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Are Retractable Dog Leashes Safe?

Yes, contrary to what you may have found online elsewhere, retractable dog leashes are perfectly safe, and in some cases, even far safer than traditional, fixed-length leashes. This article will explain why you can trust a retractable, and why you should consider using one.

A retractable dog leash is something that can make your walks with your dog more fun and flexible. Retractable dog leashes offer versatility—for example, you can easily transition from a high-traffic area to a more open space by adjusting the length of leash you provide your dog, allowing them to roam the open area, while keeping them glued to your heel in a high-traffic zone.

A common question people have is whether or not a retractable leash is safe. The answer is yes, they are absolutely safe, but you do need to take the time to choose the right leash, and then you need to operate it appropriately, just as you would with a traditional fixed length leash.

This means selecting a leash that’s appropriate for your dog’s size and one that’s made from high-quality and durable materials, and it means that you need to use a retractable leash correctly, being mindful of your dog and your surroundings when you’re out on your walks.

How to Tell If a Retractable Dog Leash is Safe

The following are some of the key features you can assess when selecting a safe leash:

  • Durability: If there was one factor to prioritize above all others when choosing a retractable leash, make it durability. You want a leash that’s made from strong, quality materials that will withstand daily wear and tear over time. If you have a bigger or stronger dog, or perhaps a dog who tends to pull, you especially want to make sure your leash is designed for that. Along with the leash itself being durable, you also want durability in the handle.
  • Handle: The handle is what’s going to affect your experience the most when you’re walking your dog. Choose a leash with a handle that fits well in your hand and ergonomically feels good to you. You don’t want a handle that’s at an angle that doesn’t feel comfortable to you, nor do you want a handle that gets too hot or cold depending on the temperature.
  • Clip type: A good retractable leash will have a swivel clip. Otherwise, you’re at risk of it getting twisted or knotted. A swivel clip is one of the primary ways you can avoid tangles. Of course, you also want a clip that’s appropriate for your dog’s size and strength and one that opens and closes easily.
  • Leash style: There are three primary types of leash styles when you choose a retractable leash. There are cord, ribbon and tape. Cord leashes aren’t great, particularly for bigger dogs. Ribbon or tape-style leashes are durable and last longer. They’re less likely to fray or snap while you’re on a walk.
  • Length: How much room do you want to give your dog to roam? In some places, such as larger cities, you can’t use a leash longer than six feet. In other areas, you might walk your dog in open spaces without a lot of people around, so you might want a longer leash length such as 16 feet.
  • Weight limit: A retractable leash will be marked with its weight limit, and it’s important you pay attention to this. Even if your dog isn’t that heavy but is strong or does tend to pull or try to bolt, you might want to size-up in terms of the weight limit.
  • Brake control: The big reason people prefer retractable leashes is because they offer flexibility. The brake control is how that flexibility occurs. With a quality brake control, the risk of tangles or wrapping is reduced.
  • Tangle-free design: When you choose a top-rated retractable leash, it will have the ability to prevent the leash from wrapping around itself or around the handle's internal mechanisms.

When to Use a Retractable Dog Leash

A retractable dog leash is useful across a range of scenarios.

For example, if your dog is well-behaved and doesn’t try to pull or bolt, a retractable dog leash is a great option. Even if your dog is still in the training phase, a retractable leash can be a helpful tool.

The retractable leash lets you provide your dog with more room to roam when appropriate, but you still have control. It can also help you teach your dog to return to your side at your command.

When you’re walking in an open area or one without a lot of foot or car traffic, a retractable leash lets your dog explore and get plenty of exercise.

If you’re mindful when you’re on walks, and you’re paying attention to your surroundings and what your dog is doing, a retractable leash becomes a great tool.

How to Use a Retractable Leash Correctly

As long as the leash is used property, and you’re responsible when walking your dog, a retractable leash is as safe as a fixed-length leash and has added benefits.

Again, it can’t be overstated how important it is that you get the right weight limit. If your dog doesn’t behave that well on walks or has some tendencies that make it difficult to control him, go up in the size and leash weight limit rating.

When you’re walking somewhere with a lot of obstacles, or a congested area, be incredibly alert and keep your dog right next to you.

Don’t ever get your dog too much slack on their leash. Learn to reel the leash in as your dog gets closer. When you leave too much slack in the leash, it becomes a danger to you, your dog, and the people around you.

If something does go wrong, remain calm and in control. Simply untangle the leash and set the brake. Then, move away from whatever obstacles are close by.

The only real downsides of a retractable leash stem from either not choosing a good-quality product or improper use.

Which Retractable Leash Should I Get?

Safety and proper usage with your leash will dictate how well your walks go with your dog, but choosing the best retractable leash is important as well.

To make your selection easier, choose a leash from Pet & Cuddle, where our product designs offer maximum support and comfortability for both dog owners and their pets.

Our safe, yet affordable retractable dog leashes are designed to suit the needs of 99% dog owners, and perfectly safe under all walking conditions.

These leashes are powerful enough to keep your dog safe and secure while also providing them will plenty of room to roam so that they can explore, build confidence, and stay happy and healthy.

Shop for your next dog harness and retractable leash at Pet & Cuddle!