Thursday, 28 October 2021
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Etiquette When Taking Your Dog to the Farmers’ Market

My friend Cathie loves to take her dog Happy to the local farmers’ market in Orange County, NY. Happy tends to be shy around people and Cathie said everyone at the market is friendly and loves her. The market is not overcrowded so it’s a great, stress-free place to get Happy used to being around people and other dogs.

Does your local market allow dogs?

Not all farmers markets allow dogs. Sometimes the “No Pets Allowed” rules are specific to the market and sometimes they have to do with state and local health laws.

In California, for example, with the exception of service animals, dogs, cats, birds and other animals are not allowed into or at food facilities, including farmer’s markets.

In a Montgomery Bay Certified Farmers’ Market post, Executive Director Catherine Barr said dogs don’t belong at the Freedom, CA, market. She’s seen dogs sniffing food and marking tables with their scent and has also witnessed children getting bitten and aggressive dogs going after one another.

Dogs are welcome at the Newburgh, NY Farmers’ Market, where owners can purchase organic dog treats made with ingredients like coconut oil and parsley. The New Brighton, MN, Farmers’ Market is also dog-friendly and hosts an annual Dog Days of Summer Event, which features a dog costume contest and lots of vendors selling locally-made dog treats and gifts.

Taking Your Dog to the Farmers Market

Thinking of taking your dog to the farmers’ market? Here are some things to consider.

Make sure dogs are allowed.

Make sure pets are allowed at the market before you hit the road. Barr said that despite signs specifying that pets aren’t allowed around the perimeter of the Montgomery Bay Certified Farmers’ Market, visitors still arrive with “their pets in tow, tucked into purses, or even in baby strollers”.

If the rules say that pets aren’t allowed, leave your dog at home.

Respect your dog’s comfort level.

Not all dogs do well in a crowded environment, and farmers’ markets can get crowded. If your dog isn’t comfortable around children, strollers and lots of people moving around, then it’s best to keep him home or try to hit the market at the quietest time of the day.

If your dog is afraid of loud noises, he or she might not be happy at markets that offer entertainment and loud music. On sweltering hot summer days your dog will also be more comfortable staying at home.

Etiquette When Taking Your Dog to the Farmers' Market

Make sure your dog has some basic training.

It’s important that your dog knows some basic training before you visit a farmers’ market together. For instance, will he sit quietly by your side while you’re talking to a vendor or making a purchase?

If your dog will be pulling on the leash and getting into other dogs’ and children’s faces while you are browsing or conducting business, then it’s safest to leave him at home.

Obey leash laws.

A farmers’ market is not the place to use a retractable leash, and many markets state that these leashes are not allowed.

Even if you keep the retractable at the standard length, they can accidentally extend and allow the dog to jump on food tables or get too close to other dogs and into children’s faces. In addition, other people and dogs can easily get tangled and injured by the retractable cord. It’s safest to use a standard 6-foot leash.

Pick up after your dog.

Never leave home without a supply of poop bags. When you get to the market walk your dog around the perimeter first to give him or her the opportunity to poop and pee. And always pick up after your dog and dispose of the poop bag in a garbage bin.

Have respect for other patrons

Keep your dog close by you, and don’t allow him or her to mingle with other dogs in crowded areas of the market. Your dog might be friendly but you can’t be sure about other dogs.

Don’t allow your dog to jump on other people. Not everyone loves dogs, and many children are afraid of them. So keep your dog to yourself unless someone asks to pet him or her.

Keep your dog away from the produce

At most farmers’ markets the produce is high enough that dogs can’t reach it, but if produce is low to the ground, don’t allow your dog to sniff or lick fruit and vegetables. And, of course, never allow your dog to relieve him or herself around the food stalls.

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Photo credit: Thinkstock


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