Retractable leashes may seem like the perfect way to let your pooch have a taste of freedom while still staying under control, but these tools can have some significant drawbacks. Although some people and their dogs have great experiences using retractable leads, here are some things to consider before you strap one on your four-legged friend. Freedom to roam is the biggest benefit of a retractable lead, but it’s also one of the biggest dangers.
The long length can let dogs run out into traffic or other hazards, which can happen before a human can react. If your dog races up to an unfamiliar dog, the dog may see it as aggression and start a fight. In areas with heavy foot traffic, a long lead can trip people. Retractable leashes are also dangerous in veterinary or grooming clinics, where momentary distraction as you pay your bill can create havoc.
Retractable leads can also cause neck and back injuries if you let your dog run at full speed while wearing one. It is hard for a dog to gauge the length of the leash, so she may hit the end at full speed and be jerked back with significant force. Since the lead requires a thin cord to work, larger dogs can break the leash entirely and get away. The variable length also encourages dogs to pull, so these leashes are never suitable for dogs that are still learning how to walk politely on a leash.
Humans are also at a disadvantage with retractable leads. The handles are bulky and heavy, which makes them difficult to hold. If you drop the leash, the noise may startle your dog and cause her to run away. Broken parts can go flying and cause teeth and eye injuries, and the thin cord can cause serious rope burns, broken fingers and even amputation if you get tangled in it. Retractable leashes have a place, but they come with a high risk of injury and aren’t suitable for many situations. Instead, consider buying this safety lead and fill 14 bowls of food for shelter pets in need.