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Should dogs be allowed at summer festivals?

  • Yes

    Votes: 18 60.0%
  • No

    Votes: 3 10.0%
  • Other (elaborate in comments)

    Votes: 9 30.0%
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Discussion Starter #1
I saw a post by the pet ambulance service here on Facebook the other day and wanted to get some more opinions on it. In short, they posted that dogs should be left at home during festivals and only walked during the early morning or evening (I'm assuming due to heat?). This bothered me a bit because we live right near the major park where the festivals are held, we walk through it every day and with festival season in full swing, it's hard to avoid for us. Even if we were to avoid the actual park, we still have to walk through the crowds that are coming/going from the park.

I have always taken my dogs to the different festivals here, they have been taught not to eat things off the ground, not to take treats from people unless told ok and are stable if someone happened to grab at them. With the little guys, if it's very crowded, I carry them through those parts so they don't get stepped on. My dogs seem to really enjoy going to them, the attention they get and the treats (I always share a bit of what I get to eat if it's ok for them). If I find they're getting nervous or overwhelmed, we go to a quiet area for a bit or leave and go home.

This is the first festival season we've had Bruce, so far he's been to two dog related ones and has completely exceeded our expectations and done very well. He seems to behave better and be more comfortable in large crowds than walking down the street. We are more careful with him than with the other two, simply because he still is a bit nervous, so we tend to go earlier in the day when it's not as busy if we even bring him.

One of the other things that was mentioned by the pet ambulance post was that not everyone wants to be around dogs or enjoys having dogs at the festivals. IMO, it's a public place, in a park, in the middle of the city, where hundreds of people walk their dog daily even when festivals aren't going on and those people shouldn't have to change their routine because someone else has chosen to come to an outdoor public park that allows dogs. Many festivals also have a few pet related vendors. The people have the option of avoiding the dogs.

So, my question for all of you is; do you agree with the pet ambulance post that dogs should not be brought to festivals? Feel free to post and elaborate!
 

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I dont think there is any black and white answer for a question such as this. I have 3 dogs. 2 I would not take to something such as that but for completely different reasons, the other I could take anywhere and never be concerned. It would also depend on the type of event and what type of people are going to be there.
 

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A park is one thing. I image there is grass and also trees. But, all the festivals I've been to are on hot pavement of a blocked out city street, and are too crowded for the humans. And the sun beating down on the asphalt is unbearable for us humans! I'm old now and avoid summer street festivals.
 

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There are 2 fairs I always take Lakota to. One in september and the other in october. There are some other events during the summer if it's too hot I won't bring her.
I voted yes because it's a great way to expose her to crowds and everything else. I would like to think peope use common sense, but some don't have any.
 

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Honestly I'm on the fence, as much as I would LOVE to have my dogs with me 24/7 there are times it's just not right for them

Firstly, dealing with heat for outside venues - my dogs are indoor dogs, they're only outside to play or train which can range from 15 seconds to 5-6 hours. If they're out for more than 15 minutes in the summer they're given access to cold fresh water and lots of shade. If it's hot and uncomfortable for me, then it's even more so for them. Walking on asphalt or concrete burns paws, large loud crowds can be overwhelming for some dogs, they're not at the same level so people don't always see them and I wouldn't like being kneed in the side or shoved around either. Also, if dogs are allowed that means both responsible and irresponsible owners are equally allowed. That means lots of dogs; probably mostly on flexi leashes lunging and barking at each other, again not fun for either the dogs or owners.

I brought both dogs downtown Carleton Place for Canada Day last year, firstly it's a smaller town so not as crowded as Ottawa and the heat was not overwhelming that particular day. Lots of grass so paws were kept safe and lots of trees so shade was frequent. We went out in the later afternoon (around 3 PM) so the heat was subsiding and the park where we went is on the river so they could jump in if needed. I brought lots of water for them and we enjoyed the day, I kept away from the centre of crowds whenever possible and away from the speakers so the dog's ears weren't overwhelmed with loud music. They got lots of treats and pets and everyone was very respectful and nice. When it came time for the fireworks we found a space to sit, so I sat on a blanket with both dogs and we watched them. I was ready to leave at any time if either dog was upset by the loud noises, neither was and Delgado actually watched the sky for a while. At the end of the day they were both exhausted and slept well, overall a very fun day for both human and canine.

I think they can be fun for both parties, but there has to be give and take. If your dog doesn't enjoy crowds then going to a fair isn't going to be fun for him. If your dog doesn't enjoy loud noises then a firework show is again not fun. I don't believe in forcing a dog to endure something just for the sake of the humans enjoying having their company.

For dog fairs I would honestly prefer having more rules then none regarding leashes and behaviour. Everyone's definition of a well behaved canine is different :) Setting a standard helps keep everyone in line
 

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we have outdoor concerts here, in the summer, every friday night, we take a minimum of 2 dogs and as many as 4, there are at least, 5 places we can go for concerts, but we favor 2 places, as they have grass and shade, if its in the 90`s and humidity we dont go, always have plenty of water, the dog`s even have their own fan club, many people look forward to seeing them every week, and always comment on how well behaved they all are, and the kids are always coming up and asking to pet them, we do run across the occasional bozo with a dog on a zip line, 10 ft out in front of them, headed in our direction thinking they're going to have a play date or something, I think this is the best way to socialize the dog, start them young, guess the breed of the puppy and win a prize
 

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I think you have to use some common sense when it comes to these things... I use to take Diesel with me to most festivals because the ones I went to were always in parks so all grass with gravel walk ways so wouldn't be hot on the paws. I always carried a backpack with 2L bottle of water with a dish so plenty of cool fresh water. There were always trees and tents ect for shade.

So as long as the weather is good (not excruciatingly hot) and there is lots of shade and lots of grass and your dog is good in crowds and is trained really well there is no reason why you cant bring your dog.

Penny has already been to one festival this year she did fantastic in the crowd, was on grass and gravel the entire time and it wasnt too hot, we didnt go the next day to the parade as it was way to hot and would have been on asphalt so she was left home. Canada Day we will be going to another festival and then going to the two fairs later this year which are held on dirt so as long as the weather is not overly hot then she will be coming, there are a few she wont because it wont be ideal for her..
 

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I pretty much only go to pet festivals and events with my dogs. There are plenty of them around here to be able to socialize, and just get your dog out and do something fun.
 

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I look at it like anything else. What is there that could be dangerous for the dog? Could be the type of festival, could be the weather, could be alot of things. I evaluate the situation before I get into it and go from there.

It all depends on the enviroment. I just make sure I take a travel backpack with toys, extra leash, water, food and treats for him where ever I go. The weather and enviroment dictate how much of what I bring though. Hot weather, more water than other things. I also factor in what I think is an appropriate amount of time he's subjected to certain enviroments. To me these all are important. There are times where situations or enviroments dictate it would not be dog friendly. He stays home. What ever makes it safe for him is what I tend to go with.
 

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If I do take them it's at night. No sun, a nice breeze, and no hot pavement
 

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Easy answer for me. Yes, of course.
 

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Should dogs be allowed ?. Yes. Should you take your dog? It depends. I don't take my shih tzu to events that I will be at for more than hour. First she's a flat faced breed and gets hot fast. Secondly she's older and grumpier. I do have a stroller for her so if we're going for an hour I will take her. I also mostly attend specific events for dogs. I don't take my dogs to the fair, but I will attend the pet festivals, concerts and movies on the green.
 

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One of the things I really enjoy doing is taking my dogs to dog friendly events with me. In fact I created my website because of that, I was always trying to find dog events in the area and could not find a central source for that info, so I made my own. My dogs enjoy the attention from people and liked to go out places with me as well, if they didn't like it or were not good in crowds/with people and loud noises or not well trained/socialized I wouldn't take them. I train them to stay in heel position, not approach people without my ok and not to eat anything off the ground (I also keep an eye on them of course).
If it's really hot of course they'd stay home, but I don't like the heat anyway so I probably wouldn't be going either if it's hot. If it's warm but not too hot I use a dog cooling vest for comfort (you can see it in some of the photos below). Most of the festivals I like to go to are nearer the beginning of the summer or towards the fall, when it's not as hot.


Bianca at the Long Grove Strawberry Festival:




Custer's Last Stand Festival:




Glenwood Arts Festival:



I even did this once :p:


(that's my Golden, Ginger, at Anderonville Midsommarfest-- years ago)
 

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Too many variables to answer yes or no.

It really depends on the weather, if there is shade, a place to cool off, etc.
Also depends on the type of event. I will not go if there are lots of kids running around. I also would not go if it there was super loud music.
I was so hoping to take my dog to a Blue Angels event, but those planes can be so loud, I just don't think it would be a good idea - unless anyone here has had success at one of those.
We also have a couple art and wine fests. These events would only be attended early in the day, before the people became too intoxicated.
 

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if the dog is trained and socialized enough that it can handle a crowd
i guess it's ok. what's your reason for taking a dog to a festival?
 

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It really depends on the dog and the event. If your dog isn't comfortable in that kind of environment and wouldn't enjoy it, you shouldn't bring them. Otherwise, why not? In a public park where anyone is welcome, people who do not want to be around dogs can avoid them, just like they would any other day or time, when there wasn't a festival going on.

In 2007 we took Dena & Keefer to the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in Golden Gate Park, a huge weekend long music festival with 5 (at the time, now there are 6) stages of continuous music, and over 100,000 people.







Dena loooved this little girl! :wub:





Hanging with Tom:





And me:



And here Keefer gets a hug from a total stranger, while Dena enjoys a butt scratch:

 

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I guess it depends. We were at Roar at the Shore last weekend and left the dogs home - way too hot and the beach there is iffy for testing. I did the dog sled races, but left the dogs home - no dogs allowed. It was -15C and we kept going inside to warm up, they had a building with a small traveling zoo and another where Crayola had donated a bunch of stuff for kids to do. I left them home for the Maple Syrup festival, mostly because I went by myself and needed a stroller for DD, plus again in the arena was the zoo and at the school was the craft fair, but there were lots of dogs around. Plus I wanted to go on the farm tour and they couldn't go on that. We were going to go back the next day, dh was off and switch off dog duties there, but the weather was crappy. Bass season opened last weekend, so if weather permits, they will come to some of those tournaments with us.
I suppose if it were an entirely outdoor festival, I would take them, if I have dh with me, at least for another year, I would look really cute carrying 3 leashes, 2 on the dogs one on the kid.
I thought about taking them to the drive-in, but we have so many black flies and mosquitos, not sure I want to go :)
Farmers markets, flea markets, not all are entirely outside, and at the end of the day I respect the wishes of the event organizers.
My dogs are pretty easily satisfied, a ride to the dump is fun for them, and everybody brings their dog in their pick-up and Saturdays have become our unofficial fire nights, we've done it 2 weeks in a row and have attracted a few neighbors over. Something about country music and a bonfire - easiest way to get to know all the neighbors! They show up with their dogs and kids, everybody has a good time!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
if the dog is trained and socialized enough that it can handle a crowd
i guess it's ok. what's your reason for taking a dog to a festival?
This is a really good question that I haven't actually thought that much about outside of the socialization and training opportunities it provides.

With the dachshunds, I've always brought one or the other with me to different festivals. I usually went alone, so they were company for me, they also seemed to enjoy the attention and they were small enough that if they started to get tired or if it was getting too crowded I could pick them up and carry them. I've been fortunate in the last 5-6 years that I've lived here to always live within a 5-15 minute walk of the park where most of the events are held, so it's always been quick to get home.

With Bruce, I have been using them and our walks downtown to help him become more relaxed around people. He has never minded children, but he doesn't like adults too much. Not that he will growl or bite, just uneasy. We started during lower traffic times for walking and have worked up to festivals. If we go when they aren't too busy, he is comfortable and relaxed. It has also worked very well for distraction training. Thankfully, all of the festivals in that park are set up the same way - vendors and food trucks along the paths with a huge open space that isn't used in the middle. If a break is needed, we can just go into that space.

We also don't have any children, I don't have many friends that live close enough or have much free time to attend things like this with me/us, so our dogs are included in a lot of things that we do.
 

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It depends.

There's a Japanese festival that's always out here during late February.

In a lot of places, that would be too cold for people and dogs. In Arizona, the weather is BEAUTIFUL. I take Ozzy to that all the time - and many other people take their dogs as well.

When it gets very crowded, I simply avoid the big crowds (not very hard - there's lots of 'sparse' places to go at the festival) and sit and watch some of the shows/demos while I wait for things to air out a bit. Or I carry him, which is an option for me, due to how small he is.

It really is a case-by-case kind of thing.

Summer festivals are absolutely out of the question for him. If the weather is so much as questionable - he stays home. With or without booties, it can get unbearable no matter who or what you are. I can't guarantee I can keep him safe, temperature-wise.

Even evening walks are iffy. The concrete stays hot for a while into the evening/night, so I usually take him out during the early morning if I can.
I put flyers on the mail boxes through our neighborhood saying, "Walk barefoot outside - if it burns your feet, it'll burn your dog's too."

It amazes me that people will walk their dogs when it's over 105 degrees outside, and they don't think their dogs' feet are on fire.
 
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