I love to be with my owner, and when she takes me along with her to shop, I couldn’t be happier. I have been tagging along with her since I was a puppy, because our trainer said I needed to be socialized. This meant I got to meet a lot of people, and most of them were friendly. She also took me to many of the stores in town, which was exciting. Every store has new and different sights and smells. And because I am so small, I sometimes travel in a little tote bag, which is fun because I can see things that would be high over my head when I was on the floor.
I regularly go to the bank with my owner to deposit my paychecks. Everyone there seems happy to see me. My friend Finn, a Wheaten Terrier also likes to go to the bank with his owner. Finn says he likes seeing the people at the ATM in the vestibule.
When my friend Rocky, a Black Labrador Retriever was a puppy, he went everywhere with his owner. “She didn’t like to leave me home and I loved going with her,” says Rocky. “Now I have a big waggy tail that can be a problem in a crowded store, so my owner always asks before she takes me inside.” Some say yes and some no, but Rocky isn’t insulted if he can’t go in.
My friend Poppy, a Labradoodle and Pet Therapy Dog in training is well socialized and likes to go to the Farmers Market where the friendly vendors treat her to samples of cheese. “I am too big to fit in a handbag, so I don’t go into most stores, ” she says.
I have had some good experience shopping, but once in a while encountering another dog can be unpleasant. Recently I was in a shop and a feisty big dog came in. His owner wasn’t paying attention to him and the dog was on a flexi-lead, which is only good for dog parks–not for a place with high traffic. He wanted to play and got right in my face. I knew that was wrong so I let him know it with a quick bark, which I usually don’t do in a store. My owner picked me up to get me away from the aggressive dog.
Dog owners who want their shopping experiences to be fun for them and their pets need to start socializing their dogs when they are still puppies and remember to follow good pet etiquette rules. Here are some “Do’s and Don’ts” to help you.
- Take your dog for a walk before you go shopping so he/she doesn’t have the need to do his/her “business” when you are in the store.
- Ask first and if a sign on the door says, “No Dogs,” realize that they mean it.
- Shopping can be stressful for your four-legged friend. Watch for signs that your dog needs a break.
- Please leash your dog, no matter how big or small. (No extension leashes–you need to be in control)
- Bring along water, a water bowl and snacks if you are going shopping for a long time.
- No barking. It can scare people.
- Keep your dog close to you and out of the way of other shoppers.
- Bring along paper towels and “poop” bags just in case there is an accident.
- Be prepared to leave if your dog causes a commotion.
- Reward your dog for good behavior while you shop. Treats are always appreciated for good sitting, staying and walking nicely in a crowded store.
- Remember that not everyone shares your pleasure in your dog’s company.
It’s great to live in such a dog friendly town. It’s more fun to go with your owner than stay home or be left in the car. I hope my tips help you to help your dog be a good canine citizen shopper.
Contact Maggie Mae Pup ReporterTM at email@example.com
Maggie Mae lives in Chappaqua with her adoring owner Ronni Diamondstein, who, when she isn’t walking Maggie is a freelance writer, PR consultant and award-winning photographer. Visit Maggie Mae’s blog:www.maggiemaepup.com
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FEBRUARY IS NATIONAL PET DENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH
When was the last time you checked your pet’s teeth or took him/her to a veterinarian for a dental exam? Just like humans, pets need to take care of their teeth. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, oral health care is very important for your pet’s overall health.
For more information on Pet Dental Health visit: www.avma.org