It’s 7:00 PM on a Friday, and you’re ready to walk out the door for a night out. Suddenly, your best friend, who also happens to have four legs, jumps in your lap, ready for some one-on-one time. Your guilt won’t let you leave her alone, but you’re ready to unwind after a long week. What do you do? Why, take her with you, of course!
Much like you’ve been anticipating the weekend, your furry friend has been looking forward to spending time with you. The solution is to alter your plans to include places where both you and your dog are welcome.
Here are some tips for how to properly expose your pet to the world of people without causing any undue stress on you or your dog.
You gotta eat, so let’s get this one out of the way first. Before you reserve your table for two, make sure the restaurant allows dogs. Many have strict anti-pet policies, but some welcome well-behaved pets in certain areas of the establishment.
When you do bring your dog with you, make sure to take them out to do their business beforehand. Your dog should also remain leashed and at your feet at all times. Cesar’s Way notes that you should also make sure to feed your pet before taking them to a restaurant.
Most places have a “no bark, no bite” policy. The “bite” part speaks for itself, but the “bark” matters too. Know when your dog has overstayed their welcome, and only bring your furry friend if you’re confident they’re comfortable around strangers, activity, and noise.
A Walk in the Park
During the day, you can always take your dog for a mild hike at a local state park, but there is another option, one that includes humans, too! Dog parks draw dog-lovers from all walks of life. In order to go to a dog park, you must ensure that your dog is already comfortable interacting with other animals and doesn’t typically show signs of aggression.
Many dog parks have fenced-in segregated areas to allow small breeds to feel more comfortable around others their own size. One of the biggest benefits here is the almost instantaneous camaraderie felt by everyone – people included! It’s a great way to make friends for both you and your dog.
Make It Social with Friends Old and New
Want to spend some time with your four-legged companion while hanging out with your friends? You can turn an outing with your dog into a social occasion. Invite the people you’ve met at local dog parks out for coffee or lunch — with your dogs included. What’s more, you can also use this opportunity to connect with some old friends and classmates you haven’t heard from in a while. If you’ve lost touch with some of your former friends from your teenage years, there are many websites that can help you find old friends according to the high school you attended. All it takes is a phone call to get reconnected!
Making it a Movie Night
While you can’t walk into a standard movie theater with Toto in tow, most drive-ins don’t have restrictions. As long as your pet is calm and doesn’t interfere with the overall experience of the other guests, you should be able to take them with you. Take some time to unwind with a movie, your friends, and your trustworthy pooch. If your pup gets antsy while watching the movie, Tether Tug recommends providing your dog with a quiet chew toy or treat puzzle to occupy them.
Visiting the bar
Across the country, more and more bars and taverns are allowing animals to careen their courtyards. Some even offer themed nights that target dog owners. The most important rule here is to make sure you don’t get over-excited and down a few more than you can handle. You still have to take care of your dog. Keep a close watch on your leashed companion and make sure he doesn’t accidentally indulge in a not-so-friendly brew, since dogs have smaller bodies, so that any amount of alcohol can be potentially toxic.
There is no reason that you can’t spend some quality time with your BFF from 5-o’clock on Friday until the alarm signals the start of a new work week Monday morning. Hang out at the dog park, reconnect with some old friends, watch some movies — the possibilities are endless. Keep in mind your dog’s behavior is a direct reflection of your pet parenting abilities. Never let your dog get rowdy in public, always monitor them for signs of stress and sickness, and provide plenty of water and bathroom breaks.
Be sure to contact 2 Paws Up Inc. for all your pet sitting, dog walking, and dog training needs. Get in touch with us today by calling 770-695-3096.