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News and Information about Dogs, Cats, and Pet Products

It can happen – and it can happen so fast that we, as pet parents, don’t even have time to react. The damage can be extensive, the injuries pretty horrific … and all because of a portable plastic device that’s supposedly designed to help “make our lives easier.”

I’m talking about a retractable leash.

If you and your pup hang out at a lot of pet-friendly establishments and events – like our Two Bostons Weekly Walks, for example – you may have noticed that “standard, non-retractable leashes” are often a requirement. Why is this the case? I used to wonder that myself, until my good old pup Sparky had a retractable mishap firsthand. Let’s look at just a few reasons retractables can be risky business.


Retractable Leashes

Retractable leashes can lead to some unexpected and nasty injuries — but a well-designed standard leash, like the one shown on the right, is designed to let your pet explore safely and securely.

  • Cord breakage. Many retractable leashes aren’t strong enough to handle the dog they’re attached to. Pups who have a tendency to bolt or take off running after wildlife, innocent joggers, imaginary muggers, or the mailman can often snap the thin line or tape on a retractable leash before you even comprehend what just happened. Worse, the plastic hand-held retractor may come out of your hand and go banging down the pavement after your dog, causing a panicked rush into speeding traffic or a busy bicycle path.
  • Unwanted meet-and-greets. Retractable leashes allow your canine to approach other dogs uninvited. At best, this might lead to an irritated owner. But worse, it could cause the spread of disease, disruption of a healing injury, even a sudden and aggressive dog fight.
  • Projectile injuries. If your dog’s collar were to suddenly break and come off, the leash cord/tape would retract with such rapid force that it could strike you (or someone else) in the face, teeth, or eyes.
  • Leash burns, lacerations, and worse. If your pooch should suddenly race past you, thin-string retractable leashes can zip across your exposed skin (or your child’s) in half a second. Plus, it’s often a human reflex to grab the leash hard when a dog bolts. Owners who have instinctively grabbed the cord/tape as it’s rapidly unspooling from the handle have suffered some pretty extreme, and sometimes irreversible, injuries.
  • Entanglement or strangulation. The retractable string or tape can get twisted around our own hands, another person’s ankle, your dog’s neck and legs, a wagging tail, even a pet’s neck. If your dog senses he’s hog-tied and thrashes around, it can cause the cord to pull even tighter. This could lead to a life-threatening situation in a matter of seconds.

Do you and your pup love to socialize and explore the great outdoors? That’s awesome! Ask anyone on our Two Bostons Team to show you some sturdy, dependable standard leash options. Better yet, tell us about your favorite standard leash brands below. Products like Ruffwear’s Flat Out dog leash and Artvark’s GoGo dog leash are designed to let your dog roam and explore – but safely and securely, keeping you in full control.



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