How to Be a Good Dog About Town

This article is brought to you in partnership with The Anti-Cruelty Society in Chicago.

If pupper’s gonna be your big-city adventure bud, he’s gotta be safe, pawlite, and comfortable all over town, whether you’re sippin’ puppuccinos, enjoying a little re-tail therapy, or gettin’ your fetch on at the dog park. Here’s your cheat sheet for helping your bestie achieve Goodest City Dawg status:

  1. Know your dog. Not all dogs ruv all experiences, and that’s A-OK. Before you set out on your doggy date, think: will my pup be comfortable here? If you get there and it’s a no-go for Fido, be flexible with your plans.
  2. Know the dog park ropes. Almost everypawdy loves a good romp at the park: the sights, the sounds, the sniffs (so many rumps, so little time)! Internalize our guide to dog park etiquette and you’ll help ensure it’s a safe ‘n fun experience fur everyone.
  3. Microchip up. Most pup parents have already checked this one off the list. But if you’re on the fence about microchipping, let us paw-suade you of its many benefits, including the most important: keeping Fido safe and found, if ever he embarks on an accidental adventure.
  4. Spaying/neuter. (Just doo it.) It prevents certain cancers, helps your pet live longer, and nixes any paw-sibility of a puppy surprise (not the stuffed animal variety). Want more health benefits? The Anti-Cruelty Society lists a bunch on its website, and also offers spays and neuters for pets in the Chicago area. The ASPCA also has a searchable database for low-cost spay and neuter programs across the country.
  5. Build confidence. Fear is at the root of many dog behavior challenges, and confidence-boosting training can go a long way towards a dog who can keep his calm almost anywhere, especially when it comes to new experiences like that paddleboarding-with-your-pup class you wanna take. It also strengthens your trust bond, so he’ll feel safe as long as you’re together (adorbs).
  6. Dine paw-litely. Dog-friendly restaurant patios are becoming more and more pupular, Follow these 10 tips for a tail-wagging experience.
  7. Know your taproom etiquette. Thanks to a Great Dane-sized variety of dog-friendly breweries across the country, you also can bring your bestie for belly rubs while you enjoy a pint. Here’s what to know before you go. (Woof to the wise: leave those retractable leashes at home.)

Fur extra credit: Bring your doggo’s tail-waggin’ joy to those in need. So many of our woofers would make excellent therapy dogs with a little training, and the rewards go all ways: visits from a furry friend for assisted living residents and hospital patients, pets and belly rubs galore for your pooch, and warm fuzzies for you. Here’s how to make your dog a therapy dog.

(Photo by @maggielovesorbit)

Founded in 1899, The Anti-Cruelty Society is a force of good for animals in Chicago and far beyond, facilitating adoptions and providing affordable spay/neuter surgeries, community education, and much more.

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