Here are some tips that might help you decide if the festival is the right place to bring your dog:
Consider carefully before taking your dog to any event and plan ahead. Here are some tips and things to think about when deciding whether to take your pup:
It’s HOT! Many festivals are held during the hottest summer months. Check out the location ahead of time to determine if there is plenty of shade to help Fido (and you) stay cool and out of the sun. Don’t forget sunscreen for both of you! Just like us, your dog needs sunscreen especially on light colored or bare areas like top of snout, ears and tummy. Choose a natural sunscreen safe for dogs or babies (sunscreens for babies often contain less chemicals, etc.). Keep an eye out that your dog is not licking it all off. Water misting stations can help keep you both cool but don’t forget to reapply that sunblock.
What’s underneath Fido’s feet? Parking lots and street locations are popular festival spots but that pavement gets hot fast and can burn your dog’s pads. If the pavement is too hot to hold your hand to comfortably for several seconds, it is too hot for your dog’s feet!
Water, water, everywhere? While many festivals offer doggie water stations they may only have a few or none at all. Bring water and a travel bowl for your furry companions. Stop for water breaks often.
Food and trash abound! All festivals have lots of yummy food available. Keep an eye on your dog so he doesn’t steal anything you don’t want him to have or that is isn’t safe for him. Most dogs aren’t opposed to a little dumpster diving, so avoid the trash cans when you can or train a reliable “leave it” cue before you head out.
Friendly, or not? Of course you will only want to take a very friendly and well socialized dog to such a public outing, but you can’t be sure everyone evaluated their dog’s friendliness as well as you might. Don’t assume all dogs want to be pet or are comfortable meeting your dog. Ask first and proceed cautiously. Better yet, this isn’t a doggie play date, just keep walkin’!
What is that? You see and hear some crazy things at festivals. Avoid areas with blaring speakers, crazy air dancers and other novel oddities that might scare your dog. Dogs can get overwhelmed by all the sights and sounds, so be prepared to leave if your dog shows signs of stress, like excessive panting, cowering, barking, etc.
We all love to take our dogs with us to fun events but not everything is fun for dogs. Check out the logistics ahead of time and make the best decision for the health and safety of your dog. Some festivals are dog centric and are designed for you and Fido to enjoy together!