Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone adored our doggies as much as we do? Unfortunately, not everyone does, but there are a number of things you can do to make sure you and your dog are good neighbors.
The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates more than a third of US households include at least one dog. That means nearly two-thirds do not and may be quite sensitive to living near animals.
Even other dog parents can quickly become feuding neighbors if your dogs don’t get along. Here are some steps you can take to keep the peace throughout your neighborhood.
Deal With Barking & Aggressive Behavior
An old English proverb states, “Children should be seen and not heard!” That also applies to other people’s dogs.
Incessant barking is a top complaint investigated by animal control agencies. Communities have noise nuisance rules your neighbors can invoke if your dog is a constant barker, yelper, whiner, or howler.
Sometimes this can be a problem when you’re not home, and therefore not aware. If your neighbors have mentioned this to you, it’s time to employ some training techniques or hire a trainer.
Finding the reason for the barking will be key to solving the issue. Is your dog bored or lonely? The answer may be as simple as taking your pooch for more walks.
Some dogs may become aggressive when they see or hear other dogs or when people they don’t know are near their territory. Some become aggressive while on leashes out walking.
Both of these are dangerous situations, so talk with your veterinarian for suggestions on steps to take.
Mitigate Messes, Odors, & Fleas
One of the downsides of dog parenting is the smelly and unsightly messes they deposit on a daily basis. Even if you keep their bathroom breaks contained to your backyard, you need to keep a pooper scooper handy.
As a dog parent, keeping up with yard work means picking up after your pet. Stepping in your dog’s business can quickly sour a friendship with a neighbor.
If you’re not able to pick up quickly after your pup and store waste in a sealed container, consider hiring a service to do the dirty work for you. A good fence will contain your dog — but not the odors they leave behind.
Another sure-fire way to make your neighbors flee? flesh
If your dog is scratching a lot, your pooch may have fleas. These parasites multiply quickly and exponentially. Not only will the fleas infest your home and yard, they’ll soon spread to your neighbors’ yards.
Flea bites can cause allergic reactions in humans and lead to infections and tapeworms in your dog. Your vet can recommend products to clear up the infestation and provide healing treatments. Regular grooming also cuts down on the problem.
Vaccinate & Spay Or Neuter Your Pet
Like people, pets need regular health checkups. Shots for disease prevention, including rabies, distemper, and parvovirus, are standard.
Why do you need to keep your dog up to date on their shots? Some dog parks and kennels will not allow dogs that have not been vaccinated for common, contagious conditions like kennel cough.
You love your dog, but you most likely don’t want to have a litter of pups to care for and find homes for. The ASPCA recommends having pups spayed or neutered before they reach a year old. This procedure prevents unwanted pregnancies and also can help protect your dog from certain cancers.
Spaying or neutering avoids other problems too. When a female dog goes into heat, male dogs for miles around will be compelled to run away to get to her. This puts those male dogs in danger of being struck by cars.
Putting off surgery until a dog is an adult may be too late to prevent instinctual behaviors that are unwanted and permanent.
Fence Them In
Fences make good neighbors — for you, your pet, and everyone living around you.
No one likes having a stray dog approach them when they’re out for a walk. Having your male dog neutered will help prevent him from trying to get out to roam the neighborhood. But you also need a strong, sturdy fence to prevent your pup from trying to escape.
The fence must be high enough to prevent your pooch from jumping over it, and it must be deep enough so they can’t tunnel under. Consider putting a smaller fence around your precious plants. This will protect the plants and your pup, especially if some of those plants are poisonous.
Not everyone likes dogs, but if you follow the checklist above, chances are your neighbor will love your best friend, too. Even better? Your dog will love your neighbors.
absolute best? Your neighbors might jump at the chance to care for your dog while you’re on a business trip or vacation.
Do you try to be a good neighbor with your dog? How do you make sure you’re being courteous and respectful? Let us know in the comments below!
A former veterinarian’s assistant, Jasmine Patel, has parlayed a love of animals into a career of advocating for and writing about her furry friends.