We want to use this time to remind you and your pup to get outside and enjoy some fresh air and exercise. Before you do, though, it’s a good idea to brush up on the tenets of dog walking etiquette. While most are fairly basic, they’re always worth a reminder — especially for new dog owners.
Here are the unspoken rules of dog walking etiquette that you need to know:
You should always keep your dog leashed for the duration of each walk. Doing so serves a few different purposes:
- First of all, it keeps your dog safe. Even the most well-trained dog might catch an interesting smell and run off into the path of traffic or far away from home. Having your dog on a leash ensures this won’t happen because you are in control of where they go.
- Second, keeping your dog on a leash ensures the safety of the people and animals around you. Again, your dog might be well-trained, well-socialized, and friendly. But other dogs might not be. If your dog is on a leash, it will be easier to head off any sticky situations with other dogs. You can also prevent your dog from jumping up on people.
- Finally, in many places, keeping your dog on a leash is the law! Each state has a different set of laws pertaining to leashes. In most states, though, dogs are not allowed to be “running at large”6 (in other words, not under your control). Using a leash when you walk your dog is the best thing to do for you, your dog, and everyone else around you.
Carry several bags in your pocket so you’re prepared in case your pup feels the urge. Once you’ve picked up the poop, don’t leave it anywhere along your route (unless you see a public trash can). Take the bag home to throw away if there isn’t a convenient place sooner7 .
Not a fan of the idea of carrying the bags with you? Give your dog the opportunity to go before you set off on your walk. But this doesn’t excuse you from bringing along some plastic bags anyway — and using them if a situation comes up.
On your walk, don’t let your dog disturb other people or animals. If someone comes up to you and asks to pet your dog, you can absolutely say yes if your dog is friendly and you’re okay with the person saying hello.
While enjoying your time outside, remember to keep a close eye on your pup to help keep them safe throughout your entire walk.
If your pup does not enjoy walking on a leash, or needs extra practice to get comfortable, consider practicing in your backyard or investing in some professional training to help your pup understand what’s expected.
When you and your dog are prepared, you can venture out into your neighborhood, local walking trail, or community park to enjoy going for a walk together.
Looking for more ways to keep your pup happy and healthy? Consider investing in a dog insurance policy with MetLife Pet Insurance.1 Our dog insurance policies can provide the coverage and care your furry family member deserves. Get your free quote today.