When you have adopted a furry friend, your life changes completely. You’re now a new parent, with all the responsibilities that a parent could imagine. Potty training, leash training, gaining their trust, and establishing yourself as the authority figure. It’s a lot of work, but also a lot of satisfaction – after all, you have a brand new addition to your family!
A new addition to the family that loves to go with you wherever you go – a lot of new doggie parents agree that leaving their dogs at home only happens when it’s absolutely necessary. Because more and more pets end up being taken on family adventures and outings, more and more places are starting to welcome these four-legged companions. Restaurants, shops, parks, and all sorts of venues are becoming dog friendly.
A lot of pet stores are also quick to pick up on the new movement (especially when it comes to trendy places for dogs of millennials and a growing number of gen-z adults). With the skyrocketing prices of housing and general costs of living, a lot of young people simply put off having kids. In San Francisco, there are more dogs in the city than kids under 18 – a statistic that is becoming all too familiar in bigger cities all over the US and the world.
Pet stores have become specialty stores where you can find the best dog food for Huskies, Corgis, British Bulldogs – as well as educational toys that a Montessori school wouldn’t be ashamed of. We think this is great! There is so much love and care we can share with our dogs that it’s only natural that man’s best friend becomes an economic purchasing power to be reckoned with.
But what about keeping them safe? We have seen a lot of dogs at various music festivals in the summer, and we were asked a lot of questions about whether it’s a good idea to take a dog along when we go to an outdoor concert. Let’s find out:
Certified service dogs often go where other dogs can’t’ – this is because they have been properly selected, trained, and their behavior is very predictable. It’s their job to be there. They are there because their owners really need them – whether they are visually impaired or at risk of a seizure or have diabetes. These dogs are pros, but we have to remember one thing – they aren’t there for entertainment purposes. A dog probably won’t enjoy your favorite band as much as you, no matter if you guys understand each other and are total soulmates.
Having said that, dogs CAN enjoy various music events – just not for the music. Read on to see what you can do to get everyone to have fun:
Social Training and Stressful Situations
There are a lot of types of music festivals. The types that you should generally avoid (and ones that are not likely to allow dogs in the first place) are the ultra-crowded ones at music venues that take place at smaller amphitheaters, where although there usually is a
“Grass area” in the back, there isn’t much private space and room to get away in case someone starts feeling anxious. These music venues are often equipped with huge sound systems and you’ll be struggling to hear anything, even if you’re in the back.
Remember that your dog’s hearing is so much more sensitive than ours. They can hear sounds better, from further away, and they hear a wider frequency of sounds than we do. If they are bombarded by loudspeakers without the possibility of taking a rest, they will become stressed and quite possibly also be in pain. Make sure there’s a quiet place you can get away at the venue you are going to.
Poo patrol – One of the most important health and safety issues when going anywhere with your four-legged companion is poo. You are probably armed with baggies and other poo related cleaning paraphernalia, but you have to make sure that the place you are going to is equipped to deal with it. If you are sitting next to a family with kids, or a bunch of humans just trying to relax – they might react with hateful glares if your dog does the deed right in front of their blanket. If it’s a #1, then you won’t be able to clean it up, and your neighbors will be forced to avoid the “pee spot” when they shift their gear and blankets. Make sure you can “take your dog for a walk” in a designated or a more remote area, and do it fairly often.
Crowds – Even if your dog is very calm and has a “chill personality”, you should abstain from taking them to a sold-out event that is bound to have people struggling to find a space for themselves. Your puppy might come home with some trauma if they’re exposed to this kind of a mosh pit.
Temperature – Dogs get stressed by temperature, as do humans. This might add to an already stressful situation for them, so make sure that the festivals you choose to take them to aren’t in the middle of a heatwave.
Conclusion and Lessons Learned
Take your dog to festivals! But make sure it’s safe for them. We don’t want to discourage you, just keep in mind that dogs are very social beings – they’ll enjoy any event where they feel that they can be with you and feel safe.
If it’s a huge festival that includes some camping, relaxed wandering in and out of the scene area, and not in the hottest months of the year – it sounds absolutely perfect!