My friend Cathie loves to take her dog Happy to the local farmersâ€™ 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 itâ€™s a great, stress-free place to get Happy used to being around people and other dogs.
Not all farmers markets allow dogs. Sometimes the â€śNo Pets Allowedâ€ť 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 farmerâ€™s markets.
In a Montgomery Bay Certified Farmersâ€™ Market post, Executive Director Catherine Barr said dogs donâ€™t belong at the Freedom, CA, market. Sheâ€™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 Farmersâ€™ Market, where owners can purchase organic dog treats made with ingredients like coconut oil and parsley. The New Brighton, MN, Farmersâ€™ 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.
Thinking of taking your dog to the farmersâ€™ market? Here are some things to consider.
Make sure pets are allowed at the market before you hit the road. Barr said that despite signs specifying that pets arenâ€™t allowed around the perimeter of the Montgomery Bay Certified Farmersâ€™ Market, visitors still arrive with â€śtheir pets in tow, tucked into purses, or even in baby strollersâ€ť.
If the rules say that pets arenâ€™t allowed, leave your dog at home.
Not all dogs do well in a crowded environment, and farmersâ€™ markets can get crowded. If your dog isnâ€™t comfortable around children, strollers and lots of people moving around, then itâ€™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.
Itâ€™s important that your dog knows some basic training before you visit a farmersâ€™ market together. For instance, will he sit quietly by your side while youâ€™re talking to a vendor or making a purchase?
If your dog will be pulling on the leash and getting into other dogsâ€™ and childrenâ€™s faces while you are browsing or conducting business, then itâ€™s safest to leave him at home.
A farmersâ€™ 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 childrenâ€™s faces. In addition, other people and dogs can easily get tangled and injured by the retractable cord. Itâ€™s safest to use a standard 6-foot leash.
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.
Keep your dog close by you, and donâ€™t allow him or her to mingle with other dogs in crowded areas of the market. Your dog might be friendly but you canâ€™t be sure about other dogs.
Donâ€™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.
At most farmersâ€™ markets the produce is high enough that dogs canâ€™t reach it, but if produce is low to the ground, donâ€™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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