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Pets and Festivals: Should You Take Your Pet?

Cleveland residents know that there’s just something special about summer in the CLE. Our long winter is a thing of the past (at least for now) and the weekends are filled with fun activities, including plenty of neighborhood festivals, fairs, and outdoor concerts.

Many pet owners understandably want to bring their pets along to enjoy the beautiful weather and fun events, but pets and festivals don’t always mix. Find out if your pet is a good candidate for a public event, and what you can do to keep him or her safe.

Pets and Festivals

For the most part, pets are better off not being out in crowded, public areas. If you must take your pet to a festival or fair, we suggest asking yourself the following questions before you commit:

  • Is my pet properly socialized? Is he or she reactive around other dogs, children, or adults?
  • How is my dog’s obedience? For example, will I be able to keep my dog from jumping up on people or investigating other dogs?
  • Is my pet prone to shyness or anxiety around strangers or crowds?
  • Will I have the time to pay close attention to my pet to make sure that he or she doesn’t get into trouble?
  • If it gets too hot, is there adequate shade for my pet to rest under?

If the answer to any of these questions is “no”, your pet is better off at home.

Safety First

If you decide to take your pet with you to an outdoor event, you will need to plan ahead for his or her safety and comfort:

  • Keep cool – Pets can succumb to heat exhaustion or heatstroke much more quickly than humans, so you will need to take every precaution to ensure that your furry friend doesn’t become overheated. Pack plenty of fresh water and a bowl to drink from, and take frequent breaks to rest in the shade.
  • Paw safety – Parking lots, streets, and sidewalks are popular places for festivals and fairs, but these surfaces can quickly heat up to unbearable temperatures and can cause severe burns to a pet’s paw pads. If the pavement is too hot for you to hold your bare hand against, it’s too hot for your pet.
  • Supervise – The food is often the best part of a festival, and your pet agrees! Many people foods pose a risk of poisoning or intestinal obstruction in our fur friends, so always keep an eye on your pet to ensure that he or she doesn’t gobble up any discarded food or other trash.
  • Chill out – Even the most outgoing pet can become overwhelmed by a crowd. Pay attention to your pet’s body language, and be prepared to leave or find a quiet spot to relax if your pet seems anxious or stressed.
  • Noise alert – We recommend not bringing pets to any events that include fireworks, loud music, or any other noises that may startle or upset an animal.
  • Clean up – Be prepared with plastic baggies to clean up your dog’s waste.

Summer in the City

Whether you take your pet everywhere you go, or opt to enjoy each other’s company in your own backyard, your friends at West Park Animal Hospital hope you have a wonderful, fun-filled summer! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with your questions about pets and festivals, or any other concerns you may have regarding your pet.

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