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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- Dine paw-litely. Dog-friendly restaurant patios are becoming more and more pupular, Follow these 10 tips for a tail-wagging experience.
- 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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