Living in harmony

Pooches make delightful companions, but they are also one of the pets that gets the most complaints. While we love our furkids, it does not excuse inconsiderate behaviour. There are certainly many ways one can be a considerate and responsible pet owner.
By Cindy Yong
Published on Thursday, 11 January 2018

One pet peeve of non-dog owner: Paw-rents who walk their pooches using extremely long leashes. These owners usually lack control of their canines and may potentially risk tripping passers-by. According to renowned American author and vet Dr Karen Becker, the recommended length for a leash is 2.7m. This length allows plenty of room for freedom of movement while being short enough for the handler to have complete control. Dr Becker advises paw-rents to avoid using retractable leashes, as this allows Fido to get far enough away from you to get into harm’s way and may cause injuries to other dogs and people. “I previously used a long retractable leash on my dog. Once, he ran past me and the thin part (of the leash) sliced my ankle. Since then, I’ve opted for a regular leash,” shares Cai Huitian, paw-rent of nine-year-old Doxie Lingzhi.

Not cleaning up after one’s furkid is top on the list of inconsiderate dog owner behaviours. In local parks, numerous signs have been erected to remind paw-rents to pick up their pupper’s poop, but less is mentioned about dog pee—which can be just as offensive when Fido pees on tiled or concrete floors in public areas like the void deck. It’s not only foul but also attracts other pooches to urinate at the same area. A good practice is to carry a bottle of water (in addition to poop bags) during walks to flush the pee away should a potty accident happen.

When it comes to barking at strangers or other animals, Barbara Wright—dog trainer and founder of Positive Puppies—recommends that instead of shying away from social situations, or worse still, hitting your pup, paw-rents can use treats to get their dog to focus on them rather than on whatever he was previously barking at.

To read more about how to be a considerate paw-rent, flip to Paw Prints (pg 20) of our Dec 2017/Jan 2018 issue!