We thought we knew just about everything going on in the world of dogs. But one thing changed drastically when we weren’t looking. We just found out that dogs are allowed in malls! This winter you can go mall walking with your dog.
What a terrific opportunity for everyone. Especially those of us with little dogs. Small dogs are notoriously accused of being obnoxious, yappy pests. And the reason, for most, is not enough chances to experience the world they live in.
Can’t take a chance
Dog parks are great, until they’re not. Even dog parks with “small dog” enclosures can become places where the little guy gets bullied. Even the gentlest of dogs can become over-stimulated when part of a group. Just like human teenagers en masse, dogs often don’t use their best judgment while with a crowd.
But indoor malls offer so many ways to let your small dog be socialized and still safe. The ones we checked out all have designated areas where you can sit, or stroll, with your dog and take in the activity. Of course dogs must be either on leash, or in a carrier or stroller.
Some stores in the malls even let you bring your dog inside, so you can run your mall errands with your dog.
Get ready to go!
It’s a great idea, especially in cold weather, to let your dog get some exercise at your local indoor mall. Not having to worry about cold paws, fur snowballs, is a treat. And that’s not even mentioning the difficulties of walking dogs on icy walkways.
Of course you should be prepared to clean up any of your dog’s indiscretions. Also bring treats and maybe even a favorite toy. If you can get your dog to play with you in unfamiliar places, that’s a big step in socialization. Which isn’t what most people think.
Socialization doesn’t mean your dog will accept any person or dog as their friend. It means that your dog is comfortable in public and can pay attention to you even in strange situations.
Easy does it
If your dog tends to be shy and easily overwhelmed, be sure to lead up to mall walking gradually. Your first visit to the mall may just be a sniff around the doors, then home. Maybe you go in for a couple minutes the next time.
Dogs can adjust to new situations if given the time to process. You want your dog to enjoy your mall outings, so take it at your dog’s pace. If you see your dog get a bit wild-eyed, it’s time to leave. Each time you go you can stay a little longer, go a little further, maybe even sit for a while.
It’s also a great idea for avoiding cabin fever. Winter really isn’t a time to hibernate. It’s another time to have fun with your dog.