Don’t Be That Dog- Outdoor Etiquette Tips for Outdoor Pets

You’re an ideal pet parent- we already know that!

But we’ve all seen it at least once in our lives- that one dog who doesn’t mind jumping at friends or strangers. They don’t mind taking things that aren’t theirs, sniffing around at grossness in the grass and then rubbing their nose on your precious baby.

It’s not just a nuisance, it’s a hazard, which is why all dog owners should practice proper outdoor etiquette. Here are a few tips for you to use as you’re out and about this season:

1. Be Extra Friendly to Newbies

The outdoors is everyone’s place to play and you may even meet your next doggie play-date. Be extra mindful of who and what else is around in the area so that you can reach out or retract depending on the situation. In the event of a threat, be ready to call you baby back if you need to.

However, be approachable and show the other parents that you guys are there to have fun.  Keep your dog in line of site but be extra polite when someone is approaching on the trail- give them the right of way and say hi as they pass.

 2. Leave No Trace

Sparky isn’t as likely to bring and unwrap granola bars on the trail, but he still might produce a little “leave behind.” You’d pick it up and take it with you if it were on anyone’s lawn, and the outdoors are no different.

Go through the usual routines of supply preparation for any dog outing by bringing some bags and anything else you’d need to cleanly remove any waste your dog leaves behind along the journey.

It’s a simple but important thing to remember, and even if no sees you, dozens if not hundreds of people who love the trails and outdoors as much as you do will appreciate it.

3. Safe Areas vs Danger Zones

At parks, on trails, or elsewhere in public, make sure wherever you’re going is dog friendly. Some parks even have designated areas where it’s okay for dogs to play, which can be a fun social opportunity for them. Giving your dogs plenty of social time is important to the dog’s health as well.

There are other areas, however, where rattlesnakes might live and pose a major threat to your dog. We recently wrote another article about the rattlesnake vaccine which you can read later.

doctor dog with text

Knowing the training level of your dog is crucial to staying safe and polite when in public. If they let their excitement get the best of them and stop paying attention when other people or dogs are around, keep them on a leash and spend some additional time petting them and calming them down.

 4. Watch What They Eat (seriously!)

Young and old dogs may not handle the outdoors very well. If they are less than a year old or more than several years old, taking them up and down steep, rocky trails can strain them too much. Smoother, more even ground can be alright if your dog doesn’t mind a walk, but err on the side of caution and only take them where a dog of their physical ability can comfortably go.

Similarly, be aware of when you’re furry buddy is sniffing around bushes or in the grass too long. One of the more serious risks of the outdoors is difficult to notice, and incredibly expensive to treat. Your dog can find, pick up, or even eat something which contains harmful parasites. These common creatures can often remain inside a dog for months without any problems showing, all while doing great harm to the healthy body of our pet.

There are so many parasites and other risks to stay aware of outdoors. Learn more about signs, symptoms, preventative maintenance, and treatment options available to help keep your dog free of parasites.

 5. Awesome Obedience

Show the other park dwellers how awesome your baby is at self-control.  When it’s time to wrestle and play then it’s at the discretion of their opponent, but in any other case it’s bad etiquette and quite annoying to let a dog jump at other people (they might you haven’t trained them well).

The same is true for sniffing around picnic baskets. The family playing frisbee may be allergic to dogs or generally not like dogs sniffing around in their leftovers. Be ready to call your pup over if she wanders toward some table scraps.

Common Sense Is Uncommon

Dog etiquette is almost as straight forward as human etiquette. Although it should just come naturally to us all, it doesn’t help to run through the checklist to make sure you and your dog are behaving well in outdoor environments.

After all, not everyone is a dog lover like we are and we want our neighbors to feel respected.

If you can stay aware of new people or animals, leave no trace that you or your dog were ever there, abide by signs about dog friendliness, know your dog and how to read them accurately, and you don’t push your dog too hard, you’ll both have a great time outdoors and even be a welcome sight to other dog owners who follow the same guidelines.

Have any tips for us? Let us know in the comments section!

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