Friday, 24 April 2009

The Pooch and Mutt guide to Park Etiquette

There is something irresistible about the smell of freshly cut grass and what better way to experience it than to hit the park with your pooch!

It’s that time of year that you and your dog begin to explore new green spaces and enjoy warmer and longer afternoon strolls in the sunshine. There is a certain feeling of joy when you reach down to unleash your best friend out onto the green where he/she can roam freely.

However, it goes without saying that where humans and dogs come together accidents can also occur. Every year hundreds of people in the UK are involved in unnecessary dog biting incidents.

A study in the US showed that dog bites tend to peak during warmer weather. This is typically due to the fact that there are more children out during summertime and hot weather can cause some dogs to be more irritable.

The combination of playing children, tasty picnics and mutts chasing Frisbees can often become a both terribly exciting and equally frustrating environment for a dog to be in.

And unfortunately, not every Park is filled with responsible dog owners, so to make sure you're not one of these people here are some basic etiquette rules which you should consider when taking pooch out to play in the sun.

Moody mutts – Like us when the temperature rises dogs too can feel hot and bothered. To ease your dog’s irritability try walking your dog at cooler times of the day like mornings and late afternoons where there is a bit more shade. Make sure he/she has plenty of water to drink during the walk especially if your outing involves a cloggy car journey. If your dog is long haired don’t forget to book that seasonal appointment to the grooming salon.

Hay fever – Like us humans, dogs too can suffer from allergies like Hay Fever. Pooch and Mutt’s Bionic Biotic has a special ingredient called Methionine, which things it controls histamine release histamine is what triggers allergic reactions, such as hay fever. Bionic Biotic will also boost your dog’s immune system, which is important when they are out and about more, seeing, touching and eating new things.

Children and dogs – Kids can get very excited around dogs and often lose control of boundaries. Remember children should never be left unsupervised with a dog. They should also be taught dog safety just as they are taught how to cross a road. This type of doggy etiquette includes the fundamental rule of not petting a dog until it sees you and is able to sniff your hand. The Kennel Club offers sound advice on children and dogs including the Good Citizens dog scheme.

Clean Up: Many places threaten to fine you if your dog makes a mess and you fail to dispose of it correctly buy allowing a dog to leave behind any nasty surprises in public spaces is purely down right disgusting. To prevent the unintentional spreading of disease and intestinal parasites, pick up after your dog. Don’t forget to stay green and use biodegradable poop bags. Read our green blog for more tips on staying green.

Feasting ground - Dogs and food equals disaster especially when the food doesn’t belong to you. Between now and September parks and fields will be filled with sausage rolls, scones and many more human treats which will be a huge temptation for your greedy friend. Make sure you keep that leash nice and tight when entering picnic territory.

Social pups – If you have recently re-homed a dog or feel that your pooch hides away from too much action and excitement he may need to be socialised more. Socialising a dog is a huge part of making your dog a better pet for people to be around and should begin as soon as it can leave the house.

Join a local dog club or take your dog to busy areas like parks, town centres and beaches so they have plenty of interaction with humans.

Help us understand just how close you are to your dog by entering the following Pooch & Mutt survey online.

If you want to meet Pooch and Mutt visit the East Anglia Game Fair this weekend next to the dog crèche!

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