Taking your dog out in public is something you should consider. After all, your dog is part of your life. This is a much more modern approach to owning a pet. In the past, dogs were either left to roam the streets until dusk, or chained up inside the yard as protection.

These days with less and less people having children, pets are becoming more and more like companions – that accompany you everywhere you go, and are an essential part of your social life.

It helps if you have given your dog basic obedience training. Ideally your dog should know how to sit, walk on a lead, and stay. In practice though, this may not be the case, and you can still integrate your dog into your life. Just have them always on a lead. If you go into a shop that doesn’t welcome dogs, and you aren’t sure about the level of training the dog has had, always tie the dog to a post or fence. This way you ensure that they are safe

If your dog is really small, you may be able to carry the dog in a handbag, although even small dogs need to be able to sniff the ground and pee at some stage, so treating them like a doll is probably not the best thing.

You should be able to take your dog to your favourite café – just take an outside table and request a water bowl for your pet. You will have to be vigilant because if you stay in any position long your dog may become territorial. So if you are having a long lunch you will see that your dog starts to bark more at passing people and other dogs. It’s because he thinks that this is your new place to guard! If your dog is prone to this then try and walk around more often, and stop less.

If your dog wants to chase traffic, or barks at other dogs, and likes to lick children, you may find you have to use a muzzle. This should only be a last resort because other members of the public will think that a muzzle means a dog is aggressive and they will be afraid.

You should always have standard supplies on hand with your dog in public – if it’s cold you should have something warm for your dog – a coat or jumper. You might want to consider a water bowl – you can buy ones that fold up, or you can buy a water bottle that doubles as a bowl.

You’ll also need plastic bags to “poop scoop” should your dog do his business anywhere someone might step. And don’t forget dog treats. They ensure you stay in control of your dog and can reward his good behaviour. If you are out in public for a long time you might consider a bone or chew toy, even bedding, so that when you stop for a break your pooch can have a rest too.

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