Dipper’s Quips: Courteous renting and training treats

Welcome to the fifth edition of Dipper’s Quips, an “advice” column from the other half of this website, the dog. Expect diatribes from Dipper about the evils of squirrels and commentary on his anti-social nature. We’re not responsible for what happens if you take my dog’s “advice.”

Dearest Dipper, I own and rent a condo in Wildwood, NJ. I’ve always had a strict no-pet policy, but considering how dog-friendly the shore town has become, I started to reconsider my policy—until a renter’s friend brought their pet Pug who chewed the corner off of my coffee table. I was actually talking to my mother about allowing dogs to stay when the renter, a family friend who wasn’t even supposed to have a dog there, texted me to mention the damage. 

I wanted to allow pets, but now I’m worried. Do you think changing the no-pet policy and vetting what kinds of dogs are allowed to stay at my condo would help prevent damage like this? – Michele L.

D: You shouldn’t have to do anything to make sure renters treat your home with respect! Beyond the the disrespect that is bringing a dog into a dog-free space, it sounds like your renter’s friend wasn’t treating their own pet with respect, either. Consider how long it would take a Pug to make wood pulp of your coffee table—it doesn’t happen in minutes with someone in the room. This owner probably brought his dog to a strange, scary place filled with unfamiliar sounds and smells, and then left her there alone while he went out and had a good time. Grrrr!

This, then, sounds less like a you-problem and more like a them-problem. So, what should they have done? Perhaps they should have provided a bone for proper stress-relief, or brought along a crate to make her feel more at home. Or maybe, just maybe, they should have brought her with them! After all, if they’re vacationing in such a dog-friendly place, there’s no reason to leave her alone for hours on end. Take a romp on the beach, or go out to eat on a pet-friendly patio.

I suggest owners begin considering whether such trips are truly “vacations” to their dogs. No dog has a good time being dragged to an unfamiliar place to wait until her owner comes home. If dog owners want their pets to be welcome in more spaces, like your condo, they need to treat those spaces with respect. It isn’t fair to dogs like me who like to go places and don’t chew on coffee tables!

Hey Dip! I’m getting a new puppy, so I’m looking for some good treats for training and rewards. What are your faves? – “New Dog Mom”

D: I’m notoriously hard to please on walks, at dog parks, or anywhere else I’d need to have a behavior reinforced. When I’m walking, squirrels are the priority, not some lame biscuit. But I will have a bite of that beef liver, please! Here’s a rundown of the treats you’ll always find in Tori’s pockets:

  • Crumps Naturals Beef Liver Bites: The best. Little cubes of meaty goodness that don’t break or crumble, so there’s more for me. Gone in one bite.
  • Plato EOS Turkey with Cranberry Dog Treats: Wait, there’s cranberry in there? Well, I wouldn’t have known it. They’re big and kind of crumbly, so Tori breaks them apart and saves them for indoor treating.
  • Orijen Cat Treats: Yeah, you read that right. Cat treats. I ain’t too proud! They’ve got the same ingredients as the ones for dogs (ALL MEAT!), but they’re good for cat-sized dogs like me.
  • Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Minnows: I’m a big fan of all this brand’s treats, but I’m particularly fond of these tiny fish with a satisfying little crunch. Again, all meat.

There you have it! A list of my favorite treats. If you’re still stumped, hit up your local independent pet store and ask them what they recommend.

Got a question for me? Comment below or contact us to see it answered in the next edition of Dipper’s Quips

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