When you bring a new dog home, it’s only natural to want to take it out and show the world. After all, who else wouldn’t want to see your precious pet? While this can all be very exciting, when it comes to your pet and the public there are some things that you might want to keep in consideration to keep you, your pup, and other people out of trouble. Here are some basic tips to help your dog’s first few times out in the world be an enjoyable experience for everyone.
Keep Them On A Leash
Although everyone wishes that their dog be so well trained that they can follow their owner everywhere without a leash, the hard truth is that rarely is this the case. No matter how cool you think you look with your untethered dog at your side, it’s unsafe for both your dog and others. You never know when a leash might come in handy, such as saving your dog from being hit by a car, keeping it away from mean dogs and people, and many other precarious situations. When you’re in an unpredictable environment, the safest course is to always have your dog on a leash, especially if the dog isn’t used to being in public or around a lot of people.
Have A Doggy To-Go Bag
One thing that a lot of people don’t realize about dogs when they first get them is that it’s a lot like having a baby. You wouldn’t take your baby anywhere without making sure you have the necessary food, water, diapers, and other supplies, would you? The same goes for your pup. If you’re bringing your dog along and don’t know how long you’ll be, it’s important to always carry a small to-go bag dedicated to your furry friend. Some of the essentials should include a leash, water and something to drink out of, treats, dog bags for accidents, and even one of their favorite toys. Now, you and your dog are ready to take on the world together, and you can rest assured knowing they have just about everything they need to be comfortable.
Make Sure Wherever You’re Going Is Dog-Friendly
With a dog at your side, it’s important to remember that you may not always be welcome into every establishment or home. Regardless if your dog is well-mannered, some places have strict no-pet policies, or people just might not be comfortable having a dog in their home. To avoid having to leave your dog outside (which you should never do) or get yourself in trouble, double-check online or communicate with friends to make sure that everywhere you plan on going is dog-friendly. This small step will help you avoid any awkward or dangerous situations. Now, you can plan accordingly, and go about your day.
Socialize In Small Steps
Especially if your dog isn’t accustomed to new people or busy places, it’s imperative that you socialize them before putting them in any environment that they might find threatening. If you don’t, your dog might become unpredictable, aggressive, and you might find yourself sitting across the table from a dog bite injury lawyer, which nobody wants to deal with To steer clear of any legal drama, before exposing your dog to the chaos of the outside world, you should try to socialize them in steps. Once they are comfortable around you and whoever they are normally around, start introducing them to your friends by asking them to come over. Then, start taking your dog to different yet still controlled places like a dog park or someone else’s house. Work your way up before taking them onto a busy street. This way, they are much less likely to feel overwhelmed and act out in fear. The American Kennel Club has some great tips on how to socialize your puppy here.
Be Considerate Of Others
Chances are, you less likely to run into any problems if you, the dog owner, are always being considerate of others. Regardless of how adorable, well-behaved, or lovable your pooch is, it’s crucial to remember that not everyone is going to love them as much as you do. Some people may be afraid of dogs, have an allergy, or don’t feel safe with their young children around them. In fact, in a study by Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Research, “Allergies to dogs and cats affect 10%–20% of the population worldwide and is a growing public health concern as these rates increase.” Therefore, you should not be letting your dog be running amuck or expecting others to be inconvenienced because you decided to bring a dog. If you’re with your dog, you should be one of the most conscientious people around because you’re responsible not only for your actions but your dog’s as well. So, if you don’t think your dog is ready to handle different places and people, it’s best to not force it.
Make Sure They Are Well Exercised Beforehand
If you already know that your dog has a lot of energy, taking them to a place with endless stimulation like out in public is bound to work them up. Like people, dogs get excited, and when they do, they aren’t always on their best behavior. On top of that, them having an excess amount of energy doesn’t help, either. To make you and everyone else that you’re around lives easier, before taking your dog anywhere, make sure that they are properly exercised. Take them for a walk, play some fetch, or whatever it is you do to burn off some of their energy. While it may not solve everything, an exercised dog is typically more docile and easier to manage than one that is already wound up. However, the American Kennel Club suggests that you check with your local expert or breeder to learn what the appropriate amount of exercise is for your dog’s breed.
Put Your Dog First
Your dog is your responsibility. They rely on you fully to feed them, take care of them, and make them feel safe. The latter especially applies when taking your dog to new places and experiences. If you decide to bring your dog places with you, it’s no longer all about you or what you want/need to get done. You need to be aware of how your dog might be feeling at all times and what you can do to make them as comfortable as possible. The last thing you want to do is have them associate going outside of the house with traumatic or uncomfortable experiences because you weren’t considerate of their needs.
Don’t Break Your Routine
At first, when a dog starts going it out in public, it may seem like everything it’s learned and been trained on has gone out the window. That’s okay and usually totally normal. However, now it’s up to you to teach them that all of the rules you have established still apply when you are outside of the house. Essentially, all this takes is patience and practice, and your dog will eventually get the hang of it.
Now, it’s time for you to try! Remember, don’t rush anything and always think about your dog first in public settings. With some time, you and your dog will become model examples for how a dog and owner should be in public. Have fun!