Let’s face it, it’s our world and dogs are just living in it. While you may love your dog tagging along on your weekend errands, there are a few places to avoid when you’re with your dog.
Going out in human-dominated public places can be overwhelming for dogs for several reasons, but especially because of their ultra-sensitive noses and ears. Much of the information dogs receive is through smell and hearing. In bustling public places, dogs can be easily engulfed by the amount of information coming to them.
Watch this Ted-Ed lesson to learn more about the amazing power of a dog’s nose:
If you tend to keep Toto in your tote bag while you go to any of the following places, consider this: dogs process everything more intensely than we do. We might be able to tune out noises or stimuli, but chances are, your dog is taking it all in. Imagine all the sounds, smells, and sights dogs absorb in a grocery store, for instance? Talk about sensory overload.
The truth is, not all places are suitable for dogs, and dogs don’t necessarily enjoy being in frenetic human-oriented places. Alternatively, arranging for a playdate, walk, or 20 minutes of playtime with you can be more beneficial than an entire afternoon of errand-running.
Next time you think about taking your dog to any of the following places, consider what your dog is feeling, and maybe opt to leave them at home.
Places Dogs Just Don’t Like
From loud rolling carts to the overwhelming deli scents, grocery stores can drive dogs crazy. While most grocery stores only allow service dogs, people often ignore this rule. However, these rules really are in place for good reason: First and foremost, food is packaged, prepared, and served in grocery stores. Dogs can pose sanitation risks in food establishments.
Why are service dogs are allowed in grocery stores? People legitimately rely on service animals to assist them with day-to-day tasks. Aside from being extremely well-trained, service dogs are trained to react calmly under stress. Non-trained dogs can be triggered by things we don’t even notice, making it hard to know how dogs will act in unpredictable situations. Besides, isn’t it hard to push a cart and walk the dog at the same time?
Dogs and retail don’t mix. Malls are often busy, crowded, and full of merchandise. Wandering customers can easily step on your dog. Additionally, the sights and sounds of a busy human-dominated space may frighten your dog. If your dog tends to let out a pittle squirt when they get excited, you especially want to avoid merchandise stores so you don’t “break it” and “buy it.”
It’s quite common for restaurants to accommodate dogs, especially in Los Angeles. It can be fun to bring doggo along for a day full of adventures, including food stops along the way. But from your dog’s perspective, you’re bringing them to an unfamiliar place full of smells and new people. And unless they’re extra lucky, dogs are not guaranteed any of the goodies. Additionally, if dogs are allowed in restaurants, it’s usually outdoor seating. Your best bet for bringing your dog to a restaurant is making sure ahead of time that the accommodations suit your preferences. If they have a dog brunch menu as well, all the better!
Crowded events are pure chaos to dogs. To them, it’s like a bunch of people are just standing around with no purpose. Dogs are very sensitive to energy, and in a crowded place, can easily experience sensory overload. Parties are another bad place for dogs. With doors opening and closing, new people, loud noises, and food strewn about, parties can be dangerous for dogs. This includes holiday gatherings, like Thanksgiving, Fourth of July, or New Year’s Eve.
Kids can overwhelm dogs with their curiosity and lack of boundaries. Dogs, on the other hand, like to be familiar with people who are in their space. If your dog gets freaked out by a child and reacts to them, both your dog and that child become afraid of each other. Nobody wins. Avoid this scenario by only bringing your dog to dog parks.
If you’re out running errands for an hour or two, your dog will be fine on their own. Truly, having some alone time is great for dogs to develop a sense of independence and become trustworthy at home alone. If you currently bring your dog with you to do errands because you’re afraid they will damage your home, you might consider training.
Of course, there’s also always daycare available so your dog can get some socialization and playtime while you do your thing. Additionally, Fitdog offers Pack Adventures on Saturday mornings. Our team picks your dog up to play with their pals for an hour, and you don’t miss a beat. Having outdoor exercise can be highly beneficial to your pup, and a sure-fire way to tucker them out for a peaceful afternoon.
It would be great to live in a world where our dogs could truly be a part of our every day lives. However, certain rules are in place for good reason, and they are best to be respected. At the end of the day, not everyone likes dogs, and it is important to be tolerant of that fact. We can continue to create spaces for dogs and humans to commingle while also respecting the boundaries of established settings. Always consider your dog’s perspective when debating on taking them along for your errands.
Cover photo by Banter Snaps on Unsplash.