Dog Etiquette: What’s Expected of Dogs in Public Places?


Whenever you hit the streets with your favorite pooch, you’ll want to leave a good impression so that you’ll both be welcome back again. We all love to spend chilly winter afternoons at the coffee shop or bookstore and taking your dog with you makes it even more enjoyable! But, before you both put your winter gear on, here are some etiquette tips to ensure you and your pooch can stay as long as you like and come back time and time again.

Mind Your Manners (Both of You!)

As a dog owner, your dog is your responsibility. Your job is to make sure that he behaves himself and doesn’t disturb others. Your dog should always be on a leash and never left unattended. Make sure he’s not loud and doesn’t bark at people or other dogs. Nobody is going to be happy if your dog barks every time someone new enters the room.

Don’t Take Your Dog Out if He’s Sick

Make sure your dog is up to date on his vaccines. Just like humans, dogs can spread sickness quickly in a public place, especially respiratory issues like kennel cough and canine influenza. A rabies vaccine is required by law in most states, but you should talk to your vet to see what other shots he or she recommends. And if your dog doesn’t seem to be feeling well, just stay home until the illness passes.

Clean Up After Your Dog

Even establishments that welcome dogs expect you to be prepared to clean up after your own dog if he makes a mess. Make sure your dog goes for a long walk before you go inside and make sure you have bags, wipes, and a few paper towels in your bag, just in case.

Bring Your Own Doggie Snacks

Pet friendly establishments don’t always have things like water bowls and doggie treats. Keep a collapsible water bowl in your bag for just such an occasion. It’s good to have treats on hand to reward good behavior, too. If your dog has a favorite chew toy, you might bring that to keep him busy, too.

Always Ask Before You Pet

On the other hand, if you are a member of the public and see the cutest pooch at your favorite bookstore, always ask before you pet. Cute doesn’t always equal friendly, and if the dog is a bit nervous or startled, he may snap or bite. If you are the pet parent of a dog that doesn’t like strangers, just be honest about it. When someone approaches your dog, ask them not to pet your dog if he’s shy around people he doesn’t know.

Going Out in Public Isn’t for Every Dog

Last, but not least, keep in mind that public places aren’t every dog’s cup of tea. Some dogs would rather just stay at home. If your pooch seems stressed and anxious when you take him out, maybe this type of outing just isn’t for him. Spend a cozy evening at home with him instead!

EPN