Large-scale events typically do not allow pets (except service animals) – and for good reason. It’s hard enough to keep a pet safe in public on a normal day of the week, but adding potentially dangerous foods, uncomfortable weather conditions, and loud, jarring noises to the mix could be a recipe for disaster. Sure, certain life experiences are enhanced through the company of a four-legged best friend, but sometimes, it’s safer to just leave a pet at home.
The Worry-Free Zone?
When the risks outweigh possible amusement, it’s time to face the facts. Your pet may be safer and more comfortable at home with friends or family or as a guest at our boarding facility. It may take time for your pet to acclimate to new surroundings, so do your best to introduce the environment slowly over time. This will reduce anxiety or fear when it comes time for your ultimate departure.
But What About…
There may be pet-friendly public events worth taking your pet to. However, for your pet’s overall health and safety, it’s important to consider the following:
- What are the forecasted weather conditions?
- What are the grounds like? Will there be ample shade, access to water, and grassy areas?
- How noisy will it be?
- Will there be amplified sound systems, fireworks, explosions, or other lighting effects?
- What’s the projected size of the crowd?
- Will people be dressed in costume?
- Will there be veterinary medical care available on-site or nearby?
Is Your Pet Safe in Public?
Many pets have been thoroughly trained and properly socialized in order to approach fairs and festivals with calmness and confidence. However, even for those animals, smaller street fairs or block parties may be the best way to go. The bottom line is that you don’t want your pet to become overwhelmed, scared, or anxious while out and about this summer.
Helpful Safety Tips
To keep your pet safe in public at any event this summer, please try these tips:
- Exercise your pet prior to the event to work out any nerves.
- Pay close attention to your pet’s body language during the event.
- Keep him or her on a short leash.
- Settle your pet down before entering a booth.
- Watch out for other pets and supervise all interactions (this includes looking behind you!).
- Do not allow your pet to pick up discarded or forgotten food items such as chocolate, Xylitol, or alcohol. Offer your pet his or her own treats throughout the event.
- Similarly, cigarettes, marijuana, and vaping may be used in close proximity to your pet, endangering his or her welfare.
- Bring someone with you that can help out (and can hold the leash while you use the porta-potty!)
- Be aware of what surrounding stimuli can do to your pet’s behavior. Whether it’s pounding bass, bright lights, or moving objects, your pet may be bothered by the environment before it’s noticeable.
- Push sips of clean, cool water on a regular basis.
- Allow for breaks and naps (if necessary) in a quiet, less traveled area.
Keeping your pet safe in public may not be an issue, but problems can arise when a pet becomes overstimulated. Many animals run off when stressed. Make sure your pet’s microchip is current and that tags are clearly legible and affixed to the collar. Leave as soon as you notice agitation.
If we can help with the fun this summer – while keeping your pet safe in public – please let us know!