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Summer in the City

July 23rd 2017

9 Tips to keep festivals fun for your dog


Taking your dog to community events can be a lot of fun and exciting, but these events can be very crowded with people and other pets! Be sure your dog is in good health before you attend. Immune compromised pets should not be exposed to other animals.

1. Know Your Dog and His Temperament

Many Calgarians love the excitement of summer festivals, with the throngs of people, food, entertainment and music, but your dog may not. It’s important to consider what creates stress for your dog and know how he or she responds to crowds, changes to his or her environment, other animals and loud noises. Fearful, reactive or dogs with behavioural issues, will likely be happiest in the comfort of their own home or a familiar setting. Shy or timid dogs, or a senior dog who tires easily may find festivals too demanding.

2. Ensure Your Dog is Vaccinated

Young puppies are most susceptible to infectious viral diseases, but unvaccinated older and immune compromised dogs are at risk as well. A properly vaccinated dog is a must when considering attending your favourite festival, for everyone's safety!

3. ID your Dog

Microchip and license your dog with the City of Calgary. Licenses need to be worn when out in public. Give yourself peace of mind, by ensuring that your dog’s information is up to date and to have a way to identify them should they become separated from you!

4. Water - Keep it Cool!

Remember, outdoor events can cause our pets to become overheated and dehydrated with the sun and hot asphalt. Seek shady areas and provide lots of water for your pet. Dogs too can suffer from a heat stroke. Warning signs to be on the lookout for are heavy panting, thick drool, bright red gums, vomiting, diarrhea, wobbly legs and weakness.

5. Keep them Leashed!

Unless you are in an off-leash area, the City of Calgary requires all dogs in public places to be leashed. Dog harnesses are also a great idea for the festival dog.

6. Ride in Style - Get a Carrier

Smaller dogs are often hard to see amongst crowds of people and could easily be kicked or stepped on. Carriers, doggie backpacks or strollers are a great way for them to participate with their owners, remain safe and not be under foot. Carriers also provide senior dogs with mobility issues a chance to be part of the fun while being mobile and safe.

7. Block the Bugs

Even Fido can suffer from those pesky insects. Ensure you have a safe repellant for your pooch.

8. Bring on the Treats

Make sure to bring some of your dogs favourite treats for your dog. Be sure to be on the lookout that he or she doesn’t pick up food dropped on the ground to avoid tummy trouble!

9. Scoop the Poop!

No one likes to smell or step in it! Always be prepared to pick up after your pet to ensure everyone can have a good time and to be a responsible pet owner. Don’t forget those poop bags!

By Dr Dirk Dekens, DVM
Dekens Housecall Veterinary Services


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