What is Safe Space?
As professionals, our first job is to keep your pets safe and one of the ways we do that is to keep safe space. This means we do not allow the dogs we’re walking to “meet” other dogs. While 99 times out a 100, nothing would go wrong in this situation, we never know how the other dog will react and we don’t always know how the pup we are walking will react. This can absolutely be a recipe for disaster. We are working on implementing new practices to keep safe space.
Why do dogs need safe space?
In some ways dogs are a lot like people. Some dogs like all other dogs, some dogs only like a few select dogs and some dogs don’t like any other dogs. There is nothing wrong with any of these types. While we may all wish that our dogs liked every person and dog they met, it just isn’t realistic. We as people don’t like every person and animal we meet. We shouldn’t expect them to either.
What’s the worst that could happen?
We don’t ever want to find out. While we’re out walking dogs and we see an off leash dog or a group of kids running up to the dog we’re walking, its a stressful situation. The risk to the animals and people out weighs the potential benefits. I was thinking about this about a month ago when an off leash dog on the beach ran up while I was walking a dog who is selectively dog aggressive. I motioned for the owner to bring their dog back and yelled (nicely, just loudly) to please get the dog. The one I was with is not dog friendly. Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t. We do our best to avoid these situations at all costs.
Barkside Petsitting’s policy on dogs meeting
Therefore, our policy at the Barkside is not to allow other people or dogs to approach your dog while were walking. Even if we don’t think there is any way your pup would have a negative reaction. We have just ordered a great tool to help us out with this. Starting in the next couple weeks, out pet sitters and walkers will carry these great leash sleeves. Ours will say “I NEED SPACE”. They snap on the leashes and we will take them with us when we leave. We hope that the bright colors and large text will encourage others to take precautions before letting pets run up to others without any ok or knowledge that the other dog is friendly.
While some may think we should “Just let dogs be dogs,” we have seen so many times where that doesn’t work out. Our position is not based in fear or over reaction. We are not telling others walking about that the animals we are with are aggressive or bad dogs. Barkside Petsitting feels the best way to keep pups safe to keep a safe space.
Want your own safe space leash wrap?
If you think your pet would benefit from a sleeve or harness like this outside of when we walk them, the shop offers many options for customization. They can say “I’m nervous” or “In training” and so many other things. If you are interested in ordering you can go to Patience and Love on Etsy to view the options.
If you have any questions about this policy or the sleeves please send us a message. We are happy to help as always!