Pet safety at festivals
Team Walmart Pets
June 24, 2021
If there’s one thing to love about the summer, especially now that we can gather together again, it’s all of the fun in the sun at outdoor events. From concerts to fireworks to food truck rallies, there’s no shortage of things to do this season.
Pet-friendly event safety
While many events were not pet friendly in the past, more and more are opening their doors to dogs. Here’s what you need to know before you go to keep your dog safe and happy.
What to bring
Before you head out to your event, pack these essentials in your purse or bag:
- dog leash (we recommend a fixed leash)
- portable water dish + water
- pet-friendly sunscreen
- ID tag with your cell phone number (learn why all pets need a microchip)
- Pet waste bags
Keep your pet cool
When temperatures are peaking, take frequent breaks in the shade. It’s also a good idea to bring along a spray bottle so you can deliver a cooling spritz whenever your dog needs it, or invest in a cooling jacket.
Avoid rowdy crowds
Unfortunately, there may be times when furry festival-goers behave better than two-legged guests. Stay away from rowdy crowds and avoid letting intoxicated people hound your dog. Remember that children can be unpredictable, so keep your pup a safe distance away.
Watch the food truck leftovers
Chicken wings, Mexican street corn and funnel cake, oh my! They may be a staple fare at summer fairs, but they don’t belong on your dog’s plate. Bones, cobs and greasy fats can cause intestinal foreign body blockages and pancreatitis. Pack fresh veggies for a healthy treat.
Fairgrounds are a smorgasbord of dropped food and wrappers — so you’ve got to think one step ahead of your pet! To prevent accidental snacking, use a Gentle Leader to control roving noses.
Don’t share your beer
Most outdoor beer gardens these days cater to people with pets. And while nothing refreshes like a cold lager on a hot day, never share your beer with your dog. Alcohol is toxic to pets, even in seemingly “harmless” amounts.
Make sure you can take your pet with you
Call ahead or check out the online details to make sure your dog is approved to walk around with you. For those non-pet friendly festivals, you never want to leave your dog unattended in a car, especially on a warm day. Even on mild days your car gets HOT, which can turn fatal in as little as 15 minutes, even with the windows cracked. If your pet isn’t feeling the festivities or there was a change to the rules, you need to call it a day.
If you’re going somewhere and need to stay local for the night, you and your best friend can relax in a pet-friendly hotel. All you need to do is Google pet-friendly hotel or simply call a hotel near you and ask them what their pet policy is.
Be wary of fireworks
Fireworks are a summertime favorite — but your dog may not always enjoy them. Avoid events with explosives if your pup suffers from noise phobias (if he doesn’t like thunderstorms, that’s a good clue). If you do bring your pet to a summer festival with fireworks, hold on tight to his leash or harness; a startled pup may try to bolt from the blast, and you don’t want to lose your dog in the crowd! You can also get your pet some mutt muffs to protect them from loud noises like fireworks.
Don’t play in puddles
If a “rain or shine” event turns soggy, keep your dog from drinking from puddles. Standing water can be contaminated with insecticides and fertilizer, not to mention nasty bacteria like Leptospira and Giardia, which can cause nasty illnesses that will rain on your parade. Be sure to bring plenty of fresh drinking water instead!
Keep an eye on the campfire
A crackling campfire is quintessential summer fun, but can tempt curious noses and cause accidental burns. Keep furry friends at a safe distance from the flames. If you’re making s’mores, be sure to keep your pet’s snout away from wrappers, roasting sticks and especially chocolate!
Stay a safe distance from the speakers
Keep an eye on your dog when your favorite band takes the stage, and remove him to a quiet area if you notice any signs of discomfort during the live music or announcements. If your pup is trembling, barking, cowering, or trying to bolt, even with protective mutt muffs on, they may not be ready to rock and roll.
Be mindful of other dogs
It’s always fun to make new friends, but remember that dogs can easily become overstimulated in a busy environment. Keep meetings with other animals brief, and if you see either pet stiffen, growl or give a hard stare or side eye, end the introduction and take a time out.
Whether you’re sun worshipping or stargazing, summer fairs and festivals are fun for the whole family. With your best friend in tow, there’s more to prepare for, but with a little planning, it’s easy to put safety first.
Photo by Krisztian Matyas on Unsplash