No leash? No walkies

Video courtesy of the Commissioner for Animal Welfare.

Admit it – there’s nothing better than sneaking your puppers off the leash when no-one’s looking, right? As animal lovers we’ve all been there. It’s much more fun watching your happy doggo wagging around and exploring on his or her own, especially if we pick a quieter village area where no-one’s likely to mind and with little traffic (is that still a thing, little traffic?)

But – there’s a but – while it may be tempting to let your pet roam free, it’s not really a super idea. Many things can go wrong. Here’s why you should always keep that leash handy.

1. Safety first – An unleashed dog, no matter how well-trained, can unexpectedly dart into traffic or a dangerous situation. Keeping your dog on a leash ensures they are safely within your control, preventing potential accidents or injuries to the dog, yourself or other people.

2. Unwanted interactions – Not every person, or even every dog, is comfortable with an unleashed dog approaching them, no matter how friendly your puppers might be. Keeping your dog on a leash allows you to maintain a respectful distance, ensuring everyone’s comfort.

3. Preventing runaways – A stray cat, a pigeon, or an interesting scent can lure even the most obedient dog away. With a leash, you have the peace of mind knowing your dog won’t pull a Houdini.

4. It’s required by law – The law actually requires dogs to be on leashes in public places. It’s unlikely that you’ll be minding your own business on your daily village ‘dawra’ and end up fined, but if something goes amiss the fact that your dog was unleashed automatically puts you in the wrong. Moreover, if people complain wardens will be forced to act.

5. Don’t get dognapped! Unfortunately, pet theft is a reality especially with specific breeds that happen to be popular. An unleashed dog is an easier target for potential thieves. Having your dog leashed and close to you at all times reduces the risk of a sudden disappearing act.

And there you go. Still jonesing for some freedom for the furby? Consider a swim in one of the (admittedly few) beaches that allow dog swimming in Malta.

For more Sunday Circle magazine pet-related feature, check out how Doby got his forever home and how you can help rescue horses.

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