Call it dog code, if you will.
If you are a new dog owner: congrats! I’d like to share with you now some tips to help you enter the dog community very smoothly. Here’s some basic rules to keep in mind as a dog owner, that a lot uf us who have been dog owners for awhile feel strongly about.
Check out our dog blog category for tips and training resources for your pup!
1. PICK UP THE POOP
If you don’t pick up after your dog in your backyard, that’s your business, not mine. But please don’t leave dog droppings in public places. Most parks and neighborhoods have rules that you have to clean up after your dog. And when people break those rules, it could potentially make the city turn the amenity into a no dog allowed zone.
These places also often provide bags for your use. If you happen to be caught without one, don’t be afraid to ask a fellow dog owner if they have one, I’ll be glad to share.
Additionally, it’s not fun to step in another dog’s poop and ruin your shoes. Or car floor (it’s happened to me). They attract flies and other nasty bugs we don’t necessarily want/need.
So please be respectful, pick up the poop.
2. Don’t go up to play with a dog without asking
Most dog owners will never say no to another person playing with their dog. But sometimes if you come up to a dog, he/she is going to lose it and jump on you and get out of control. Since you don’t have to be the one controlling the dog, it’s only common courtesy to ask before approaching the dog.
My labrador is about a level or two below “Marley” crazy (from the movie Marley & Me). She’ll jump on people because she just get’s too excited and then can’t control it. Most people don’t mind, but we’ve had a few scenarios of dog who see her behaving and think she won’t jump, and then they get caught off guard and scared.
I’ve also met dog who are very protective against strangers.
If you approach without asking and an accident happens, I’m kind of inclined to say “I told you so”.
3. Don’t bring a dog over without asking
I totally understand the feeling of wanting to bring your fur baby everywhere, but sometimes it’s just not a good idea. Or just because you know there will be a dog there doesn’t mean you should bring your own without asking. I’m sure your dog is the best behaved and has never bitten a soul before, but things work a little different in dog language, and sometimes they don’t like each other even though they’re both the friendliest dogs ever.
I’ve never had that problem myself – I’m usually asking everyone to bring their dogs over. But I’ve heard stories.
4. Ask before giving a dog human food
Some owner’s don’t want their dog eating scraps and leftovers at all. Some will give dog pretty much anything that won’t harm them. What you feed your dog may not be what the dog is used to, or might have too much sugar. Whatever they choose as their dog’s diet, respect it. If you have guests over and plan on giving the dog a treat or scraps, make sure you ask. It’s possible you may give the dog something that upsets their stomach.
All I’m saying is it’s better to be safe than sorry.
5. Be prepared
This goes to all dog owners. The same way that sometimes kids will cry and throw tantrums in public, dogs may bark and get out of control over anything too. But with dogs, it’s a little easier to bring them back to normal with a few treats (sometimes).
I usually carry a few extra since my dog tends to lose it over anyone who will give her attention.
Another thing you should always have handy is poop bags. Trust me, when they gotta go, they gotta go.
6. Keep on a leash
I know your dog may be really well behaved off a leash, but it doesn’t guarantee things won’t happen. I’ve seen way to many Facebook posts of people who get denied service, or dogs who get lost. Also be careful of state/county laws. I’ve lived in a few places where a dog MUST be on a leash at all times or animal control can take them. I’ve also seen neighbors report people for not having their dog on a leash.
7. Give disclaimers
If people invite us over and welcome the pup, I always give disclaimers. Things like if my dog:
- Isn’t housebroken
- Likes to jump on people
- Is used to getting on furniture
- Is teething (and will chew on sutff)
- Has a taste for socks and shoes
It’s only courteous to others’ to let them know ahead of time what be on the lookout for when having your pup over. This is also useful if you’re boarding your pup with a friend.
8. Sick dogs
If you dog is sick, it’s recommended that you don’t them out to public places, unless absolutely necessary. Not only could they be contagious for other dogs, but it could get messy if your dog is throwing up or having diarrhea.
Just let them rest and get better at home.
Did I miss anything?