Tips for Pet Parents on Suitable Etiquette for Pets
In preparation for getting outdoors this spring, Petco is helping pet parents refresh their manners with eight proper "pettiquette" tips for weather of all kinds.
1. Keep barking under control: The pet parent with the barking dog is most likely not the most popular neighbor. Although barking is not always preventable, ensure pets receive proper training so they don't bark incessantly. Avoid leaving dogs alone for long periods of time, especially outdoors. Making sure pets have enough exercise and plenty of toys to provide mental stimulation will help curb barking. For tips and tricks, consult one of Petco's Positive Dog Trainers. All Petco dog trainers are certified in AKC Canine Good Citizen and STARR Puppy testing. The AKC STARR Puppy training is designed to get dog owners and their puppies off to a good start. The AKC Canine Good Citizen certification is a widely-recognized high standard of polite behavior and excellent preparation for therapy dog training. Each dog who completes these courses will receive a certificate from the American Kennel Club.
2. Don't let cats wander: Although cats can exhibit very independent behavior, the outdoor cat that is always wandering into their neighbor's yard, may not be welcomed with open arms. Keep cats from visiting the family next door by providing them a cozy space inside the home with enough toys to keep them mentally stimulated throughout the day. Petco's Playscapes Modular Cat Furniture will ensure cats can satisfy their need for exploration and climbing without wanting to leave the house.
3. Keep the hair and smell at bay: When dining out with pets, ensure dogs are properly groomed to keep shedding to a minimum. A smelly dog shedding its winter coat is never pleasant near food so bathe pets regularly and use a shed control shampoo. When entertaining at home, make sure guests want to return by removing pet hair from furniture and smelling of the animal. Be sure the cat's litter box is scooped daily and use an odor absorbent litter such as Petco Dual Odor Guard Scoopable Cat Litter. Keep small animal and reptile habitats clean and use potty pads, like Four Paws Wee Wee pads to help cut down on guests stepping in a new puppy's "accident."
4. Clean up waste: Walking into the front yard and stepping in a pile of poop from a neighbor's dog can be upsetting. It may sound simple, but be sure to pick up waste when walking a dog. Products, like the eco-friendly Earth Rated Poop Bags, easily hook to the dog's leash making it simple to carry along on a walk.
5. Obey the rules: Keep dogs leashed at all times while at parks and in other dog-friendly public places. Excited dogs who are off-leash may run and jump on people or children or hurt themselves by running away from their pet parent. Only take a dog off-leash at a dog park that allows it. Remember to obey all marked rules at the dog park and don't forget to close the gate behind you so other dogs can't escape.
6. Positive reinforcement is key: Barking orders is not the way to encourage a pet to behave, especially when it is done in public. Disciplining pets in front of others can make people uncomfortable. Instead, train pets by reinforcing good behavior with loving attention or a treat. Keep a calm tone and never raise your voice, especially when in public.
7. Use table manners: Petco understands that pet parents love their animals, but others may be uncomfortable when certain people take it to the extreme, especially while at a restaurant. Never feed pets from the pet parent's lap or plate. Not only can certain people food be dangerous for pets, but this behavior can encourage pets to beg. Always feed pets from their own food bowl away from human consumption.
8. Not everyone loves animals: It may be hard to believe, especially since pets are such a part of family life, but not everyone is an animal lover. Some people may be allergic to dogs or cats and some can even fear animals. To avoid an unpleasant run in, never let pets run up to a stranger. When taking out other types of pets like birds, reptiles or rabbits, keep in mind that others may feel uncomfortable around these animals. On the other hand, these pets may attract more attention since they are not seen in public as often, so keep them safe by always encouraging strangers to ask before petting or handling them.
For more information or to find a Petco Positive Dog Trainer near you, visit petco.com.