Retractable Leashes Can Evidently Harm Both You and Your Dog

Kori Williams - Author

Mar. 13 2023, Published 12:52 p.m. ET

Retractable Leash
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Taking your dog on a walk can be an integral part of your day so finding the right leash is so important. There are all types and brands on the market today, but many people say that you should avoid retractable ones.

Even though they are sold in stores all over, there are a number of reasons why retractable leashes are bad for your pets. Not only can they harm you, but they can also seriously hurt your dog in a way that can have long-term consequences.

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Why are retractable leashes bad?

The Northshore Humane Society points out that retractable leashes are bad because they can injure you and your dog when you use them. They can easily get wrapped around your fingers, hands, and more if your dog is getting overly excited. This can create wounds like rope burns and can even break your skin.

Walking a Dog
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But they can also harm your pet. Retractable leashes can injure their neck and throat by snapping back. This can cause some long-term health issues with their trachea and neck vertebrae. And because these tools don't have a set length, it's much easier for your pet to get away from you. The greater the distance between you, the easier it is for them to get in trouble or into dangerous situations.

For example, Rover points out that interactions with other dogs could be dangerous. If you're too far away, it will be more difficult for you to intervene if something bad were to happen. Of course, many retractable leashes have locks on them that allow users to control how long they get. But many times, these can break or simply not work the way they are meant — to which would mean your pet could still get into trouble.

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dog on a walk
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On top of this, Rover says that experts avoid retractable leashes because they can enforce negative behavior in your pets. Certified trainer and founder of R+Dogs Renee Rhoades told Rover: "Retractable leashes don’t offer a consistent amount of space. There can also be a lot of tension from your end, causing your dog to feel the pull and also become desensitized to there being tension on the leash."

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What are the best leashes?

Through the Leash points out that overall, the best kind of leash is one that is 6-foot long and made out of nylon or leather. These are both durable materials and six feet is enough to give your dog some freedom while still keeping them close by.

According to Chewy, there are a few things you have to consider before buying a leash:

  • The laws in your area about leashes and handling pets in public
  • How big and strong your pet is
  • How much space you want them to have
  • What you prefer in a leash
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Walking a Dog
Source: Getty Images

In terms of leash laws, be sure to look at not only the ones in your state but in your county. Some local governments also have their own laws in place that you will need to be aware of. But your pet is also a huge factor in what kind of leash works best. Is your dog a larger or heavier breed? If so, you'll need a leash that won't break whenever you use it.

Equally as important, you need to find a leash that works best for you. Pick something that not only feels comfortable in your hands but also gives your pet an amount of distance between the two of you that you feel comfortable with.

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