Ask Dr. Anna: “Petiquette” rules for your pet

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Pet ownership has changed over the last 20 years.  Not only has the number of dogs and cats in the United States increased, but pets have moved their way into our homes and into our hearts.  Many people, including myself, consider their pets their children and treat them as such.  It is important to be aware and sensitive to others people and animals around us when we have our pets out in public.  Here are some “petiquette” rules that you should follow to prevent insulting your human friends.

Anna Coffin is the Veterinarian at Guthrie Pet Hospital and can be contacted at (405) 282-8796.
Anna Coffin is the Veterinarian at Guthrie Pet Hospital and can be contacted at (405) 282-8796.

You should always ask permission to bring your pet to someone else’s home and only if your pet is well behaved.  If your pet is invited, ask how you can make the visit more comfortable for everyone.   Check to see if you need to keep your pet on a leash or if you need to bring a crate.  If you are staying overnight bring your dog’s bed, crate or blanket so you don’t get hair on your friend’s bedding.  Also be prepared to repair or replace anything that your pet damages or destroys.

It’s important to make sure your pet gets proper exercise during your visit, especially for potty breaks.  Walk your pet close to the curb to encourage them to potty away from the sidewalk.  If your pet starts sniffing around someone’s personal property gently pull them away and redirect them to a different area.  Always scoop their poop.  If the stool is too soft to pick up, carry along a water bottle to rinse away the mess.  Also bring along some odor neutralizer and stain remover just in case an accident occurs in the house.

Don’t assume that just because your dog loves every dog that another person’s dog feels the same way.  In certain situations, a dog that is normally nice can become aggressive.  Shy dogs that aren’t used to other dogs may bite due to fear.  Be respectful of other people’s personal space as many dogs love sniffing butts and crotches.  Not everyone understands that’s just how they say hello it’s nice to meet you.  When approaching someone with a dog it’s always important to ask if you can pet their dog.  When I’m walking my dogs, I actually tell people that they are welcome to pet my dogs because not everyone knows that is proper “petiquette”.

Please e-mail me with your questions at ACoffin@aol.com and put “Ask Dr. Anna” in the subject line or mail your questions to 123 West Harrison Guthrie, OK 73044.

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