Martha Stewart: Pet owner wonders where it's OK to take her dog

Posted: May 13, 2011

Q: Where is it OK for me to take my dog? I'd like to bring her to restaurants, shops and friends' homes, but I know she won't always be welcome.

A: You can cross restaurants, supermarkets and beauty salons off the list of places you may visit with your pooch. Health codes in the U.S. ban dogs from such establishments (unless you have a service dog, which can accompany you anywhere, according to the Americans With Disabilities Act).

When it comes to other destinations, always check ahead, even if you're planning to visit a close friend. But before you ask, take an honest look at your pet's behavior. You may think her manners make her Westminster-worthy, but if she has accidents, barks or nips, reconsider. Even if your dog's habits are exemplary, stores may deny her entry.

When heading to a place that does welcome dogs, take precautions before leaving your house. Bring paper towels, plastic bags and treats. For all-day excursions, pack a portable water bowl for refills throughout the day. Keep your pup by your side at all times. For better control and safety, use a 5- or 6-foot leash. Some restaurants with outdoor dining permit well-behaved dogs. If you know yours will bark or beg for food, leave her at home. Being cafe-ready means your dog must sit quietly at your heels or under the table and heed basic commands: sit, lie down and stay.

It's probably best to leave your pet at home when visiting friends overnight, unless she is extremely well-trained. If she does come, bring her favorite toys, and stick to her regular feeding and walking schedules to reduce the possibility of accidents. Tell your host about any issues in advance. For example, if your pup uses training pads, ask for a room with a bathroom or one without carpeting, so cleanups will be easier. If your dog sleeps in bed with you, bring your own sheets to avoid staining the host's. During your stay, keep your pooch in sight at all times. And have the name and number of a nearby kennel or pet sitter on hand in case the visit doesn't go well.

Q: My sewing scissors have become magnetized. How do I fix them? Can they harm my computerized sewing machine?

A: When metal objects that contain iron (and this includes many scissors) are exposed to magnets, they sometimes become magnets themselves. The reason has to do with electrons creating magnetic fields, but you don't need a degree in physics to determine the cause. Storing your scissors near a seam guide or magnetic pincushion could be the problem.

And, yes, a magnet can damage your sewing machine's computer. To demagnetize the scissors and protect your equipment, rub a magnet on the blades several times in different directions. This will disrupt the magnetic alignment within the scissors.

Questions should be addressed to Ask Martha, care of Letters Department, Martha Stewart Living, 601 W. 26th St., 9th floor, New York, N.Y. 10001. Questions may also be sent by email to: Please include your name, address and daytime telephone number.

comments powered by Disqus