I’ve been wanting to write this post for a few months now. It’s been bugging me for so long how many dog owners in my town just casually neglect the basic etiquette of dog ownership. I’m only highlighting the very simple rules and responsibilities of dog owners so I won’t be bringing anything new to the table with this post but I hope this acts as a reminder to people.
Never put your dog’s name on the ID tag
You shouldn’t put your dog’s name on their ID tag because it can make it easier for dog-nappers to move them on to a new family no questions asked. I mean, if your dog hears their name they’re going to respond aren’t they? ID tags should contain owner information (name, address, phone number) so that your dog can be returned to you in the event of them being stolen or going missing. As of April 2016, all dogs in England and Wales HAVE to be microchipped which is another good way to ensure your pooch is returned to you if they go missing.
Always use a leash
A leash is there for YOUR DOG’S SAFETY. Not anyone else’s. What if your dog encounters another dog and they don’t get along, a leash will give you a hell of a lot more control over your dog’s safety than frantically trying to grab at their collar without getting yourself injured in the process. What if someone tries to kidnap your dog? How are you going to catch up if your dog wanders off and they’re able to quickly put a leash on and hop into a car and drive off? I know these are extreme cases but it’s always worth using a leash with your dog. It doesn’t matter how friendly your dog is. Any animal – no matter how friendly – has its limits. You don’t want anything bad to happen to your dog so please use a leash.
Clean up after your dog!
This is the most obvious and yet it seems to always be tossed out the window. And I’ve noticed it’s mostly older people who don’t even bother to take bags with them! It takes less than a minute to take out a bag, pick up the poop and tie up the bag. Who cares it you have to carry it for a while! It’s not about you, it’s about cleaning up after your dog! No one likes to go for a peaceful walk with their dog and be met with smelly lumps of poo because some idiot couldn’t be bothered to pick it up. There’s no excuse to not be carrying bags and you can always ask other dog walkers if they have extra bags. In fact, you can even buy bag dispensers which clip-on to your leash (which should you should also be using). Sometimes I think the people in my town deliberately let their dog off the leash so they can use it as an excuse not to pick up their poop. Um no?
Always carry water
Your dog is going to get thirsty on a walk, especially long walks or when the weather is pretty warm (ie now). You should always carry a bottle of water and a container to pour it into for your dog. It also comes in very handy to clean up/dilute any poops that can’t be picked up (non-solid/diarrhea poops) so there’s literally never an excuse to leave poop lying. Carrying it in a bottle means you can drink it and then pour it into a container or pop-up bowl for your dog to drink too. Win Win.
I kept this brief and to the main points that really annoy me when I’m out with Bandit. I want my dog to be safe and I want to be able to go for a nice walk without watching my every step please and thank you.
What are your top tips for dog owners? Let me know in the comments.