Ready for Adventure: Tips for Public Outing With Your Dog
Your four-legged friend can make a great “go” partner if you take the time to prep and plan before heading out into the world together. Here are a few ways to do just that.
- Clean up their messes. Unlike humans, your dog won’t wait until he’s got access to toilet paper and a flushing toilet to relieve his bowels and bladder. Let your dog relieve themselves before leaving home and keep plenty of waste bags on-hand for accidents.
- Banish barking. Train your dog from any early age to reserve his enthusiasm when you’re out and about. A barking dog is not only an annoyance to everyone within earshot, it can also scare young children and may even get you banned from certain spots. Before you can stop unwanted vocalization, you must first determine what triggers your dog’s barking. Once you know, you can be prepared with a distraction such as a favorite treat.
- Avoid unwelcome interaction. If your dog is friendly, he or she may want to enthusiastically greet everyone they meet. But, it’s important to respect other people’s personal space. Always ask if your dog may approach.
- Keep control. No matter where you are, it is your responsibility to keep your dog secure. According to Angie’s List, the best way to do this is by using a fixed-length leash and collar or harness. You should also teach your dog to stay by your side when you’re out in public and have a backup plan in place in case he doesn’t cooperate. WagWalking.com offers tips on how to teach your dog to heel while on a leash.
- Master the meet and greet. You are not the only person taking in the town with your canine companion. No matter where you are, there’s a good chance that you and your dog will cross paths with other like-minded adventurers. Even if both dogs seem friendly, allow them time for proper introductions before letting them play off-leash. The American Kennel Club offers guidance on how to make canine introductions; its great advice that you can take with you anywhere.
- Be prepared. Planning for an outing with your dog is a lot like going out with children. There are certain supplies that you simply can’t leave home without. Always keep an extra leash and collar in your vehicle and be prepared with portable food and water bowls. Your dog may only need to eat once or twice per day, but they should always have access to water, especially when you’re outdoors in warm weather.
- Watch the walk. Safety is your number one concern when you venture outside of your home with your pet. Avoid walking your dog in highly congested areas where the sheer volume of people and passing cars can be overwhelming. Dr. Lynn Buzhardt, DVM of VCA Hospitals also recommends steering clear of rough terrain if your dog is older. Always carry proper identification for you and your pooch and wear reflective gear if walking at night.
- Wipe your paws. There are many outdoor dining areas and major retail chains that are happy to accommodate four-pawed patrons. Make sure your dog is clean before waltzing into your local Lowe’s or dog-friendly dining patio. You may no longer be welcome if your best friend leaves behind muddy paw prints or gags everyone within a 10-foot radius with his natural musk.
- Slow down. When you have an extra body in tow, leave a few minutes early so that your dog may have an opportunity to explore the sights and sounds along the way.
Safety, both for your dog and the people you meet on your adventures, should always be at the forefront of your mind. Make sure you have the right supplies and that your dog’s etiquette is intact.
Content Provided by Tamara Gilmore of PupJobs.com