified them for you:
1. LOOK FOR THE SIGNS OUTSIDE THE PARK
No public park can put up ‘No Pets Allowed’ signs outside at the entrance. However, parks can lay down specific timings for when your dog’s allowed in the park. If there are no such signs present, you can walk your dog at any time of the day.
HUFT Tip: We recommend walking your dog in the early mornings or late evenings during the summer months. In winters, try going for short walks during the warmer hours of the day. Ensure your dog wears proper winter clothing so they don’t catch a cold.
2. AN ADULT SHOULD WALK THE DOG
The guidelines state that an adult who understands the dog’s behaviour should take the dog on a walk. And we totally agree. Understanding your dog’s triggers and knowing how to help them calm down can prevent a stressful or an unfortunate situation.
HUFT Tip: If you’re struggling to understand your dog’s behaviour, reach out to a canine behaviourist who can help you recognise their triggers and navigate this journey.
3. KEEPING THEM ON LEASH IS THE KEY
No matter how well trained your dog is, always keep them on a leash. According to the guidelines, the dog leash should not be more than 6 ft in length. Try to keep your dog as close to you as possible while walking to ensure everyone’s comfort.
HUFT Tip: We recommend making your dog wear a harness for walks rather than a collar. A harness will ensure an equal distribution of weight. If your dog is a strong puller, get them an easy-on harness that has a handle for support and safety. Attaching an ID tag to their harness will be helpful in situations when your pet wanders away from home.
4. SCOOP UP THE POOP
This is something most pet parents ignore. It’s a social responsibility to clean up after your dog. Dog poop is a pollutant and has bacteria and parasites that can spread diseases to other dogs or humans. Always carry a poop bag with you on walks to ensure the parks stay clean.
5. MUZZLE IS A CHOICE, NOT A MANDATE
According to the AWBI guidelines, no one can force you to muzzle your dogs. However after assessing your dog's nature, you can make them wear a muzzle to protect them from stressful situations. Muzzles are also helpful in preventing your dog from eating garbage while on walks.
HUFT Tip: We recommend using a muzzle on your dog only for a short period of time. Always supervise them while they’re wearing it. Muzzles aren’t a permanent solution if your dog has behavioural issues. Reach out to a canine behaviour specialist for the same.
So there you have it! Everything you need to know while walking your dog in a park in India. We wish you and your dog safe and happy walks!
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