Dog Manners

Here are a few simple guidelines for travellers to make sure your family dog will be a welcome guest in anyone’s home.  All in all, show consideration for the home or hotel you’re in and be prepared to follow their house rules. Your dog is an invited guest and should act accordingly.

Swift obedience to the commands stay, come and sit can be a lifesaver.  Intensify practice of your dog’s manners before you go so the trip goes smoother.  Try to anticipate concerns that may arise in the new environment.

For instance, if you normally let your dog curl up beside you on the couch, it’s time to start practicing getting him off. Not all homes are okay with dogs on the furniture.   He should also wait to be invited before going up.  If he jumps up without an invitation, simply guide him back down. Have treats on hand to reward your dog’s good behavior and get the family to join you in refreshing his training.

When you travel, take a supply of your dog’s food and his dishes. Make sure he wears a dog tag with your cell phone number or the number of your host. Have information about the closest vet to where you will be staying, and pack any medications.  You will find it useful to bring a designated mat for your dog to practice down-stay. Take a dog towel or two just in case there are accidents.  As well, pack a supply of baggies for your dog’s washroom time. Being a gracious guest means you pick up immediately and not just at the end of the day. Ask your host or the hotel staff where to dispose of the used bag.

Your dog’s habit of sitting at the table waiting for some delicious food to drop might not be appreciated at someone else’s home. If your dog begs, put him in a different room while you eat. Collapsible crates are perfect for visiting as your dog will have his own place to retreat to when needed.

Overall, dogs like to travel, but they need consistency and reassurance in new environments.   It goes without saying that in outdoor situations and in public places, you keep them on a leash at all times.  If they have to be left alone, find a safety zone where you are staying or leave them for shorter periods in their crate.