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.
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.
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.
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.
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