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Owner Etiquette: How to be a Polite Dog Owner

If you’re like us – and most dog owners – you love having your dogs with you wherever you go. That’s why, in fact, we own a “dog friendly” inn. We were pretty sure that there were other dog owners like us who would like to have their dogs with them on vacation. We think we get the best guests that come to Cape May – and they bring great people with them!

And Cape May is great and getting better all the time, about being dog friendly. There are so many things you can do with your dog(s) in Cape May. There are now MAC walking tours on which you can take your dogs. The Cape May Whale Watch is dog friendly. There are numerous dog friendly restaurants with outside seating and great food (we provide a list and contact numbers in our suites!). There are trails to walk near Higbee Beach, and as long as your dog is leashed and you pick up after them, there are a few dog friendly beaches. At Billmae Cottage we have “yappy hours” and it’s so much fun for the dogs and people to get to know each other and socialize.

I love walking with my dogs in the morning and seeing so many other dogs walking with their people! An important element of sharing your fun, activities, and vacation with your dog(s) is remembering your manners! Most non-dog owners don’t mind having dogs around as long as the dogs, and especially their people, are polite and considerate. Here are some very important things to remember to make your shared time more fun for everyone, and more likely to be something you’ll be able to do again, and will insure that you and your dog are welcome to return.

Pick up after your dog. I don’t think I own a jacket that doesn’t have a few pick up bags in the pockets, and I have a ready supply by every door. We also provide bags, in case of emergency, right beside our “doggie packages can.” There are bags available that are biodegradable and even scented bags!

Keep your dog leashed where it’s the law – like in Cape May – and even where there is not a leash law, be sure your dog is good with voice command control so you can respect the space of others and because it is dangerous to allow your dog to roam freely. A dog that chases a squirrel into the street, or just wanders into the street, can be struck by a car and injured or worse. A free roaming dog can’t be watched over to insure that it does not eat something harmful or toxic. If you use a retractable leash, keep your dog close when others are near you, again, to respect their space. You want others to respect you and your dog’s space, so “give respect to get respect”. Also, keep your dog out of people’s gardens so that flowers are not broken.

When visiting, if your dog – or you! – ruin or damage something, offer to pay for the damage, repair, and/or cleaning!

Always ask permission if you would like your dog to be able to greet someone or another dog. You would want someone to ask before going up to your dog – again, mutual respect.

Be a considerate visitor by controlling barking, and be sure to maintain control especially when enjoying outdoor dining. Don’t allow your dog to try to “dine” with other guests, even if you are willing to share your meal.

Be a good example and a good ambassador for dog-friendly. When considerate of others, you and your dog are welcome. Always check/ask in advance and your time visiting, vacationing, dining, beaching, etc. with your dog will be a positive and enjoyable experience for everyone involved! And, remember to say THANK YOU!


Linda’s must-read for August
A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

For me, this book I’m recommending was a SUPER read and I don’t want anyone to miss this one! The “must read” is A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron