You are at the park with your adorable golden retriever. Not surprisingly, people want to rush over and hug your beauty, bringing their own dog with them. Since you are a dog lover, you may think, “Why not?” Instead of welcoming the attention, you need to be cautious. Stranger danger is a problem for people and for dogs. Not every person with a dog is safe, and not every pet is friendly or healthy. Before you engage in or allow interactions with your pet, consider several possible issues.
To stay safe in the world today, you need to be wary of strangers. Although you may feel safe because you are with your furry guardian, you still should not let down your guard. Unfortunately, the best way to get through a pet owner’s defenses is to praise her fur baby. Do not allow anyone to approach you or your dog unless you are in a public area with other people around. Even then, you do not have to allow anyone to stop you and pet your animal. Don’t worry about being perceived as unfriendly. If you do not feel comfortable, do not allow any interaction.
When you are approached by another dog lover with her pet on a leash, you should not let your dogs mingle. They may want to fight each other, which can turn into a serious problem. In addition to that issue, you do not know the health of the other animal. You may take excellent care of your own dog by keeping current with vaccinations and giving monthly doses of Trifexis for dogs to fight heartworm and other ills, but not every pet owner is as conscientious. Your pet can catch diseases such as distemper and canine influenza from an unhealthy dog. Find your pet a safe playmate through your friends or a quality pet daycare or playgroup.
Your dog may never have even nipped at a person before, but you can never guarantee how your dog will interact with a stranger. If your dog thinks you are being threatened, he could bite someone while you are out on a stroll. The best way to prevent a biting incident is to keep strangers from petting your animal. Again, that sounds harsh, but if your pet does bite, you could end up facing a civil suit. At the bare minimum, you would need to offer to pay the victim’s medical bills. Although you might think the issue is resolved, you could end up being served with legal papers at some point down the road. Even if you’ve never really “known a stranger,” you will be much better off letting your dog interact only with people he knows. Telling little kids not to pet your beloved Brownie may sting, but gently explain why they can’t and move on.
Dog lovers generally love to socialize, and often, these interactions are trouble-free. After all, most dogs are a joy, and their owners are pretty sweet too. However, you can run into trouble in the usually friendly dog world. Strangers can be dangerous and, sadly, so can their pets. Even if it seems unfriendly, you should keep strangers away from your dog. Doing so will help protect you and your pet from a number of problems.