What would the world be without pets? I absolutely love my little Shih Tzu, Kobe, and look forward to coming home every day and seeing his little face at the door waiting for me. I also hate leaving him when I go to work, so I take him with me when I can. Even though for some of us, pets are just like our children, we must remember they are animals, not human beings. Below are some basic pet etiquette rules every pet owner should follow in their daily lives with their furry children.

  • Do make sure your dog is on a leash and has on a collar with identification and contact information when outside the home.
    There are many states that require dogs be on a leash outside the home. The exception to this rule are some dog parks where your pets can play unleashed, but it is best for the safety of the animal and others to keep dogs on a leash when in public. It is also a good idea for the animal to have on a collar with contact information. I have a close friend whose dog was frightened during a firecracker show and ran away. He was later found and returned to my friend because the person who found him used the information on his collar to find the owners.
  • Do not feed your pet from the table.
    It is never a good idea to feed pets from the table because they will get used to being fed that way and may demand food from the table at the wrong time such as a dinner party with friends. While it may not annoy you to have your furry friend around you and under you while you eat, other people may not feel the same way. Also, dogs are not able to eat certain foods and you do not want to risk dropping something like a chicken bone and your dog picking it up.
  • Do ask before bringing your pet to the homes of others, even if they are animal lovers. 
    I have some friends who absolutely love my dog Kobe, however I still ask before I take him to their home as a courtesy. My Kobe thinks he is human, so he feels like he should be able to sit on the sofa and some people do not want animals on their furniture. In those cases, he goes to visit his dog sitter who I know will treat him just as I would and let him lounge where he wants.
  • Do not let your animal take care of their business in your neighbor’s yard.
    There have been many arguments between neighbors because of pets relieving themselves where they should not. All pet owners should set boundaries with their pets and encourage them not to take care of their business in the neighbor’s yard. If they do accidently potty in your neighbor’s yard, be sure you pick up after your pet and apologize to your neighbor. Most people are reasonable and should understand that accidents happen.
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