A Pet Owner's Guide to Dog Walking Etiquette

by Jamie Tedder on Apr 17, 2024


Walking your dog is a fundamental part of being a dog parent. More than giving your furry friend the exercise they need to stay healthy and active, it's also a chance to play, reinforce training, strengthen your bond, explore new surroundings, breathe fresh air, and let your dog socialize with others.

5 Easy Rules for Pet Owners When Walking Your Dog

While it may seem straightforward—just a daily jaunt to the dog park or around the block—there are some important dos and don'ts to remember. We may all share the same goal of enjoying time outdoors with our dogs, but a few reminders can guarantee the experience remains enjoyable, convenient, and safe for everyone involved.

Scoop the Poop

Picking up after your pet is non-negotiable. Not only is your dog's poop unsightly, but it can also be unsanitary, potentially spreading diseases or parasites to other pets and people. Not cleaning up after your pet also leaves a bad impression on all dog owners.

Always be prepared with a waste bag when walking your dog and pick up their poop as you would from their grass potty pads. This applies regardless of where they relieved themselves—whether on a lawn, the street, sidewalk, or in planters.

No Trespassing

Allowing your dog to walk on your neighbor's front lawns, into their gardens, and worse, letting them pee on their mailboxes or trash bins or poop on their grass is as universally unacceptable as trespassing on private property yourself.

Treat your neighbors' properties as you would like yours to be treated. It's best to keep your dog on the sidewalks and streets and encourage them to relieve themselves on the grass strip between the sidewalk and the street.


Use a Leash

No matter how confident you may be in your dog's off-leash abilities, recall training, or obedience, there's no telling what can trigger them when outdoors, particularly in unfamiliar situations with other animals, people, or moving vehicles.

Keep your dog leashed outdoors and know your area's leash laws. Save off-leash activities for designated areas like dog parks or contained spaces such as your backyard, where there's no risk of cars or strangers. A leash gives you the control you need to ensure the safety of your dog and others.

Be Respectful

When walking your dog, it's important to be respectful of others. While your dog may be friendly, not all people or dogs may be interested in socializing. It's safer to assume that other dog walkers may not want their dogs to engage with yours without permission. Always ask before allowing your dog to approach others.

Conversely, if you're training your furry best friend to socialize, it's best to ask the other owner if letting your dogs meet is okay. Ensure you have a tight hold of your leash and that the other dog walker has control of their dog to prevent any unexpected encounters. This approach ensures a positive and safe experience for everyone involved.

Pay Attention

During your walk, avoid being preoccupied with your phone. Instead, focus on your dog by listening and engaging with them. You bear a significant responsibility for your dog's behavior, so it's crucial to keep them by your side at all times. Give them opportunities to sniff, play with toys, and practice socialization with you. Avoid letting them wander off without supervision, and ensure they don't charge around other dogs or people.

Likewise, be mindful of your surroundings. Give space to dog walkers who appear to be training their dogs or with dogs showing signs of nervousness or fear. Keeping your distance can help maintain a calm and safe environment for everyone.


Dog Walking Doesn't Always Mean Engagement with Other Dogs

Dogs are naturally social animals, but they can also be selectively social. Many dogs prefer socializing with familiar dogs or those they have been properly introduced to rather than every dog they encounter. Some dogs may not enjoy the company of other dogs at all and are more focused on human interaction. It's essential to understand and respect your dog's preferences and not expect them to be friendly with every dog they meet, just as you wouldn't expect the same from other dogs.

Socialization isn't just about greeting other dogs. A well-socialized dog is comfortable and well-behaved around people and other dogs. They know how to listen and focus, especially when around other dogs, and understand that not every dog is a playmate. Recall training is essential for safe dog walking, ensuring your dog responds to your commands, even in exciting situations.

Teaching your dog proper social behavior not only creates a safer environment but also fosters healthy relationships with your dog and your community.


About Gotta Go Grass® Potty Pads for Dogs

Gotta Go Grass® is committed to adding joy and convenience to your life with your dog. By following these tips, you can enjoy a hassle-free walk while maintaining positive relationships with other dog owners and your neighbors.

Our real grass pee pads for dogs offer a dog-friendly solution, perfect for apartment living and potty training a new puppy. With the superior moisture and odor-absorbent properties of natural grass, as well as its long-lasting nature, Gotta Go Grass® provides a versatile and effective alternative to artificial grass options. Set it up indoors, on the patio, or on the balcony to experience the benefits firsthand.

Shop dog-friendly solutions with Gotta Go Grass® today!

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