The Lafayette Art & Wine Festival has remained a “Dog Friendly” event. As a dog owner you need to take responsibility.
Here are some tips that might help you decide if the festival is the right place to bring your dog:
- Make sure your dog is “crowd friendly.” Is your dog well-socialized with other dogs? Can they get along with kids and adults?
- Are they OK with noisy environments? Some tips for enjoying an outdoor concert with your dog:
- The music near the stages is loud, stand far back from the speakers
- Look for a shady spot where you can stand and see the stage, and your dog can lay down and take a break
- Stay out of the mosh pit. There’s more room for dancing at the back of the crowd, anyhow!
- You can also invest in a pair of MuttMuffs noise-reduction headphones. These noise-reducing ear muffs are designed specially to fit the curves of a dog’s head. You might want to try them on at home, first, to help your dog get used to wearing them. But they’re a great tool to make sure your dog enjoys the show as much as you do.
- Are they trained? Does your dog have a microchip, collar and current tags?
- Typically, this event has hot weather. Sometimes it’s really hot. We will have water stations and a “doggie cooling station” but keep in mind the event is on asphalt and the ground temperature is even hotter. And your dog will need sunscreen just like you. Dogs need 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. If the pavement is too hot to hold your hand to comfortably for several seconds, it is too hot for your dog’s feet!
- As dogs will be eating anything tasty they can find, be prepared for them to have an upset stomach.
- Dogs must be kept at least 20’ away from any food, beer or wine tent.
- Dogs must be on a short leash and controlled at all times
- DO NOT LEAVE YOUR DOG IN THE CAR!
- The Doggie Cooling Station is located at 30 Lafayette Circle (Farmyard Darlings).
- The BEST time to bring your dog, is between 10:00-12:00pm when the crowd is light and temperature much lower than later in the day.
- If you have a small(er) dog, please take extra care as there can be a lot of people walking and strolling the festival - holding wine/beer glasses, looking at art or watching the bands. Smaller dogs could easily be stepped on or kicked.
- When your dog looks like they’ve had enough for the day, it’s time to hit the road.
Taking your dog to summer festivals can be fun, but be sure you're prepared before you go.
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!