Spring Tune Up For Your Dog Agility Equipment
For those that live in climates that force you to pack up the dog agility equipment over winter, spring is a time of great expectations. One of those being that you finally get to dig out the agility equipment, set it up and get busy training. However, it’s VERY important that when you start setting up your equipment that you check it over for safety and maintenance issues. So before hitting the dog walk, here are a few things to look for…
- Inspect all your equipment both wood and metal for sharp edges. A great way to do this is to take a rag and slowly rub all equipment edges. When the rag catches on a sharp end it will snag. When it does so, sand or file the area. Be especially concerned about sharp edges on jump cups. If you have old equipment with metal jump cups it is highly recommended you replace them with plastic. All our jumps come with plastic jump cups that you can order HERE.
- Fill cracks in all wood items to prolong their life and keep your dog’s toenails safe. Wood is going to crack over time but when addressed early and often, you can prolong the life of your equipment by protecting it from water damage and splitting. Fill the cracks with exterior caulk, allow to dry completely then paint with an exterior paint. In fact, it is a great idea to give all wood a fresh coat of paint or to coat it with rubber coating. It will not only protect the wood, it will give your dog more traction for safer and faster runs. Check it out HERE.
- Check all wood equipment for protruding nails or screws, including the slats for your a-frame and dog-walk.
- Go through and tighten all hardware and check chain links. Check where chains attaches to obstacles and be sure they are strong and secure.
- Rust means the metal is being eaten away so before it completely ruins your equipment, treat rust with rust-proofing paint.
- If you didn’t do so before packing it away, now is the time to wash your tunnels and chutes with soap and water while inspecting them for mildew as well. Be sure to store them completely dried and in a dry area to avoid mildew damage.
- Add more colored tape to your jumps and weave poles if they have worn out or don’t have them. Contrasting colors really help your dog to judge height and find the entry pole on weaves. Visit our vinyl tape page at Affordable Agility if you need more.