As dog owners we are obligated to add a little extra work to going out in public with our pups. So here are the important basics on being a responsible dog owner when going outside with your dog:
1. Respect other’s space.
This is a huge one. It doesn’t matter if your dog is friendly, you never know how others are towards dogs. Don’t just let your dog run up to other people or pets and assume it’s fine by saying, “it’s okay; they’re friendly”. That’s almost like me walking into your house, sitting on your couch, and saying “oh, don’t worry, I’m friendly” …not going to make you feel better about me being there. The person your dog is approaching may (for some crazy reason) not like dogs, or maybe the dog they are with isn’t friendly towards others. You never know the situation!
2. Pick up your dog’s poop!
Like seriously, just do it. There are poop bag holders you can clip on your pack, their pack, their leash, or that you can stuff in your pocket. There’s not much of an excuse for you hitting a trail and leaving your dog’s poop in the middle of it. Also, TAKE YOUR POOP BAGS WITH YOU! Don’t just leave them there.
3. Let people have the right-of-way on the trails.
Especially families and runners. Unless they offer you the path, just pull your dog to the side if you see or hear them coming.
4. Don’t take your dog places they aren’t allowed.
I know, it’s hard, we want our dogs to go everywhere with us. And sometimes we don’t know we brought them into a place they aren’t allowed. But if you take your dog somewhere they aren’t supposed to be, that’s what makes dog rules even tighter and ruins it for everyone else. My rule is if my dog can’t go, it’s not something we’re doing.
Do the research to know that where you are taking your dog allows it, and see if there are regulations for them. It also doesn’t hurt to ask a park attendant or ranger if you’re visiting a national or state park.
5. Don’t let your dog just do whatever they want.
I’m a total push over for my dog, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to let him run around like he owns the place. Don’t let your dog bark for hours on end or get into people’s things. Just be respectful. Your dog is your responsibility and it’s solely up to you to make sure they behave well in public.
There are a lot of little things that we should take into consideration when adventuring with our dogs, but these are the main ones I think about when we are out on the trails. But just because we need to be a little more mindful when taking our dogs into public, doesn’t mean we still can’t have fun! So grab your pups and head outside!
Miranda + Loki