Dogs love being outdoors and with more stores and businesses catering to the canine community it’s time to talk about “petiquette”. The way your pet acts in public is not only a reflection on you, but gives observers a perception on pet owners in general. This is why it’s so important to be on your best behavior so this “pet-friendly” trend keeps growing. When people and their pets leave the house, certain rules of etiquette apply.
Scoop the Poop! This is the single largest issue pertaining to pet etiquette. Every person that steps in your dog’s “business” is one less pet-friendly advocate. No matter what public place you attend with your pet, please bring cleaning equipment. Poop happens. Pick it up
Realize not everyone is a pet person: Although pets are more part of our families than ever, when in a public place it is important to show respect to those who don’t care for pets. Even if you’re pet gets enamored with greetings always be accommodating to others around you.
Call ahead to make sure your pet is welcome: Pets (other than service dogs) are not allowed inside restaurants, malls, and any building where food is served or prepared. Department stores usually set their own pet policies. Information can become outdated so always call in advance.
Leash it up in public: Unfortunately, there’s a stereotype that some pets will have to live with. Big dogs, no matter how friendly, are seen as more threatening. Be especially careful when interacting with strangers, and under no circumstance let your pet roam unleashed in a public area. Good advice is to leash your dog before it gets out of the car. Make sure to keep the leash close. An unleashed pet can frighten other travelers or get spooked and bolt away.
The responsibility of etiquette for pets in public places relies on the pet handler. Always remember your pets’ behavior affects everyone around you. Happy travels this summer!