If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time you know that I’m a dog momma to the wonderful muttling, Jack. He’s nearly 12 now and unfortunately is completely blind due to retinal degeneration; evidently it’s common in mutts of certain mixes. It’s not painful for him, just inconvenient. Thankfully our medium-sized dude is smart and has adapted well: he knows all the ins and outs of our house, knows where the furniture is and knows his way around our walks, too.
Now that I’m the mother of a furbaby that requires some additional attention and, ok, since I’m in my 30s, certain dog walking behavior drives me crazy. Today, I’m talking dog walking etiquette.
* DO Leash up! I love dogs of all kinds, I really and truly do but please, keep your dog on a leash unless you’re in a dog park. Since Jack can’t see, dogs running up towards him freaks him out and me by proxy. Both of us on edge = not good! I am sure your dog is loving and sweet and wouldn’t hurt a fly but Jack doesn’t react as quickly as he used to so when a dog comes out of nowhere, it causes us some problems. Maybe keep in mind that not all dogs are friendly and ready to play? (Fun fact? In my county there is a leash law for dogs and cats.)
* DON’T assume my dog wants to say hi to you/ your dog even if your pup is on a leash. If our dogs have met before, it will be fine but if you are new we can expect whining and nose-to-butt sniffing and occasionally the situation can go south.
* DO pick up your dog poop, for the love! Again, this is another county mandated thing where I live, but even if it wasn’t? Please, pick up your dog poop. We all have loads of extra grocery bags or can grab some quick and easy to use doggy waste bags to keep the poop off the ground.
* DO ask me if you can pet my dog. Jack is an absolute love and will lean into any scratch, pet or affection you give him but he needs a minute to sniff your scent.
* DO make sure you check the weather if you’re taking your pup on a longer walk. A few weeks ago I did a local breast cancer 5k, the temp was nearly 100 degrees and I saw so many tiny pups and dogs trying to keep up. Yes, it’s your choice to bring your dog out in this weather but don’t forget to consider the heat and their exhaustion! If you need to have your dog out in warmer temps, be sure to have ample water and/or shade available to them.
Any tips & tricks or pet peeves from fellow dog lovers and owners?