ownership continues to be a booming trend in the U.S. In
2014, the American Pet Products Association reported,
Americans spent $58 billion on their pets; the forecast
for 2015 is estimated at more than $60 billion.
it’s not just about money. Charlotte Reed, who tracks
pet trends, says pets have increasingly become part of
the family — and, like some parents, pet owners don’t
always set the proper boundaries for their charges,
subsociety has grown — your pet is like a fur
kid," says Reed, author of "Miss Fido Manners
Complete Book of Dog Etiquette" (Adams Media).
"You can take (your dog) to events, and after
observing many of these activities, I realized people
(don’t) know how to behave."
P. Farley, aka Mr. Manners, an etiquette and lifestyle
expert at WhatMannersMost.com, agrees. Owners have to be
honest in their assessment of their pets’
personalities, he says, to "avoid incidents by the
pet whether threatened or acted upon."
rules of "petiquette" from the experts:
confuse manners with laws: Having your pooch on a leash
and making sure licenses and vaccines are up to date are
requirements in most municipalities.
also may be laws requiring cleaning up after your dog,
aka "pooper scooper" laws.
should research regulations not only for their
municipality but also any public place. (Trained hearing
or service dogs are usually permitted to accompany their
owners wherever the public is allowed.)
sense: The website of the American Society for the
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals offers tips for walking
your dog. (go to aspca.org and search for "walking
101"). Keep Fido off the neighbors’ lawns and
gardens. Also use a leash that allows the dog space to
roam but isn’t too long.
well-trained city dog needs to respond to a minimum of
four basic commands: ‘sit-stay,’ ‘heel,’ ‘leave
it’ and ‘come,’" the website notes.
your dog is rambunctious or aggressive, it may be worth
investing in training.
let your dog approach strangers without asking their
permission, the ASPCA notes. Even more important, never
let your dog approach a child or another pet without the
parent’s or owner’s OK.
More stores are pet-friendly — but not all. "It’s
always a good idea to ask, ‘Can my dog come in?’"
in a pet store where dogs are typically welcome, make
sure Fido behaves. And be mindful of the inventory, Reed
says. If your dog puts a toy in its mouth and drags it
around the store, she suggests buying it. The spread of
saliva is potentially a health hazard, she says, adding,
"I wouldn’t want (another) dog to get sick later
from using that toy."
As far as dining out with your pooch, Reed says, it’s
only OK if the dog "is well-behaved, can sit calmly
through a meal and will not beg." It’s also
inappropriate for the dog to sit with paws on the table,
she said. "If he starts barking uncontrollably,
then you have a problem." Time to grab the check
and go home.
accepted: Another point to consider comes from the
website of the American Humane Society: When your dog
does something to upset or inconvenience another person,
it off as an overreaction or a personal slight will not
improve your dog’s behavior and may negatively impact
your reputation in the community," notes the
"Etiquette for Dog Owners" article (go to
animalhumanesociety.org, and type "etiquette"
in the search field).
owners have to realize that, wherever they go, they’re
canine ambassadors," Reed said. "Their
behavior affects everyone around them."