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Tuesday, June 7,2022

Dog Event-i-quette

By Tina Valant-Siebelts  
The birds (migratory and snow) have flown back up north. You can get a good table at a restaurant with a minimum wait, and traffic has decreased. Daylight Savings Time has kicked in. Outdoor events and outings are back on our social menu. Maybe you adopted a dog and are excited to get out in that Florida sunshine and show him/her off? Here are some tips to ensure your/your dog’s safety and enhance enjoyment for all, whether dining out, going to a green market, art show, a dog-friendly event, or away for a weekend:

• Make sure your dog is clean, brushed out, and free of parasites (fleas, ticks, worms).

No one wants to bring home those kinds of souvenirs.

• You’re excited to socialize your new pup. But if she is under four months old (not had all shots), or newly adopted (within the past 30-45 days) – leave him/her at home. Allow your new furry family member to bond with you, and get familiar with your home territory.

• If your dog is in heat (in season) leave her at home to prevent possible suitors fighting over her.

• Check your dog’s collar. Make sure it is snug, and no more than two fingers can fit between the neck and the collar. Have proof of rabies vaccination (tag or certificate) and confirm the ID tag is secure with correct information (your last name and two phone numbers).

• Always use a four-to-six-foot standard leash. Knot a few bags onto the loop. NEVER use retractable/flexi leads. These can easily be pulled from your hand; a cable can snap or get entangled with other dogs/guests.From a behavioral standpoint, they foster disassociation with the handler. Reputable events and responsible venues won’t allow entry with a retractable/flexi because they present a liability. Cut the cable and refuse retractable/flexis.

• RSVP in advance to events.

This enables the organizers/venue to prepare enough food, seating, etc. There may even be a goody bag awaiting if you do.

• Provide your dog with their regular exercise on event day. You don’t want them overly stimulated for the party. Feed them less – there are probably going to be treats.

• Look your best. Ladies, leave your pretty heels and strappy sandals at home.

Opt for comfortable, flat, closedtoed shoes.

Be ready to pose with your pooch for us puppa-razzi.

• Bring bottled water for your dog and his/her own bowl, to prevent spreading/ catching anything unsavory. Avoid community bowls.

• Going to a green market or art show? Don’t be stingy with sunscreen. Your dog needs protection, especially short-coated breeds. Black and dark-coated dogs are more prone to overheat. Pay attention to the pavement temperature. Would you walk barefoot on it?

• Like people, dogs with light-colored eyes (blue) are more light sensitive. Consider shades or a visor.

• Drive safely, windows up, with your dog SECURED in his/her car seat, crate, or on a fixed lead.

• Learn acceptable canine body language. Allow dogs to calmly approach one another – on the ground. There is going to be some barking and posterior smelling. It’s OK. Dining out with your dog?

Don’t risk shutting the place down with a health code violation.

Upon arrival/throughout the meal:

• Ask to be seated on the perimeter, if possible.

• Place a towel/blanket under your table for your dog.

• Loop the leash onto your chair leg and sit on the slack, so your dog does not wander, bother other diners, or impede wait staff from doing their jobs.

• Your dog should remain quiet and calm. If your dog cannot be, order togo and leave. Don’t disrupt others’ dining experience.

• Policies may prevent staff interaction with your dog. Do not take offense.

Most Importantly:

• Make sure your dog keeps four paws on the floor. No begging.

• NEVER place your dog on your lap/a chair, even if it is small.

• Avoid feeding from the table.

Meet, greet and have a howling good time. Not only will you be providing valuable socialization for your dog, you just might make some new friends yourself!


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