All dogs should be on a leash and kept close to the owner. Also, because dogs are, well - dogs, and they often like to leave their mark on trees, fire hydrants and even those beautiful tomato plants that the person behind you was just getting ready to buy, please make sure that your dog's needs are met outside of the market area. There are grassy areas on the outskirts of the parking lot and trash cans throughout for disposal of any waste. In addition, make sure that large and small dogs can be controlled to ensure you (and other market visitors) are able to sample products, talk to vendors and take your time looking at everything that's offered.
Be on the lookout for items that may be a danger to your pet, such as certain plant leaves, chocolate and other dogs. And be courteous of vendors and their displays. Dog tongues, tails and fur aren't typically expected in someone's banana bread sample or cup of coffee.
So all of that said, why would you bring a dog to the market, anyway? Of course, dogs like to get out of the house just as much as people. New things to see and smell can be an exciting adventure for your pooch. In addition to the exercise being good for both of you, it's good for dogs to maintain regular contact with new people and animals and situations so they are comfortable in different environments. Plus, there are vendors that expect and cater to dogs. You may find some meaty treats for your pet or some cool artisan pet collars and accessories.
And what if you don't have a dog, but want one? Well, you may just get lucky and run into some of the loveable (and adoptable) dogs from Indianapolis Animal Care & Control during your next market visit!
By Kerry Baugh, Binford Farmers Market customer and volunteer