One commonly used dog leash you should throw away
Last week, I wrote a blog about why you shouldn't tie a dog to a chair and mentioned another blog, why prong, shock and choke chain collars can cause a lot of damage. By now, you're probably asking, why is he so obsessed with anything that applies to leashes and collars?
The reason is simple. Dogs with neck injuries appear to be ill much more frequently and vice versa – the illest dogs have frequent neck injuries. Why?
The answer is simple. The neck has the most blood, nerve and energy channels in the body. It also connects the brain with the rest of the body. It's the key area for the function of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system that regulate pretty much everything in the body including your heart, breathing and digestion.
When the neck gets injured, everything goes.
Today, I'd like to focus on another device that is a common source of injuries - the retractable leash. Most people don't think twice about them. They appear to give a dog more freedom, especially when they have to be on a leash. But don't be mistaken, when it comes to dogs, retractable leashes can cause serious damage.
Retractable leads give your dog's neck a jerk
Let's move away from dogs and give you a human example.
Pretend to be a dog for a moment. You put a collar on your neck and attach a retractable leash to it. You ask a friend to hold the leash handle and instruct her to press the 'brake button' when you start running.
Jerk!!!! Bang! Your neck gets yanked on big time and your thyroid gland suffers trauma from the sudden jerk. If you're lucky, you'll suffer no injuries. Repeat this many times and a severe injury is inevitable.
Can a retractable leash injure your dog?
When it comes to dogs and retractable leashes, there are two main issues.
The jerk at the end of the leash and the 'leash brake' can severely damage your dog's neck and the thyroid gland.
Even if your dog is gentle, doesn’t run to the end of the leash and you never use the brake, the spring-loaded leash always applies pressure on your dog’s neck and throat.
I trust it's not the intention of retractable leash manufacturers to cause damage. However, I feel a responsibility to tell you that I've seen serious problems caused by retractable leashes, from hypothyroidism to damage to the nerves that results in paw licking in dogs.
© Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM