Dogs will always be dogs. They chase cats, birds, mice and what-have-you, roll in the mud and many other things that make a canine’s life fun. So if it’s the first time for your pup to go out in public, you should know the basics of how to walk a dog before it becomes a disaster.
With proper training, you can teach your dog to develop good habits when going out in public. Sure, your pup can play all he wants, but he should also know the right time and place to do so. Dogs should have their freedom, but exposing them without training will make them go berserk in strange places and in the presence of people they’re not familiar with.
As a pet parent, taking your pooch outside is a fun and satisfying experience where you can bond with each other. But to ensure that it’s a positive and safe experience for everyone, remember to take note of the tips below.
1. Get to know your dog really well.
If your pooch appears to be anxious around strangers and other dogs, it’s a sign that he’s more comfortable staying in the house. You also have to consider that not all dogs are good with socializing especially if they’re not exposed to others regularly.
It may be best to let him get used to it by walking him around the neighbourhood first for just a few blocks. Then, you can work on improving his habits and public manners.
2. Train your dog before going out in public.
Before taking your pup in a public place, he should know how to respond to simple commands like “sit” and “stay”. This will help you control him in case he goes out of control with joy in public. Consult with a local animal specialist clinic on how you can instil discipline in your pooch.
It’s not all the time that pet owners can read their dogs’ behaviour well. Watch out for any signs that your dog is uncomfortable. During such situations, your soothing voice can help calm your dog and reduce his anxiousness.
3. Make sure your dog is wearing proper identification.
Your dog should be wearing a pet I.D. tag with your address, name and phone number. If ever your pooch gets lost, this will ensure that whoever can find him can easily call you. Some states require canines to have a microchip so that it’s easier to track down in case the dog loses his collar or I.D. tag.
When you’re taking a pup out in public, think about it like you’re bringing a child or baby. You have to make sure to bring these dog walking essentials in case your pooch gets hungry or wants to poop along the way.
4. Never leave your dog unsupervised.
Tying your pooch and leaving him even for a few minutes exposes him to the risk of getting stolen or attacked by other dogs. In most cities, this type of neglect is against the law and can make you liable for all damages that your dog may cause. For your pup’s safety and for other people as well, make sure to supervise him well when outside in public.
- Never leave your dog alone inside a car.
Even if you leave him with the air-conditioning on, your dog may do something dangerous in the car without you knowing it. The temperature inside your vehicle can also heat up very quickly especially during the height of summer. A dog exposed to extreme heat can have severe brain damage, or much worse.
- Keep your pup on a leash all the time.
Just because your dog is obedient at home doesn’t mean he’ll listen to you in public. With the many distractions present in a public space, your pup may become too frisky since he’ll be excited about everything he encounters. By keeping him on a leash, you can keep your dog safe and under control to prevent him from causing trouble.
- Keep your dog out of the way.
If you’re taking your dog to a shop or restaurant, make sure you place him out of the main aisle or under the table. This way, you won’t cause inconvenience to other guests, and prevent your pooch from accidentally getting stepped on.
Remember, bringing your pup out in public is a privilege and not a right. Make sure to follow the tips above to prevent your pooch from acting out and being unruly.
Dr. Max Spicer is the Managing Partner and Senior Veterinary Surgeon at The Veterinary Hospital in Dubai. He has taken strides towards providing comprehensive service by hiring veterinarians that are flexible, approachable, and highly specialised in their respective fields.