I’m not a fan of retractable leashes.
The mechanism seems to be too difficult to handle in an emergency. Many, many times I have seen clients in our clinic’s lobby struggle to control their pets when one wants to rush over and “visit” with another. People fumble with the button, forget how to lock it, and that flimsy cord or strap pays out like a king mackerel headed for deep water. Meanwhile the out-of-control pet flies across the room where he may encounter another pet that is ill, or worse, angry. And bigger than he is.
Even if you are in love with your retractable leash, have a short, fixed-length leash for trips to your pet’s doctor’s office. You will have much better control and, in an emergency, all you will have to do is give a tug and you know your pet will move in the direction you want him to. No buttons, no controls, no fumbling and much less danger.
When you first purchase a retractable leash, familiarize yourself with its controls before attaching it to your pet. Know where the brake is and how to lock it into a set length. When your pet is racing toward the street on his daily walk is not the time to learn. Practice extensively before your first stroll together.
I will say this: a retractable leash is better than no leash at all. Read this horror story to find out how scary it can be.
Dangers lurk everywhere for pets, and no dog can afford to be without a leash.
See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.