I bet you remember a time when someone brought their not-so-well-behaved pup to a party. The dog barked and growled at an uncle all day. Maybe mauled a pack of frankfurter rolls and left his mark on the leg of the picnic table?

A slobbering, hyper monster can really spoil the fun when you’re at the annual 4th of July extravaganza.

Usually, it’s not the dog’s fault. A dog may be calm at home, but it’s hard to behave in a strange environment with new smells, new people and other new stimuli. But it can be frustrating or dangerous for guests when that excitement or fear hits.


A pleasant pup, on the other hand, can be a joy to have at an BBQ! Before you bring you best friend along to a gathering of family or friends, take a moment to review these helpful “petiqutte” tips.

Ask First.

Make sure your host is okay with your dog coming along. Maybe someone who’ll be joining the party is allergic to (or even frightened of) dogs. It’s hard to enjoy a burger fresh off the grill if you’re sneezing (or hiding). You won’t know unless you ask.

Be Honest with Yourself.

You know your dog better than anyone. If you think there is a chance your pup will become aggressive, destructive or otherwise act up, leave him at home or with a sitter even if you think it would be fun to have him along.

What if There’s a Fight?

You brought your well-behaved pooch along but he got into a scrape with another canine attendee or worse, nipped at a guest. Immediately get control of your pet. Do not make excuses or accusations. Offer sincere apologies and your contact information should the matter need to be addressed further. Remember vet, hospital, and court fees can add up but you might be responsible if your dog was the aggressor.

dog-jumping-upDog Hugs and Kisses

Your dog shows affection with slobber and jumping. You may find it cute, but other people probably aren’t as charmed. If you haven’t already, work with your dog to greet others in a less intrusive way. Sitting, shaking hands or laying down are all nice alternatives. If your dog jumps despite your best efforts, don’t yell. Apologize and calmly move your pup somewhere else.

Nature Calls

Accidents happen. Unfortunately sometimes they happen on the patio. First, make sure your dog isn’t nervous, excited, or sick and then get to cleaning – quick! Spritz any mess with a cleaner, let it sink in and then pat or scrub dry. If your pet’s present leaves a stain, it is polite to pay for professional cleaning or to replace items.

Kids – The Non-Fuzzy Kind

Children can be scary for a pup. They can be loud, grabby and rough. If you’re dog isn’t good with kids or has never met children, please leave him at home and perhaps introduce him to children who are already familiar with dogs, and in small doses so that he may learn to be gentle with the little ones. No matter how well your dog is behaved. Never, ever leave a dog and child unsupervised.

foodDon’t Lose Track of Your Dog

Keep an eye out. Even the most well behaved dogs can act up if startled or over stimulated and we all know that when we’re not looking, the trash, picnic table and cupcakes can be fair game. Make sure that you or another family member is keeping an eye on your canine companion.

Pack for the Pup

Don’t assume your host will have a leashes, toys, a spare water bowl or bags to clean up after your dog. We even suggest keeping a cleaner in the car – just in case there’s an accident. Bring your usual kit with you and, while some one will surely slip him a bit of hot dog, don’t forget to bring treats!

Remember, shoddy dog-etiquette isn’t just an inconvenience, if it gets out of control, you might ruin an otherwise lovely cookout. So be informed, be considerate, and get out there and enjoy the summer fun with your best friend.