Interaction and greetings on dog walks. Why do we always say no?

The JenLovesPets team follows a strict policy of not allowing our client’s dogs to interact with others during walks. We’ve all experienced it- another dog’s owner being persistent that the pups must meet and be friends. We politely decline, letting them know that we are the dog walker and inform them that our company policy doesn’t allow for the dogs to meet. Most of the time, they will understand and respect the policy. Phew! Huge relief when that happens!
However, there are always those few times when the other dog’s owner insists that the dogs have to meet. The dog starts running closer and that’s when it hits me that the owner may be brushing my polite decline off to the side. I move my way quickly in-between the dogs and let them know again- No, the dogs cannot meet. They may say “Oh don’t worry, my dog’s friendly! See, they want to be friends”. This isn’t always the case and it’s too risky to take people’s word for it. Their dog may actually not be as friendly as they say. Or perhaps the client’s dog I’m walking is extremely reactive to other dogs on leash. It’s hard to predict how the interaction will go. It’s important to confidently say no, even if it needs to be said multiple times.
Our team also has encountered people, without dogs, walking by and wanting to pet the dog we are walking. People LOVE seeing dogs and they can instantly make people feel happy. Very valid! Not everyone can read animal body language and may think it is OK to walk up and pet them. An anxious dog may need lots of warming up to people before earning their trust. Some pups require multiple visits worth of bonding time and taking it slowly before they feel comfortable with us caring for them. A random person walking up to a dog and wanting to love on them could cause the dog to feel nervous and scared, resulting in a reaction. We say no to people for these reasons. We simply care about your fur babies well-being!
The client’s pets are in our care while we watch them and they are our number one priority. No ifs, ands, or buts! The safety of our fur nephews and nieces should never be risked. As much as you want your fur baby to have as many friends as possible, interactions and socialization with the pups are up to the owners of the dogs. The JenLovesPets pet care professionals are there to provide the best service possible and that means safety, first!

 

~Written by: Jill; Team Lead/Pet Care Professional, JenLovesPets

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