Minding Your P’s and Q’s: Pet Etiquette in Public Places
Our culture is a pet-centric one and for that, we are downright tickled. Pets are now welcome in most restaurants, shopping areas, airplanes, and hotels around the country. However, while we can go almost anywhere with our pets, it doesn’t mean that we should.
To keep your pet safe and to have a positive experience, pet etiquette should be observed in public places. Good behavior can go a long way, especially when it comes to other pets and children. Elmhurst Animal Care Center strives to help you find that joyful balance.
The Right Position
Some pets are at ease in crowded places while others seem fearful, anxious, or defensive. If you want to take your pet out and about, you must make sure he or she can handle all the stimulation. Traffic, skateboards, bikes, shouting, and loud laughter are just a few of the sounds that can overload an otherwise relaxed pet. So how can you be sure your pet feels safe, confident, and well-adjusted?
One of the most important aspects of responsible pet ownership is training. It can significantly impact your pet’s success in public places. Your pet’s experience with commands can help him or her understand your expectations, which makes for a safer, happier time for everyone. Start with “down,” “sit,” “come,” “heel,” and “leave it.” Graduate to additional cues as you see fit.
After basic training is underway (but before you hit the dog park or other public areas), your pet should be fully vaccinated, parasite free, spayed or neutered, and able to walk obediently on a leash. Other pet etiquette includes:
- Being in constant control of your pet; make sure he or she doesn’t jump on others or destroy property
- Closely monitoring your pet’s comfort level; remove him or her if needed
- Asking another owner if you and your pet can visit; don’t allow your pet to crowd other animals, even if it’s friendly
- Cleaning up of any messes your pet makes
- Keeping your leash on “standby” for a quick getaway; retractable leashes should not be brought into public spaces
We also recommend planning ahead and asking permission before bringing your pet into public areas or establishments. Check for any signs about animal restrictions.
Effective Pet Etiquette
Although you love and thoroughly enjoy your pet, keep in mind that some folks may not feel the same way. In every situation, stay calm and watch for any red flags that your pet is in distress. This may include excessive panting, licking, or keeping ears close to the head. Your show of strength and trust can do wonders for an anxious pet.
By keeping your pet relaxed, confident, and friendly, you’re supporting the trend of allowing pets in public places. If you could use a little (or a lot) of tips about pet etiquette, please don’t hesitate to contact us. The pet experts are always here to help!
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