Back in the day, the only time you could bring your pet to an establishment was if you were to get them groomed at a pet salon. Other than that, most stores and stalls prohibited dogs inside. Fortunately, pet-friendly malls are now booming, and they have surely made every fur parent’s lives more convenient and enjoyable. Who wouldn’t love shopping with their pooch by their side?
However, as exciting and easy as this sounds, there are still things you need to do before taking your dog out with you — especially if it is their first time. If your dog is not used to being surrounded by strangers, new smells, or simply any unfamiliar surroundings, they may seem threatened or intimidated when you first take them out. Because of this, your dog might growl, gnash, bark, cry, or even misbehave. This won’t only give you a hard time, but it will give your dog a stressful experience.
So how do you avoid this? We’ve put together a short guide so you can fully-prepare your dog for a day out at a mall and some things you may need to have while you’re there. Keep reading to learn more.
Preparing Your Dog to Go Shopping
As stated above, if this is a new experience for your pet, they may misbehave. But with some planning and training, you can make your dog a good candidate to visit a mall. Below is a step-by-step guide on training them.
Get Them Used To the Outdoors
Let them get a feel of how it is outside. Instead of your daily walks in the park or outside your home, try bringing your dog out where there are more people. This way, he can get used to mingling and seeing unfamiliar faces.
Once you’ve done this, take it up a notch and approach the outskirts of your chosen pet-friendly mall. With this, your dog can experience the smell, and it won’t be too unfamiliar for them once you take them inside.
Going Inside the Mall
Now that you’ve gotten used to the outdoors, it’s time to test the waters and go inside the mall. A smart way to go about this for the first time is visiting your chosen mall on a day and time when it is not so busy. However, don’t go into any shops just yet. With a leash, walk with him, and let him get a feel with the place.
Going Inside Stores
Now that’s settled, go inside a store with your dog. Start with a place that you think they will be most interested in. Like a pet shop. Here, your dog can feel more at home and comfortable.
Visiting Other Shops
Once your dog is comfortable and calm, it is likely that you are ready to take them to the other areas of the mall like grocery, retail shops, or restaurants. Given that they are allowed to enter. It’s best that you do your research beforehand about the dog-friendly stores inside your chosen pet-friendly mall.
Other Things You Need To Know About Shopping With Your Dog
Apart from the step-by-step training, there are some other tips you need to keep in mind and things you need to know before taking them out to the mall.
Always Keep Them on a Leash
Just because your dog may seem calm and comfortable, they can still break away from you any second. This may cause several hazards for other people. So, make sure that your dog should be clipped to a leash at all times. Make sure that it is sturdy and fixed-length.
Prevent the Mess
Don’t have a dog diaper on hand? Then, your dog should be fully-house trained before taking them out at the mall. You wouldn’t want any accidents to happen while at the mall.
In the case where it does happen, hold yourself accountable, and clean it up yourself. Make sure you are ready with basic dog cleaning supplies like wipes and tissue.
Now that pet-friendly malls are on the rise, you might be excited to bond with your dog and shop with them. However, before doing so, there are still things that you should know. Make sure that your dog is prepared to encounter unfamiliar surroundings by following our quick step-by-step guide above.
Furthermore, you and your dog should be well-equipped. Keep them on a sturdy leash at all times, be aware of the other pets and dogs around you, and make sure that your dog is fully house-trained to minimize and mess.
Once you’ve got that all covered, go ahead and take your dog out for shopping!