START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good

5 Places NOT to Take Your Dog

5 Places NOT to Take Your Dog

June 20th is Take Your Dog to Work Day, an annual day started by Pet Sitters International. Many dog-friendly companies, including Google, Amazon, and Sounds True, invite their employers to take their dogs to work year round. And that could be a smart policy — pets can actually help lower stress levels and increase work satisfaction according to a Virginia Commonwealth University study.

And while you will often find me and my dogs in pet-friendly businesses such as Apple, Barnes & Noble, Home Depot, and Pottery Barn, there are many places where dogs may be welcome, but you may want to think twice before you bring along Buster.

1. Fireworks Show

Even if your local beach or park at the lake is dog friendly, don’t take your dog to the fireworks show. In addition to the loud sounds that can damage his hearing, the stress he may endure from the loud booms will want him to flee or duck for cover. When dogs hear loud sounds they can’t orient and haven’t built an association that it is safe, their nervous system gets heavily taxed. You soon may not recognize your otherwise well-behaved dog after he suffers from the stress due to the fortissimo fireworks.

Related: How to Ease Fido’s Fear During Fireworks

2. Public Events with Loud Bands Playing

Humans hear sounds between 20-20,000 Hz. Dogs hear at least twice as high, sometimes all the way up to 55,000 Hz. A fundraising party for dogs and their people that benefits your local shelter, doesn’t benefit your dog when a loud band is playing. Please be careful of your dog’s sound environment.

Related: 5 Surprising Ways to Save Your Dog’s Hearing

3. Dog Parks During Busy Hours

A dog park is not a place to teach your dog to be social. They should have good social skills and an extremely reliable recall before entering a dog park. But, even if they do, you should assume that not all dogs frequenting dog parks have polite manners. And not all people bringing their dogs to dog parks are paying close attention to their dog. It’s best to just avoid them at high traffic hours and enjoy a hike, outdoor playtime, or a dog sport together instead.

Related: 5 Life Lessons I Learned From My Dog in 33 Seconds


Green foxtail, Image credit: Gerry Brush via Flickr

4. A Field Filled with Foxtails

I’m all for off-leash dog hikes, and enjoy them daily with Sanchez and Gina. I’m just extra cautious during the spring and summer months, when foxtails abound. They can get into a dog’s fur, eyes, nose and paws very quickly and almost invisibly. Left unseen and untreated, they can be deadly. Best to just avoid hiking areas with foxtails, mostly found in the western part of the U.S.

5. Outdoor Cafes – Unless You Have a Very Well Socialized, Calm, Quiet Dog

While I frequently take Sanchez and Gina to dine with me at outdoor dog-friendly restaurants, it is because they are very good at being calm and quiet and stay out of the path of waiters. If you have a dog that barks at every dog, he’s better left at home enjoying his own snack. “Dog friendly” means other dogs will be there, so please keep that in mind if you have a dog who either barks at other dogs or tries to play with every 4-legged friend in the area. An unsocialized dog in a stressed environment can be uncomfortable for other diners, whether they are dog lovers or not.

Related: Should Dogs Be Allowed to Dine at Restaurants?

Delivering Calm, Four Paws at a Time!

Receive a FREE DOWNLOAD from the Calm your Canine Companion music series when you sign up for the Through a Dog’s Ear newsletter and/or Lisa’s Blog. Simply click here, enter your email address and a link to the free download will be delivered to your inbox for you and your canine household to enjoy!


Read more: Behavior & Communication, Dogs, Everyday Pet Care, Pets, Safety, , , , , , , , , , ,

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

Lisa Spector

Lisa Spector is a concert pianist, Juilliard graduate, and canine music expert. She is co-founder of Through a Dog's Ear, the first music clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system. Their new high-tech pet gadget, iCalmDog, is the portable solution to canine anxiety. Lisa shares her home and her heart with her two "career change" Labrador Retrievers from Guide Dogs for the Blind, Sanchez and Gina. Follow Lisa's blog here.


+ add your own
9:46AM PDT on May 14, 2015

These are indeed five places to avoid. Your dog will thank you.

10:51AM PST on Dec 13, 2014

I've stopped hiking certain trails here in Colorado due to foxtails. in addition to the beach mentioned below, the woods during November hunting season. one distant gunshot and the dogs want to leave ... and we do.

10:38AM PST on Nov 26, 2014


4:59AM PST on Nov 26, 2014

Thank you for posting

7:01PM PST on Nov 17, 2014

Another place you shouldn't take your dog is a hot beach. Paws are sensitive and hot sand is not a time to walk your dog.

1:25PM PST on Nov 17, 2014

No, foxtail grasses grow in the North American temperate climates. They look like a long, skinny row of barbed awns, almost like a row of overlapping arrowhead with spikes.

The merciless barbs are like fish hooks that won't let go and they can propel themselves into the ears, nasal passges, between toes, and parts that men aren't going to want to hear about.

Stay away from wetlands and adjacent fields.

12:30PM PST on Nov 17, 2014

great to know

1:27AM PST on Nov 16, 2014

Sound advice another place where no one should bring a dog is into pubs.Incidentally fox tails are called sticky willies in Scotland.

4:13PM PST on Nov 11, 2014

4 are common sense, but I didn't know about the foxtails. Maybe they are not a British grass.

9:30AM PST on Nov 11, 2014

My dog does like to go to the dog friendly restaurant, but he remains close to me. Thanks for sharing.

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Thank you for sharing these good tips.

Thanks for sharing

Good article to post.

The trick is to simply stay abreast of everything as it comes in. As to the trick on how to stay ab…


Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.