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Attending a dog-friendly event with your furry friend

by Kira Garrett | July 28, 2014

Hitting the farmer’s market, street fair or music festival is a great way to enjoy the summer months with your furry friend by your side. Many outdoor events allow you to bring Fido to enjoy them with you. Pet-friendly events are a great way to introduce your pooch to other dogs, other people and new places. Here are some things to keep in mind before you attend with your pup:

Before you attend a crowded event or afternoon outing, ensure your pet is comfortable around so many people, loud noises, sights, smells and other animals. Not every dog enjoys accompanying you, even with the proper socialization. Read your pup’s body language. If he hides behind you when people approach, or startles easily at loud noises, it might be best to enjoy quality time with your dog at home instead of in a crowded place.

Of course your pooch is oh-so-cute and plenty of people will want to pet him.  It’s up to you to make sure he’s comfortable and you protect him from unwanted advances. Step in if any event-goers approach your pup without asking and feel free to walk away when Fido’s had enough. Not every event-goer will know how to properly approach your dog—especially if it’s a child. Have your dog sit and keep a firm grasp of his collar to make sure everyone enjoys the interaction.

Be considerate of dog-less folks as well! Not everyone is as crazy about Fido as you are, and having a strange pet wander up to you can be scary. Keep your pup’s leash short and him right by your side. Practice Fido’s ‘heel’ command—he’ll brush up on his obedience training and you’ll ensure everyone at the event has a great time.

When meeting other pups, respect your fellow pet parents. If a dog walker doesn’t look at you, chances are she doesn’t want your pup meeting hers—always ask. Dogs don’t generally approach each other head on, so allow enough space for them to arc and sniff. Again, it’s important for you to read your dog’s body language to keep him safe and comfortable.

Before you leave for the event, pack a doggie bag with the essentials. Outfit your dog with a sturdy collar, a short leash and, of course, ID tags. Bring along plenty of healthy dog treats to reward his good behavior and water for those warm afternoons. Don’t forget to have a stash of poop-bags on hand for surprise cleanups as well.

Most cities have a dog-event calendar, chock full of pet-friendly events. BringFido is another great resource, offering options for pet parents nationwide. With these things in mind, you’ll surely enjoy an outing with Fido.

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