As a dog owner, it’s natural to want your loyal companion by your side all the time, but doing so can sometimes prove to be a challenge. It’s important to understand the logistics of taking your pooch with you anytime, anywhere. Whether you’re an individual looking to take your dog to the grocery store or park, or a business owner who wants to make their space more pet-friendly, we’ll provide the essential information that you need to know.
How can I legally take my dog everywhere?
Before you decide to take your pet anywhere, it’s critical to be aware of the rules and regulations concerning pets in that area. Service animals are allowed in more situations than pets, so understanding what qualifies as a service animal or emotional support animal is important when deciding whether or not your dog can accompany you. In general, service animals are highly trained and recognized by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as essential support systems for their human counterparts. Emotional support or therapy animals, on the other hand, provide comfort without any specific training to execute tasks that aid people with disabilities. Certain states may have laws allowing special permissions to therapy animals but they are not covered by the same federal laws protecting the use of service animals. Understanding these distinctions can affect where your pet can join you, so we recommend doing your research before visiting.
Dog-friendly facilities - Where can I go with my dog?
If your dog isn't certified or qualified as a service or support animal, not all hope is lost. There are plenty of dog-friendly places where you can take your furry friends, such as some breweries, restaurant patios, parks, hotels, and even nursing homes. You'll find that certain chains like Petco and Tractor Supply Co. have policies that permit dogs indoors. However, this quality of dog-friendliness is not necessarily the standard, so it's best to examine local bylaws and rules of places that interest you and check the company's website. Businesses that emphasize their support for dogs in their marketing or have dog-friendly amenities like designated doggie areas or free dog treats can make all the difference in terms of creating a fun outing and a memorable experience for you and your dog!
Should I take my dog with me everywhere?
It is important to take into account that even though you would enjoy having your dog with you everywhere you go, your dog might not enjoy accompanying you to all of your destinations if they are easily overwhelmed or overstimulated in certain situations. Will there be too many people or loud noise that might make your dog uncomfortable or even act out negatively? Consider the weather too; will it be too hot out or will your pup have access to shade and water? You want to make sure that your outings with your pet are just as enjoyable for them as they are for you.
If you plan on taking your pup with you nearly everywhere you go, make sure that your dog is properly trained to be on his best behavior in public. Your dog should be leash trained and understand basic commands like sit, stay, and heel. It is also important that your dog does not get aggressive or overly excited around other dogs or people and can greet others calmly. If you are taking your dog with you in public, it is likely that other dogs or people may approach your pooch to say hello (whether you like it or not).
Some places may have strict rules prohibiting pets both indoors and outdoors. In this case, you may have no choice but to leave your pup behind, and that’s okay. While leaving your dog tied out in front of an establishment isn’t ideal and leaving them in the car is only acceptable in cooler weather conditions, leaving them at home where they are safe and in their most comfortable environment is the best option.
Regulations for businesses
If you're a business owner or manager, you may be wondering if it's allowed for customers, clients, and employees to bring their dogs to your location. Fortunately, the ADA provides clear guidelines on when businesses must allow service animals on-site and what qualifies as a legitimate service animal. In certain cases, businesses are also permitted to ask for certification or evidence of an animal's service status. It is clear that animals are not allowed in grocery stores, indoor restaurants, or other food establishments unless they are service animals. Many restaurants and eateries have outdoor patios or lawn areas where they may allow dogs. If you want to make your business pet-friendly, certain best practices including providing amenities like watering stations, treats, and designated dog poop stations can make a world of difference. Consider hiring a service to help manage pet waste on your property, like DoodyCalls.
Taking your dog everywhere can prove to be a bit of a challenge, but with a little bit of knowledge and preparation, you can make it work. No matter what your reason is for wanting to take your furry friend with you everywhere, always ensure that both you and your dog feel safe, healthy, and comfortable.