With so many dog owners taking their pooches out in public this summer, it would be easy to bruise the sensibilities of other pet lovers and the general public who might not be so fond of four-legged Fidos.
Patricia Rossi, best-selling author of “Everyday Etiquette: How to Navigate 101 Common and Uncommon Social Situations” (St. Martin’s Press 2011) is a nationally acclaimed business etiquette coach, spokesperson, author and columnist.
She offers the following “petiquette” dos and don’ts for keeping your pup happy and respecting the boundaries of others in public:
DO consider that some people are allergic or afraid of dogs, so be mindful not to assume they are dog lovers. Wait for them to approach you.
DO bring proper accessories. You: plastic bags, water, etc., Your pet: A collar with pet ID.
DO make sure Fido has done his No. 1 and No. 2 business before entering an outdoor event. DO exercise your dog prior to attending an event. Playing with them ahead of time will curb excessive energy and excitement.
DO teach Poochie to master the basics of Social Petiquette: No excessive begging, barking, biting or licking. Their learning the “Stay,” “Sit,” and “Down” commands could save their lives, the lives of others or a hefty vet bill.
DO ask yourself before Rover makes an appearance, Can they handle loud music? Large crowds? Spilled foods? If not, you might want to think twice about venturing out so soon.
DON’T block the traffic flow. If someone has engaged with your pup, step out of the main thoroughfare.
DON’T let your pet get beyond 3 feet away from you. You don’t want your tea cup Yorkie to cause Aunt Gertie to crack an ankle.
DON’T overwork your dog. If jogging, biking, or roller blading with your pet, make sure they have the stamina and don’t impede other folks from passing safely.
DON’T assume all restaurants allow dogs. Call ahead and make sure. Also, never secure your pet to the table, since their sudden movements could cause spills and potential burns. Always secure them to the seats.
DON’T ever ask another person to watch your dog while you go to the bathroom, take a phone call, etc.
DON’T do that “bend & pretend” routine. We all know you aren’t really picking up after Buster. Do the right thing and scoop. This shows respect for the public, yourself and most importantly your pet.