Now that football season has officially started, people all over the nation will be tailgating with friends, family, and hopefully man’s best friend! It is important to keep in mind that not all places are pet friendly, so before you even begin planning to take your dog, double check that it is ok to do so. Tailgating has become one of America’s favorite pastimes, so why not be able to spend it with the WHOLE family?
Whether you are attending someone else’s tailgate party, planning your own, going to be at a college campus or major stadium, here are 10 tips to make it dog-friendly.
1. Verify a Dog-Friendly Area – I mentioned this already, but it would make for a terrible start to a tailgating party to show up with your dog and then see the sign that says “No Dogs Allowed”. Depending on where you are tailgating, most likely there is a section specifically meant for dogs.
2. Bring Appropriate Dog Food – To eliminate the possibility of your dog consuming unsafe foods, be sure to bring your own supply of food and treats, including extra lean meats, carrots, strawberries, and unsalted, unbuttered popcorn. Also be sure to bring the dogs regular food, as tailgating is typically an all day event.
3. Provide Shade and Water – Just as humans need to get out of the sun for a while (even on cooler days), so does man’s best friend. Also be sure to provide enough water so your dog does not become dehydrated.
4. Bring Games and Toys – You will probably have human toys like footballs and frisbees, but don’t forget about games and toys for the dogs! Keep them occupied by playing fetch, throwing dog safe friesbees, and having a few of their favorite outdoor toys.
5. Keep Dogs Leashed – You never know when a car will come out of nowhere, or a loud noise will scare a dog, so it is in their best interest to be on a leash at all times.
6. Have a Pet First Aid Kit – Even though you may have taken all precautions to ensure a safe tailgating party for the dogs, you should still have a pet first aid kit just in case something does happen. The kit should include things like gauze and bandages, sting ointment, any medication the dog is taking, towels, hydrogen peroxide, eye dropper and muzzle. You should also include the veterinarian’s phone number and a copy of your dog’s ID.
7. Clean up After the Dogs – This is one of the most important aspects of taking dogs to a tailgating party. Make sure you have enough plastic bags with you and the pooper scooper to be able to clean up after them.
8. Clean up After the Humans – Trash from a tailgating party can be extremely dangerous to dogs if left out for them to get into. Be sure to have garbage bags placed around the party so everyone has a place to throw away their trash. Also make sure to do routine checks to ensure there isn’t any trash around that the dogs would have access to.