There are a lot of articles online that give advice about traveling with your dog. It’s not too hard to find these stories and for the most part, the same themes are addressed. How to plan a trip with your pet. The best places to go on vacation with your pet. What to bring with you when you travel with a pet. No doubt you’ve likely read several of such articles online already. But there is one other aspect of traveling with a dog that most websites don’t address: Dealing with all the other humans you’ll come across on your travels. In fact, this is one of the most important things to consider.
Now, that’s not to say that people will automatically have a bad impression of you and your pet while you’re on vacation. In fact, most people love dogs and are happy to see them. But there are a few things you should keep in mind nonetheless. First, you might come across people who are openly hostile to you and your pet while traveling. This could be at an airport, in a café, or just on the street. And second, you’ll also most likely come across people that are generally friendly but might not understand the rules and regulation surrounding traveling with an emotional support dog. In both cases, there are things you should know and things you can do to prevent these experiences from ruining your vacation.
Let’s get the more challenging issue out of the way first – openly hostile people. There’s one important thing to remember here, which is that many people who are hostile towards dogs are actually afraid of them. They might have had a bad experience in the past or, depending on what part of the world you’re in, might have no experience with dogs at all! Don’t let these people ruin your mood right off that bat and try to remember where they are coming from. More often than not, simply being friendly can smooth things over. One great trick is to carry small treats with you and allow a nervous or scared person to give your pet a treat. Make sure that the person doesn’t make direct eye contact with your dog and have him/her hold out the treat and drop them near your dog. Just this simple act can often make someone’s demeaner change immediately. Remember to always be patient and understand things from the other person’s perspective.
The second class of people might actually be harder to deal with at times. It’s not that they don’t like animals, but they might believe what you are doing is against the rules – and judge you accordingly. There are a few things you can do here. First, if your dog is a service or emotional support animal, you can clearly identify them as such with patches, leashes, and vests that identify them as working dogs. If you’re just a pet owner trying to enjoy a day out with your best friend, you want to be friendly but firm with these people. If you’ve done your research, you should already know where you can and can’t be with your pet. If you know you’re in the right, don’t be afraid to confidently stand up for yourself without losing your temper.
You can’t control other people out there in the world, but you can control how you react to them and how prepared you are. With the right research, a plan of action, and confidence, there’s no reason to be concerned about other people when you are in a new place with your dog.