Hello, Dallas Voice friends! Welcome back to my monthly Woof column, July edition. This month, I want to address a topic that, while not directly medical, is still crucial for our pets and our interactions with the people around us: “Pet Etiquette.”

There are situations involving our pets in public that may need solutions that rely on common sense, but this can sometimes be tricky. My goal is to provide some feedback that will hopefully help us navigate through these everyday scenarios.

Let’s start right away!

When walking our dogs, we should be mindful of our surroundings and other pets. If you know your kiddo is not a big fan of other dogs, it’s courteous to cross the street or move away when seeing another person with their dog walking towards you to avoid potential conflicts. Not all dogs are friendly with other dogs, and some might not tolerate dogs bigger or smaller than them.

It’s also essential not to pet unfamiliar dogs without the owner’s permission. Always ask first, and if children want to pet a dog, please make sure that the dog is comfortable with kids, and be sure to remind the children to be gentle.

Some dogs do not like kids and can show aggression towards them, even if the children are being careful. If the child is too young to interact in a calm and gentle manner, I would recommend avoiding any contact to prevent issues, because some kids can be rough with pets, and those pets can respond in a negative way.

Visiting dog parks or areas where leash use is optional can be challenging for some dogs, so please ensure your dog behaves appropriately and continually supervise your kiddo.

If your dog tends to hump anything that moves, bark excessively or act aggressively, they might not be ready for parks or similar social settings. On the other hand, if your dog is very shy or submissive, you will want to consider this, too, as parks can be more stressful than enjoyable for them.

You may want to consider training and/or behavioral management to help these furry kids through these situations. Additionally, there are supplements and potentially even medications that your doctor may recommend. But these would be based on a consultation and further assessment of what may be going on.

Some of us may not have the luxury of having a private backyard and may need to walk our dogs outside in common, public areas. I want to share some insight on two common mistakes to avoid.

The first common mistake is not keeping your dog on a leash at all times, including inside until they are safely back indoors with the door closed behind you. This may seem excessive, but it’s vital for preventing conflicts with other dogs or people.

If you walk your kitty on a leash, avoid areas frequented by dogs, as many dogs are not that friendly to cats.

The second mistake is leaving your dog’s waste behind. Always pick up after your pets right away to prevent leaving potential parasites in the environment and to keep shared spaces clean.

You may think these rules are obvious, but unfortunately, we see these mistakes happen too often.

Some of our pets can have separation anxiety or stress and exhibit destructive behavior or bark/meow excessively. In an ideal world, this would be addressed with behavioral management through an animal behaviorist. You can also consult with your veterinarian, who may recommend different routines, supplements or, if needed, prescription medications that could help your kiddo feel better.

This helps us raise well-behaved pets, avoid conflicts with neighbors and ensure our pets’ happiness.

As always, I hope this Woof column can help to improve our relationships with our pets and the people around us. If we follow these basic recommendations, we should have healthier, happier families, and I hope we are reminded to be considerate of those around us at all times. As always, take care and abrazos!

Dr. Josh owns Isla Veterinary Boutique Hospital at 14380 Marsh Lane, Ste. 110, in Addison. Call him at 972-738-1111 or visit IslaVet.com.