Best Retractable Dog Leash
One of the most obvious responsibilities of pet ownership is exercising your dog; from the first time we asked our parents for a dog as children, we were told, “you’ll have to feed and walk it.” Although some people consider it a chore, walking your dog can be a fun daily activity that gets both of you moving around. In the last year, many more people have learned to find joy in walking their dogs, and they have strengthened their bond with them in the process. However, sometimes it can be hard to know what supplies to get for this activity. Of course, you need a leash, but what kind? The standard sizes of the leash, four feet, and six feet, don’t always fit every situation you’ll run into on a walk. There are times when you may want a shorter leash, and you won’t necessarily have the grip strength to “shorten” your standard leash by grabbing it closer to your dog. There could also be times when you have more space to yourself and want to give your dog the chance to explore on a longer leash, more than six feet away from you.
This is why many dog owners prefer to use retractable leashes. The ability to change the length of the leash makes it easy to adapt to any situation and any amount of space. You can use our top ten list below to find one of the best retractable dog leashes available.
What is a retractable dog leash?
Retractable leashes, also called flexi leashes, flexi leads, or retractable tape leashes, are a kind of dog leash with variable length. You are able to let out more leash or retract and shorten it. These leashes have a plastic base, with a handle designed to comfortably fit in your hand and a large section for storage of the leash. A wheel of wound-up leash sits inside the base, and it can be unfurled by pulling on the end of the leash. It’s spring-loaded and always wants to go back to being coiled up, so if you let go of the end or walk towards your stationary dog, the leash automatically gets shorter. A button on the handle allows you to control the length of the leash. Pressing the button will hold the leash in place at its current length, releasing the button will allow the leash to shorten or lengthen, and locking the button will keep the leash at its current length until you unlock it, so that you don’t have to constantly hold the button.
The actual leash part may be a thin cord, a thin version of a “standard” leash, or a combination of both, with a standard leash section that clips onto your dog’s collar or harness and a cord that coils up in the base. Some retractable leashes also have “safety collars” that attach around the outside of your dog’s normal collar as a failsafe.
Retractable dog leashes are all very similar in how they look and how they function, but there is still some variation. A few popular options for retractable dog leashes include:
- Dual retractable dog leash - This version of the retractable dog leash is meant to make walking with both of your pets at once less of a hassle. You don’t have to worry about carrying and managing two different leashes, as this leash has two leads connected to one handle. They don’t get tangled easily, and most brands make dual retractable leashes with color-coded leads and buttons so that you can control each dog’s leash length separately without getting confused about which is which.
- Retractable dog leash with accessories - Since the base of retractable leashes is big and sturdy, small devices can be attached to it. Some pet supply brands take advantage of this by offering accessories along with their retractable leashes, so you can keep your hands free while having access to anything you need. Common accessories include storage boxes for bags and other items, Bluetooth speakers, and led flashlights.
- Heavy duty retractable dog leash - Dogs of any size can use a retractable leash, but it can be hard to find the ones that are appropriate for extra-large or giant dog breeds. Heavy-duty retractable leashes are strong enough to handle dogs of this size and long enough to give them proportional space to explore.
How to Choose a Retractable Dog Leash
You should choose the retractable dog leash that is best suited to your dog’s needs and your own needs. The first consideration is size. Bigger dogs need retractable leashes made with stronger cords, or the leash could break when the dog pulls; a retractable leash that is too small may not be able to support their strength. Smaller dogs, on the other hand, may have a hard time pulling out an additional lead on a retractable leash made for bigger dogs. Always do your best to get the right retractable leash for your dog’s strength and weight. You should also think about your own comfort. Unlike standard leashes, retractable leashes can’t be put around your wrist and lightly held at your side. They can be heavier, and a handle of an uncomfortable shape can be extremely distracting. Be sure to consider the ergonomics of the handle when choosing a retractable dog leash.
What to Consider When Buying a Leash
Retractable leashes are a somewhat controversial topic in the dog owner and dog trainer community. Most pet supplies can be a good choice, but they must be used correctly. Here are a few things to consider when buying a retractable dog leash:
- Training - Think about how you will use the leash along with leash training. Many people are tempted to give their dogs more leash when they pull, to make it easier to hold them, but this ends up teaching the dog that pulling is a good thing. Remember to leash train your dog and don’t encourage pulling when you use a retractable leash.
- Safety - Because retractable leashes are usually thinner than normal leashes, they can be more dangerous to people. They cause rope burns more easily and can be extremely painful or cause injury if they get wrapped around a part of the body while the dog is attached and pulling. It’s important to consider the safety of the design and your understanding of the appropriate procedures when buying a retractable dog leash.
- Quality - Retractable dog leashes are more complicated than standard dog leashes, and they have more moving parts. This means more potential points of failure, so to keep you and your dog’s safe, you should always buy retractable leashes from a trustworthy pet supply manufacturer. High-quality retractable leashes, when treated properly, can last a very long time.
Retractable dog leashes are an easy way to switch between a close leash, when there are hazards nearby, to a very long lead, when your dog has room to play. You can get retractable leashes with different handle styles, different materials, and different colors to suit your own preferences. Always consider your dog’s size before buying a leash, and take care to follow the instructions for safe use in order to avoid injury. In order to ensure the quality of the retractable leash you buy, start shopping with our list of the best retractable dog leashes on the market. You and your furry friend will soon be walking with a high-quality, versatile leash that fits into any situation you might encounter together.
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