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To Bell or Not to Bell

Bells on cats – we’ve all heard of that idea.  Put a little bell on your cat’s collar and sneaking up on birds or other wildlife will be impossible and your cat’s kill rate will drop to zero.   But a bell on a dog’s collar?  What use can that possibly serve except to annoy you and the dog?

Well a little bell, with a gentle tinkle as for a cat won’t be of value but if you have an elderly dog, prone to wandering off, hard of hearing and perhaps slightly confused at times, as I do, a decent size bell attached just for walks means that so long as I can hear her tinkling away behind me, I know exactly where she is and that she is following me.   I could put her on the lead but for wandering through the woods or down the bridle path as we do on a daily basis, she considers being on the lead a punishment and doesn’t enjoy the experience. This way she looks forward to her twice daily outings and I feel more confident allowing her the freedom she has always enjoyed.

As dog owners most of us will have had that heart stopping moment on a walk when you can’t see your dog, you can’t hear your dog crashing about in the undergrowth and calling their name is not getting a response.  I would hope for most of us it doesn’t happen too often but if your walks take place in wooded or shrubby areas where it’s all too easy to lose sight of your pet, wouldn’t a bell on their collar help to reassure you that they weren’t too far away?

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