Summer is now in full swing and there are many festivals and family gatherings planned for many of us this year.
In the summer and even fall, outdoor events and picnics are a great way to spend time with family and friends, get out in the fresh air, enjoy some good food, and maybe even some fireworks or music.
But what about our best buddy? Do they have to stay home alone all day while you’re out socializing? With a little planning your dog can join in on the fun too!
At Muttz with Mannerz™ we have a passion for pups and are here to support you to include your dog as a loving part of your family and your community for life. If you want to successfully share in summer festivities with your dog, be sure that their comfort and safety are top of mind.
Preparation is key! Here are some items to consider prior to the event to prepare yourself and your dog.
Are they invited?
This is perhaps one of the most important things to do. Contact the organizers of the event to ensure the event is dog-friendly and ask any questions you may have to ensure your dog’s safety. If the organizer is hesitant (even if they are family) or say things that make you feel it is not the best place for your dog – leave them at home.
Is your dog okay with people and other dogs? At a gathering they will be meeting all kinds of people, with and without their own dogs. Have you done safe meet and greets with people of all ages and sizes and also with dogs young and old? Have you exposed your dog to those that are rambunctious or those that are a little timid?
If you aren’t sure or haven’t socialized them, we suggest you spend some time doing this before you take them to an event. Go on a local walk or join our community walks that we offer at Muttz with Mannerz™. Be aware of your dog’s reaction and how they greet others – humans and dogs – and get them familiarized with meeting others. For some important tips on watching your dog’s body language listen to our Podcast Episode #7 – How to Read Your Dog’s Body Language.
Noises, Weather, and Fireworks!
In addition to socializing with people and other dogs, ensuring that your dog is used to noises and lots of activity such as loud music, chatting people, and cars is important before they are exposed to these things at a gathering.
Is your dog ok with umbrellas, mud, and water? What about sun hats and cooling station misters? The weather can play a big factor in what they will be exposed to at the festival – including what people might be wearing. Be sure to look at the forecast and use that knowledge to determine whether your dog can safely attend.
Holidays and evening events sometimes brings out the fireworks. This can be very startling and harmful to your pets if they are not used to loud noises and all that excitement.
Here is a link to our blog 5 Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe During Fireworks >> https://www.muttzwithmannerz.com/blog/5-tips-to-keep-your-dogs-safe-during-fireworks
What to bring?
Here are some suggested items for you to consider bringing to the event for your dog.
Supplies – A leash, food & water bowls, a knapsack to help you carry everything, poop bags, a dog bed, or a towel for them to lay on (or a cooling mat, depending on where you’re going.) Consider a long line if you think you might be securing them and something that you can secure the line to if you need to.
Food & Water -Ensure you bring a supply of food and lots of water (or know where you can get some at the event).
Toys – Bring their favourite chew toys or some enrichment toys like a stuffed Kong, a snuffle mat, etc. If they like to play fetch, then bring a ball, frisbee, or any other retrieving toy.
Treats – Healthy dog treats that can help keep them cool as well – such as frozen watermelon and apples can be great!
Great! You did all your preparation work and now you and your dog are ready to attend your gathering.
For some great tips on what to do once you arrive at the event – including knowing when it’s time to leave and never living your dog in the car or unattended, listen to our latest podcast Episode 14: Caring For Your Dog at Festivals, Family Events & Fireworks (or read the transcript).
At Muttz with Mannerz™ we are committed to providing you with the help and resources that you need for you and your pup so that you can live a happy, healthy life. To contact us visit our website at www.muttzwithmannerz.com