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Avoiding Doggy Drama at Country Events

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We love to take our dogs out for the day, and sometimes, we are tempted to take them to busier events such as a local agricultural show, festival, or outdoor event such as a fete. Taking your dog to different events can be a delightful experience for both of you, provided you plan carefully and prioritise your pet’s comfort and safety.

Here are some tips to ensure a successful and enjoyable outing.

1. Research and Preparation

Before heading out, research the event to confirm that dogs are allowed. Check for any specific rules. Dogs nearly always have to be on a lead, but there may be places that are “no-go” areas at the event. Additionally, consider the nature of the event. Is it likely to be crowded and noisy? If so, think about whether your dog is comfortable in such environments. If you have doubts, leave them at home.

2. Health and Safety

Make sure your dog is in good health. An elderly dog may find a lot of walking, as well as new and novel sights and sounds, too much. If the event is in an especially grassy or wooded area, you may need to consider whether extra flea and tick protection is necessary.

dog drinking water

3. Essential Supplies:

Pack a bag with all the essentials your dog might need, including:

  • A training lead to allow “sniffy walking” where possible and close control among crowds. Retractable leads are dangerous at busy events and present a trip hazard.
  • Ensure ID tags are up to date and carry the mobile number for the phone you have with you.
  • A portable water bowl and plenty of fresh water.
  • Food/treats/chews, especially if you’ll be out for an extended period.
  • Poo bags for picking up after your dog.
  • A blanket or towel for your dog to rest on.

4. Comfort and Hydration

Ensure your dog stays hydrated throughout the day. Offer water frequently. Seek out shaded areas where your dog can rest and cool down. Avoid walking your dog for long periods, particularly if it is hot. It is preferable to allow other members of the group to investigate and wander around the event while the dog stays somewhere shadier if it is a hot day.

5. Behaviour and Socialisation:

Monitor your dog’s behaviour and body language closely. Crowded and noisy environments can be overwhelming for some dogs, leading to stress or anxiety. If your dog shows signs of discomfort, such as excessive panting, whining, or trying to hide, it may be best to leave the event early.

dog day out - running

6. Social Interaction

Be mindful of how your dog interacts with other animals and people. Not everyone is comfortable with dogs, and not all dogs are friendly. Always ask before allowing your dog to approach another person or pet. Supervise all interactions closely to ensure they are positive and safe.

Take particular care if your dog is not used to children.

Dogs are always barred from the area where animals are penned or tied up at agricultural shows. However, occasionally, livestock may be much closer to people and dogs, such as during the winners’ parade. Be extra cautious at such times.

7. Take Breaks

Plan for regular breaks to give your dog time to rest and decompress. Find quiet spots away from the main hustle and bustle where your dog can relax.

8. Exit Strategy

Have a clear plan for leaving the event. Know where the exits are and the quickest way to get to your car or a safe area. Avoid the busiest times when gateways may become very congested.

By following our tips, you can ensure that both you and your dog have a wonderful time at outdoor events. With proper preparation and attention to your dog’s needs, you’ll create happy memories together.

For more pet articles, click here, or visit Karen’s website.

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Karen Boyce for Love Wrexham Magazine
Author: Karen Boyce for Love Wrexham Magazine

Karen Boyce is the owner of Beastly Thoughts Professional Dog Service (BTPDS), the largest pet dog training establishment in Wales. BTPDS specialise in puppy training and reactive dogs, but offer a whole host of obedience training classes, lectures, webinars and online training hubs and groups. Karen was named Animal Star Awards Dog Trainer/Behaviourist of the Year in 2019. Tel: 07970 488 395 Email: info@beastlythoughts.co.uk Additional Instagram profile: beastlythoughtsdogservices

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