Dogs and Public Transportation 101
Every now and then, dog events are being held, some would think that more establishments are opening doors to dogs and consider them as customers. This is not true with transport companies. Hailing a cab with a dog in hand can still be a challenge for some. So how do you bring a dog to a trip when you are dependent to public transportation?
Part of preparation is asking around which transport lines accept dogs. Do your assignment. Call and ask every possible question related to the trip.
We made numerous phone calls to bus lines. Quite often, we were told that they don’t allow dogs inside their buses. Some, to our hearts dismay, told us that they do accept dogs but the dogs will stay inside the baggage compartment, inside the estribo, as they call it.
Once you find a bus that can accommodate you and your dog. List down everything that dog might need while you are on the trip. Spend more time checking the dog’s necessities more than yours. Bear in mind that wherever you go, there are shops or stores that can offer you things that you forgot to pack, but there might not be pet shops available to where you are going.
A portable water bottle for your dog is a must. You can also bring your dog’s favorite toy and a couple of treats. During bus stops, take a walk to de-stress your dog.
Remember that wherever you go, you represent all dog owners. However you act, this can be how other people see other dog owners. Some might want to pet your dog; should you disapprove for whatever reason, do it with respect. Remember, they are also passengers and you are sharing the bus with them.
Some people are allergic to dogs or have fear of dogs. It is good if you can prove that there is nothing to fear but don’t push your luck. If you notice someone avoiding you and the dog, he might have reasons so give him some space.
Try not to create indifference to other passengers. When this happen, the bus company might reverse its policy and decide not to allow dogs anymore. Do your best to be friendly.
Training will be very helpful. Basic commands will make the trip easier and enjoyable for you and for the dog.
The “leave it” command is useful when your dog starts to sniff around other passengers’ belongings. What if your dog barks when everyone is asleep? That would be embarrassing. The “speak” command will tell the dog when and when not to bark. You also have to make sure that your dog has been potty trained so as not to soil the bus seats.
This is a perfect time to bond with the dog. A simple pat is an assurance that you are just beside him and that you are going to have a wonderful time together. Forget about the job waiting for you back home. Forget about being a first time commuter with a dog. Forget the pictures you have to post in Facebook. Remember, it is just you and your dog.