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Summer Parties with Your Dog

by Coach Lilly


Summer can be a blast. There are picnics, family reunions, neighborhood block parties, Fourth of July parties (with fireworks!), outdoor movie nights, BBQs, beach days, and more—all waiting for you to enjoy. Your dog might want to come along to these parties. After all, what better occasion to show off his new DoggieNation dog jersey!


But even though parties can be fun, you may ask yourself if you should bring your dog at all. Should you bring your pet along to summer parties or ask Fido to stay home? The answer depends.



Risks for Dogs at Summer Parties

 According to The Bark magazine, there are real physical risks to dogs at summer parties. Your dog could be accidentally stepped on or he could wander off into a busy road or somebody else’s backyard if he is unsupervised. There are games of toss or Frisbee at many outdoor parties, and your dog could find himself in the middle or get hit by a flying ball or disc. Most parties involve food, and your dog might eat something that was dropped on the ground, something that could turn out to be unhealthy for him. Dr. Karen B. London warns that there are also psychological risks for dogs at parties: “It may be too loud, the dog may be unable to locate the guardians, the amount of activity may be overwhelming, unusual behavior by guests may cause stress in the dog, and staying up later than usual may be problematic.”


Solution #1: Don’t Bring Your Dog to the Party

One way to protect your dog from the physical and psychological risks of going to a summer party is simply not to bring your dog along. You can ask a friend or a family member to dog-sit, either at their home or yours. You could leave your dog at a doggy day care or other professional boarding facility. You could bring your dog’s kennel and let him rest inside the house in her kennel or in a closed room. If you do leave your dog at your own home, make sure that your home or backyard is dog-proofed so that your dog will be safe there and not eat or get into anything that could be harmful to his health.


Solution #2: Keep Your Dog Safe at the Party

If you do decide to bring your dog along to the party, you should make sure that someone, either you or a designated dog-watcher, is in charge of keeping a close eye on your dog to make sure she stays safe and doesn’t get into any trouble. This option may be better for dogs that are already well-socialized and can be trusted to stay calm, well-behaved, and quiet even around large crowds and small children. It could be annoying to other party guests if your dog is constantly barking, begging for food, or trying to jump on them. You should also try to be considerate of other guests who may be allergic to dogs by keeping your dog away from them. One good idea is to make sure you take your dog for a long walk before the party, so that your dog can both exercise away any extra energy or nerves as well as relieve himself before the party so he doesn’t have any accidents later. At the party, take special care that your dog doesn’t chew on any decorations or food that he shouldn’t be eating. Dogs can be especially scared of fireworks, so make sure you are calm and reassuring to help your dog stay calm too.

Some dogs do really well socializing at parties. Others may be safer and more comfortable at home. You should make the choice that is best for you and your dog.

Do you bring your dog to parties? Share your tips in the comments below!


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