Taking Your Dog to a Festival: 10 Top Tips

Credit: @MonochromeMolly on Instagram

Festival season is in full swing and the only thing better than enjoying brilliant music, delicious food and all the entertainment on offer is doing it all with your furry friend by your side! Taking your dog to a festival can be a great way to make wonderful memories with your pet, but there’s lots of things to think about to make sure you have the best experience possible. Here are our ten top tips for ensuring your pooch is happy, healthy and has the best time with you!

1. Make sure a festival is the right environment for your dog

Before you do anything else, it’s really important that you consider whether a festival environment is the right place for your pooch.

There will be thousands of people, big crowds, lots of loud noise, potentially very hot weather and all sorts of other stressors that may make your dog anxious or uncomfortable. You know your dog’s personality best, so consider whether they are well-socialised, unfazed by noise or crowds, and calm around unpredictable behaviour, to help you make the right call about whether to take your dog to a festival.

2. Check the festival is dog-friendly

It goes without saying, but of course check whether the festival you’re planning on attending welcomes dogs. If you haven’t decided on a particular festival yet, take a look at our list of dog-friendly festivals to help find one that’s perfect for you and your pooch!

Even if dogs are allowed, there will probably be restrictions as to where they are allowed to go and when they can be off-lead, so be sure to familiarise yourself with the event’s policies before you go.

3. Ensure your dog’s microchip and tag are up to date

Most festival sites are huge, and if your dog were to run off into a crowd, it could be very easy to lose them. Make sure your dog’s tag and microchip information is up to date just in case. Having your dog tagged and chipped is also a legal requirement, and you can face a fine if it’s not up to date.

4. Get your dog’s vaccinations up to date

If you’re bringing your pup to the festival, chances are plenty of other like-minded pet parents are too! That means lots of dogs from all walks of life in the same space. It’s therefore very important that your dog’s vaccinations are all up to date so that no nasty diseases are passed around.

5. Be prepared for hot weather… and any other weather!

We all know just how temperamental British weather can be, so it’s important to be prepared for all eventualities.

British summertime can be extremely hot, so be sure to pack a transportable water bowl so you can give your dog regular fresh water, along with doggy suncream, and ideally some cooling toys to keep their temperature down. Cooling coats and bandanas are also great ways to keep your dog cool on the go. When you’re there, look out for signs of heatstroke (heavy panting, excessive drooling, lethargy, collapse), and ensure you find shady spots for your dog to sit in.

On the flip side, you never know when a spare towel might come in handy should the rain set in! Be prepared for a mucky pup if the fields get a deluge. Also, a blanket is a good idea if you’re camping, should it turn cold in the evenings.

6. Avoid loud noise

Our dogs have far more sensitive hearing than us humans do, and festivals are infamously very loud places! When enjoying the music at a festival with your dog, make sure you’re standing far away from any speakers so that your dog’s ears are protected.

7. Stick to your dog’s usual routine

In order to help your dog feel safe and comfortable, it’s best to stick to what they’re used to in terms of walks, meals and bedtimes if possible. Take your dog’s food with you and be sure to give it to them at their usual time. Don’t be tempted to stay out too late with your dog if they are showing signs of fatigue.

Tip: For deep-chested dog breeds, moving around too much after a meal can put them at risk of a GDV, which is where the stomach bloats and twists around itself. Therefore it’s usually recommended that they don’t move around too much for at least an hour after eating, so bear this in mind if you’ll be walking around a lot near your dog’s mealtimes.

8. Keep your dog occupied

While you may well be entranced by a particular act or artist, chances are your dog won’t be! Keep them entertained while you enjoy performances by giving them stimulating toys to play with, such as KONGs.

9. NEVER leave them alone in a vehicle or tent

Even if you don’t think it’s very warm or you plan to leave the windows open, never ever leave your dog in a car, caravan, campervan or tent. If the temperature is only 18 degrees celsius outside for example, the temperature inside a car can be as high as 28 degrees. It’s very dangerous to leave your dog in hot conditions like this, even if only for a few minutes.

10. Keep an eye on them

There’s a lot going on at festivals, and lots of things to be mindful of. Pay attention to what your dog might find on the floor that could harm them such as dropped food or glass, and look out for other dogs, as well as people who may have had a little too much to drink!

Make sure you spot whenever your dog has gone to the toilet too and clean up after them – since you’ll be outside the whole time, your dog may think anywhere is fair game to go, and your fellow festival-goers won’t thank you for missing one!

You should also make yourself aware of the signs of stress in your dog. This could include licking their lips, yawning, pacing, trembling and turning their gaze away. If your dog is showing signs of stress, take them away to somewhere calm and quiet.

It’s a good idea to make a note of the nearest vet’s location and contact details before you go too, just in case.

With these ten top tips in mind, we’re sure you and your pooch will have the best time ever at your summer festival! If you’ve got the festival bug, take a look at our blog on the Best Dog-Friendly Festivals in the UK to discover even more fantastic events to enjoy with your dog.

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