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Pet tips: Safety and good manners for dogs in public

If you're taking your dogs out and about, make sure they're on their best behavior. (AP Photo/file)

• If you take your dog everywhere: work, stores, walking on sidewalks or to the park, you have a responsibility to keep your dog safe and comfortable. Carry water for your dog and have him/her on leash unless highly trained and under complete voice control.

• Move to the side to allow passers to pass on your right side rather than directly beside of your dog. Your dog may be friendly, but some people are unsure around dogs they do not know.

• Move to the side and be aware of bicycles when sharing a trail to avoid possible injury to the dog or the bicyclist.

• If your dog has aggression on leash to people or other dogs, walk in areas where you will not encounter problems until your dog is better trained. Do not let him practice bad behavior like lunging and barking on leash. He’ll just get better at it. Practice makes perfect!

• If you see a dog with his/her person and you have your dog on leash and your dog likes to play with other dogs:

When you are 20 feet apart, ask the other owner if his/her dog likes to meet other dogs.

If the answer is “no,” keep a safe distance and avoid exciting either dog.
If you encounter a dog who is lunging and growling, keep a safe distance and leave the area. The owner may not be able to control the dog.

If the answer is “yes” approach carefully and stay aware of your surroundings and the leaches getting tangled or one or both dogs getting loose and darting into the street.

• Be a good ambassador and:

ALWAYS carry poop bags and pick up after your pet.
DO NOT allow your pet to greet or jump on unsuspecting strangers.
KNOW your dog and don’t take him/her out is he/she is not well socialized and trained.
DO NOT take your dog to a barbecue or party if he was not invited.
Do NOT let your dog urinate on someone’s lawn or garden while walking in the neighborhood.

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