8 Ways To Keep Your Favorite Places Dog-Friendly

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We enjoy going places with our dog, and we want dog-friendly places to stay that way.  How do we keep places dog-friendly?  Make it less of a hassle (or better yet, no hassle) to be dog-friendly, and more of a benefit.  Here are 8 things you can do:

1. Always pick up after your dog and dispose of it properly in a trash can.  If you see poop left by someone else, pick up that too.  Dog waste is a big reason dogs are banned from many places.  Stepping in dog poop is not only unpleasant, but can spread disease.  If a hotel must pay someone to clean up dog waste, or if guests complain, the hotel is less likely to allow dogs.  If a park becomes littered with dog waste, park users will complain, and the park may ban dogs.

2. Be considerate and respectful of other guests.  Don’t allow your dog to disturb other guests.  If your dog is misbehaving or disturbing others while you’re out in public, try to redirect his behavior, or leave.  If your dog barks incessantly when you leave him alone in a hotel room, don’t do it.  Some people have allergies to dogs; others don’t like or are simply afraid of dogs, so make sure your dog gives strangers plenty of space.  If someone is backing away from your dog, they don’t want to “just say hi”.  Respect that.  If there are other people in an elevator, ask if it’s okay before getting on with your dog.

3. Make sure your dog doesn’t damage anything, and try to minimize the mess.  Don’t leave your dog alone in the room unless he’s in a crate.  Even dogs who aren’t usually destructive can become nervous in strange situations.  For easy clean-up, carry a sheet, towel, or shower curtain to place on the floor underneath your dog’s crate in hotel rooms to protect the carpet and collect any dog hair, spills, or other messes.  Carry an extra sheet to place over the bed.

4. Keep your dog on a leash where leashes are required, and don’t let your dog chase or harass wildlife.  Leash rules are for your dog’s safety, but also for the safety of wildlife and for the comfort of other people.  Unleashed dogs can be a nuisance to people, dogs, and wildlife.

5. Teach your dog basic manners, so he knows how to behave in public.  Take a manners class, hire a trainer, or do it yourself using positive, bond-strengthening training methods.  Dogs of all sizes should learn basic manners.  Teach your dog to behave in a variety of different situations.

6. Pay attention to your dog and avoid situations that make him or her uncomfortable.  Know your dog’s limits and don’t push him or her.

7. Patronize dog-friendly businesses – even when your dog isn’t with you.  Tell them you’re there because they’re dog-friendly.  Give them a good review on Trip Advisor if you enjoyed your experience, and recommend them to your friends.

8. Never let your dog greet other dogs without asking, and never greet a dog without asking.  Many, many dogs are uncomfortable greeting strange dogs, and some dogs are uncomfortable with people they don’t know.  Dog greetings can turn into fights very quickly.  Even a minor dog fight or dog bite can be terrifying.  Following such an incident, concerns about liability can cause even the most dog-friendly establishment to reconsider their dog-friendly policy.

two dogs meeting sniffing

It takes a little effort, but it’s certainly worth the effort, when the benefit is to be able to continue to take your dog with you.

Rebecca Randolph is a blogger, writer, artist, and attorney, but most importantly, a dog mom.   She also assists her lab Garth with his blog The World According to Garth Riley (www.TWAGR.com).

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