Why do vets hate retractable leashes? Let us count the ways!

Dog on retractable leash - veterinary recommendationsRetractable leashes have become popular with the dog owning public, much to the dismay of veterinarians.  In theory I can see the allure.  Being able to let your dog have more freedom when you chose or to have the ability to hold your pet close by in other situations. But in real life…not so much.

One of the biggest problems is malfunction of the retractable leash or more likely malfunction of the operator.  I myself always seem to release the leash when I meant to lock it and so do owners.  We have seen neck injuries when the dog runs to the extent of the leash and the get abruptly stopped in his/her tracks.  With bigger dogs, we have seen the line of a retractable leash snap.

My biggest fear with retractable leash is the inability to rein in the dog when there is a threat such as an aggressive dog, or being passed by a runner or cyclist. They are just not good for having control of your dog.  So, we recommend to use the old-fashioned leash that allows you to have better control of your pet.