We all have our own ideas about general pet etiquette rules such as picking up our animal’s poop while on a walk or proper flea control if bringing a pet to someone’s house for a visit. Through our decades of combined experience, our staff at Haven Lake Animal Hospital has witnessed many positive and negative situations where pet owners have remembered or unfortunately forgotten their rules of pet safety etiquette when among other people or animals. Sometimes we all need a gentle reminder of how to keep our furry friends safe, sound, and out of trouble when out and about away from their home territory.
1. When in a public place (especially a veterinarian’s office) keep your pet leashed or in a carrier at all times.
This is both for your pet’s safety and for the well being of the other people and animals that may be in the general area. We can’t always guarantee that a dog that is usually good off leash will not have a “moment” and disobey a stay command or unintentionally scare an unsure person by running up to say “Hi”. Countless times cats have had early escapes in busy parking lots or noisy waiting areas when not confined in a carrier for their protection. We would never just not hold a toddler’s hand while crossing the street or stop using a car seat because they put up a fuss and don’t particularly like it. Just as with our precious children, it is up to us as owners to protect our pets with proper restraint when in public situations. Proper restraint is not a violation of our pet’s liberty but rather a sign of good pet parenting.
2. Make sure to control the length of your pet’s leash while in a public place (HINT: KEEP CONTROL OF RETRACTABLE LEASHES!).
Our dogs should be close enough to their owner’s side that you can pull them back from an aggressive situation or happy squirrel chasing across a busy street. Again this is for both our pet’s safety and for the comfort of people who may be timid around dogs. Not everyone appreciates the happy, playful dog that runs up to them at full speed and knocks them over for a belly rub. Continue…