As dog lovers, your desire to pet, play with, and feed any dogs you encounter is understandable. Regardless of the reasoning, though, feeding a stranger’s dog without asking their permission is not always the best move.
“You never know if that dog may have food sensitivity issues or allergies, or may be on a restricted diet,” Jerry Klein, chief veterinary officer at the AKC, tells Mic. “And by you offering even a small piece of something… which that dog may be sensitive to could cause a problem.”
However, when a dog owner asked a lady to stop feeding her dog cake, she went mad and left a scathing review about her business. Taking to the subreddit r/dog, the owner who goes by the name u/joodeepoop shared that she runs a small business and owns a dog who comes to work with her everyday.
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“My semi well behaved pooch comes to work with me everyday and acts as therapy dog to my regular customers and brings most people a-lot of joy and entertainment,” OP wrote.
Everything happened when a lady ordered a cake and fed the dog without asking OP. As soon as the owner knew, she asked the woman to stop and let her know that she shouldn’t feed other people’s dogs without their permission.
“As soon as I was made aware, I immediately asked her to stop and stated that it’s inappropriate to feed other peoples dogs without permission …especially human food.”
The woman went mad and left bad reviews about OP’s business. “Unfortunately this lady has left me a scathing review about my business and at me ‘shouting’ at her for feeding my dog which of course is untrue. My dog is 18 months old and has been in my place of work since he was 12 weeks old.
This left OP upset, so she went on Reddit to ask for advice. “It has left me rather upset. I feel that it’s rather unfair and she could’ve made my dog extremely ill. Can fellow pooch owners offer any advice on how to respond professionally? Any advice will be greatly appreciated,” she said.
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After OP shared his post, Redditors quickly responded and called the woman out for her action. They also gave the owner some advice to deal with the woman and avoid the same situation in the future.
A person who goes by the name borschchschch gave OP the best solution:
“Dear Mrs. Soandso, I’m sorry you found your experience unsatisfying – unfortunately, so did [dog’s name] tummy. Dog stomachs do not digest processed sugar and other human-intended ingredients well – in fact, some of them are poisonous to dogs. Luckily, [doggy] is fine now.
However, I must correct the record: you were not shouted at. You were firmly but politely asked not to feed the dog human food. You reacted very strongly to being informed that it’s inappropriate to feed someone else’s dog without permission, which we believed to be widely known.
To avoid future misunderstanding, we will be installing a sign reminding customers that [dog] cannot have human food but we are happy to provide a dog treat for you to give him, at no cost.
[Dog]’s tummy thanks you for your understanding.”
The part in italics is optional, and only if you want other people to be able to give your dog a safe low-calorie treat. It’s usually popular with parents with children, so you can then say “oh [dog] can’t eat human food, but he’d love it if you give him a couple of these!” And keep the jar behind the counter somewhere so people have to ask, instead of free feeding him treats.
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Another commented: “This is the way I’d go as well. It sets the record straight, but also is kind and clear. I think the treat option is a good one! OP, just make sure that you buy ( or make ) training size treats. They are usually low calorie and safe to give regularly, and won’t make your puppers a chunck ball if several people take advantage of that option!”
Redditor OneTwoKiwi said: “Ugh this woman clearly got caught being an idiot and instead of swallowing her pride and apologizing, she decided to double-down and be extra shitty. Depending on the review website, as the owner, you can write a response. Just don’t escalate the emotions – respond calmly and correct the narrative.”
“Maybe have a sign up that says something like “Please ask my owner before feeding me human food,” the user sentencefragments wrote.
Reddit user PrincessofPatriarchy has the same idea as sentencefragments. “A sign will probably suffice. If it is a dog-friendly cafe, then just place a sign up that says “please do not feed the dogs” or something to that effect. Alternatively, you could place out a treat jar, so that guests only give the dogs appropriate dog treats and not whatever they happen to have.”
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