Parades are a great way to celebrate special occasions. Colorful floats, balloons, lively music, and marching bands create a lively atmosphere. Parades also draw large crowds eager to participate in the festivities. Some people might even bring their pets so they can share the experience with their furry friends. However, these stimulating conditions can make a dog feel scared or overwhelmed. Some dogs might even show defensive aggression or attempt to run away during the parade.Parades can still be a fun experience for both you and your dog, as long as the right preparations and safety measures are followed. Follow the tips below to ensure that your dog feels safe and comfortable enough to enjoy the parade with you.
Dress Your Dog Comfortably
One of the fun parts of bringing your dog to a parade is dressing them up for the occasion. Make sure to pick an outfit your pet will feel comfortable in by getting clothes that complement your pup’s body proportions. The clothing must not hug your pet’s body so tightly that it restricts your dog’s movement or breathing. You also need to choose something that isn’t too loose on your dog, as they might trip over the garment and injure themselves.
If your pet feels uneasy wearing a costume, consider alternative items that add to the festive mood without causing discomfort to your dog. Bringing props like your pet’s customizable beer bottle dog toy to an Oktoberfest-themed event, for example, can make your dog appear like they’re part of the celebration without needing to dress up for it. Similarly, dressing them up in stylish accessories like dog bandanas and bowties will make pets look extra cute without hindering their movement.
Bring Treats and Water
Even if you plan to only stay for a short while, always bring bottled water and a collapsible pet bowl so you can give your dog fresh and clean water to drink at any time. It will help them stay hydrated during the event.
It’s also a good idea to bring some tasty dog treats with you. While your dog may be used to attending public events, there are many opportunities for your canine to be distracted. Offer them treats to quickly get your pet’s attention and keep their focus on you. Otherwise, they might want to run off or chase after something that excites them.
Use a Standard Leash
Parades can become packed with a lot of people, which can make it harder for you and your pet to get around. So be sure to use a standard-length dog leash instead of a retractable one. The shorter length will help keep your dog close to you and minimize the risk of tripping someone with the leash. Shorter leashes are also less likely to get caught in passing bikes and children’s strollers, which can injure you or your pet.
Aside from your pet’s leash, be sure they wear a durable dog collar with their ID tags attached. Keep the contact information on your pet’s ID tag updated. People who find your dog can easily contact you and return your beloved pet if they become separated from you.
Check Your Dog Regularly
While you’re enjoying the parade, remember to check on your dog frequently and watch how they react to their surroundings. Even if the first few hours with your dog go smoothly, don’t assume that their mood and behavior will be the same for the entire day. Something can happen to stress your dog out, or they might become fatigued from the heat. They may also begin to feel tired from the activity. Tune into your dog’s reactions and body language so that you can take them to a more quiet spot or back home as needed.When attending a parade with your pet, be ready for the possibility of leaving early if your dog seems uncomfortable.
Consider Inviting a Friend to the Parade
When watching or participating in a parade with your dog, consider bringing a friend along to the event. They can watch over your pet if you need to use the bathroom or grab some food. Also, having an extra pair of eyes to check on your dog is beneficial if you become too engaged with the festivities. Your friend can call your attention if they notice something odd or alarming with your dog’s behavior. It’s best to go with someone your dog trusts or is familiar with, so they will feel at ease with the person while you’re away.
Indeed, dogs participating in a parade can make the occasion more festive. But as a pet owner, you need to ensure your dog is safe and comfortable wherever you take them. That said, these recommendations can help you the next time you bring your dog to a parade. And if you notice your dog becoming uneasy, consider bringing them home rather than risking injury or losing them in the crowd.