Letter to the editor: Don’t run your dog alongside your car

I’m writing to ask dog owners to reconsider the practice of running your dog alongside your car.

Not long ago, while I was running on Orca Road, I held my breath as a loose dog dashed from the far side of the road toward me and my dogs, crossing in front of the owner’s moving vehicle.

Running your dog on a road while driving seems like a great way to give a dog some exercise. What’s the harm in letting a pooch stretch his or her legs a little? Sadly, it can easily result in a dog getting hit by a car, and tragically it has happened here that an owner has run over their own dog. Visibility is poor, and if a dog is distracted by another dog, which I’ve watched happen more than once, your dog can dash across the road to chase or greet another dog. There could also be oncoming vehicles. You have the absolute least amount of control over your pet if you’re driving and the dog is free outside your vehicle. Please don’t put your pet at risk this way.

I know there are lots of dogs who need lots of exercise — if your dog is friendly, you could take a frisbee or a ball to the “field of dreams” on Whitshed Road and run him or her there. Driving farther out a less traveled road like Power Creek Road is also a safer option if you must drive to run your dog. Or you could walk with your dog — it’s great exercise for all!

Thanks for considering, let’s keep our dogs safe.

Kristin Carpenter