Fall is officially here.
What’s that mean? Football season! We’re tailgating with our friends and family (and of course our furry family members, too).
To keep your dog safe this season, we have compiled a list of 6 safety tips to follow while tailgating with your pooch.
Don’t Leave Your Pooch
This one seems obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many times dogs are left alone at tailgating parties. If you plan to tailgate and attend the game afterwards, your best bet would probably be to leave your dog at home. Loud noises, awkward smells, and unknown people could scare your dog and make her run off.
You shouldn’t plan on leaving your dog in the car either. That’s a long time to leave a pooch in a car. Plus, even if it’s only a 70 degree day, the car can get hot enough to cause heat exhaustion (scary!).
Bring on the Tags
Don’t forget your dog’s tags. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Or, you may even want to consider getting her microchipped before the tailgating party just in case she were to get lost. Tags can fall off if your dog were to get lost.
The microchip will be scanned and your dog has a better chance of getting back to you should she get lost with a microchip (P.S.- If you choose to get a microchip, or already have one, don’t forget to ensure all of your information is up-to-date).
Keep Your Dog Away from the Snacks
We all do it- we know. Even though we enjoy sharing our scraps with our dog, we are usually talking about our scraps from dinner. We aren’t talking about the junk food typically found at a tailgating event.
You’ll need to set some ground rules with your friends and family at the party, too. Most people will just casually feed a dog scraps as they pass by. Some of the foods found at a tailgate party can be toxic to your dog. Make sure you inform your friends and family not to feed your dog scraps of any kind. This will ensure your dog is as safe as possible in that regard.
Your dog is clearly going to be tempted to grab some of the goodies, so make sure you bring her some food and treats, too.
Don’t Forget the Water
Don’t forget to bring your dog plenty of water. We know it’s football season, but even in football season the weather can be like a rollercoaster ride of temperatures.
P.S.- You might also want to bring her favorite blanket or doggy bed so she can relax while you’re hanging out.
Watch for the Stress Signals
Tailgating can be exhausting and overwhelming to a dog sometimes. Even a dog who is accustomed to that type of an environment may become stressed at some point.
You’ll want to watch for any signs of stress. We don’t like being stressed and we don’t want our dogs to feel that way.
Signs of stress include:
- Excessive drooling
- Excessive panting
- Excessive barking
- Destructive behavior
This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to leave and go home immediately, but your dog should have an area where he can grab some peace and quiet. Be sure to figure out where that would be prior to arriving.
If your dog still doesn’t calm down after being in his ‘safe spot’ for a little while, it may be time to go home.
Bring Along the First-Aid Kit
The chances of your dog getting hurt are probably low, but here we go with the better safe than sorry phrase again. Even though you have likely taken all the proper precautions, we want to make sure we are prepared in case of an emergency.
The first aid kit doesn’t have to be crazy. The kit should include any medication your dog takes, hydrogen peroxide, an eye dropper, gauze, bandages, antibiotic ointment, towels, and your veterinarian’s phone number.
We want you to have fun with your dog and part of having fun involves staying safe.
Have a great time!
Latasha Ball is the Marketing Coordinator for Pets Global, the founders of pet food brands Zignature, Essence Pet Foods and Fussie Cat. She has more than 10 years of experience in marketing and public relations in which she enjoys being able to combine her professional background with her passion for animals.