How to prepare for a doggy festival or summer event

Our top tips on how to have a successful and enjoyable festival experience with your canine companion.

31st May 2023

Festivals and other summer events are an amazing way to enjoy music, entertainment, the company of friends and the… unpredictable British weather. Many dog owners want to share these experiences with their pooch as they’re the perfect place to make memories that can last a lifetime!

However, taking a dog to a festival requires careful planning and consideration to make sure your dog and the people around them are kept safe. Here are our top tips on how to have a successful and enjoyable festival experience with your canine companion.

Research the festival’s policies

Whether you’re going to a local street party, headed to a music festival in country fields or want to celebrate your love at a Pride event, always make sure your dog is allowed to attend before you leave the house!

Some festivals allow dogs but may have specific rules and restrictions in place, including lead etiquette, designated dog-friendly areas, and vaccination requirements. Understanding and following these guidelines will help ensure a smooth experience for both you and your furry friend.

Prepare your pooch

It’s so important to make sure that you prepare your dog for the festival environment. You can do this by exposing them to crowds, loud music, and other stimulating situations in advance to help them be more comfortable on the day. This could be done by visiting the beach or park for a short time on a busy day, taking them into town during peak shopping hours, or taking them to a friend’s house where there’s a small party or BBQ going on.

Gradually increase the exposure to these types of situations over time and reward them with treats and praise for calm behaviour. This preparation will help reduce anxiety and stress at the festival event, making life easier for you and your dog.

Keep your dog on a lead

When attending a festival, it's important to keep your dog on a lead at all times. This will help keep your dog close to you, preventing them from getting lost in the crowd or potentially cause any trouble.

A lead also gives you control over your dog's interactions with other event attendees or festivalgoers and their pets, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

Make sure there’s water and shade

These events can be hot and crowded, especially on a warm summer’s day, and dogs can easily become dehydrated or overheated. Make sure to bring plenty of water for your dog and a portable bowl so that they can drink when they’re thirsty. Take regular breaks in shaded areas to allow your dog to rest and cool down. Watch out for signs of heatstroke, such as excessive panting, drooling, or lethargy, and seek veterinary attention if you spot these in your dog. 

Pack your essential supplies

When taking your dog to a festival, pack a bag with essential supplies. This includes:

  • Poop bags
  • Treats
  • Food and water
  • Portable bowls
  • Medication (if applicable)
  • A lead
  • Dog safe sunscreen
  • Collar and an identification tag with up-to-date contact information.

Having these items readily available will help you address your dog's needs and handle any unexpected situations that may arise.

Consider your options for travelling 

Plan ahead and make sure your pooch is comfortable with the travel method you choose. Whatever you decide is right for you and your dog, it’s important that that they have opportunity for a drink and a toilet stop, especially during a long journey.

For more information on traveling with your pet visit our travel advice section.

Be mindful of the noise

As we know, music festivals and other busy events are known for large crowds, loud music and amplified sound systems. Keep in mind that dogs have sensitive hearing, and the noise levels on the day can be overwhelming for them. Try to keep away from the source of the noise if your dog shows any signs of discomfort.

Respect other festivalgoers

While you may be excited to spend the day with your pooch, remember that not everyone may share the same enthusiasm. Some people may have allergies or fears of dogs, so always be considerate and respectful of others. Keep your dog under control and avoid crowds if necessary.

Know the signs of stress

Being able to recognise the signs that your dog may be stressed will help you know when to find a quiet area for your pooch. These include:

  • Excessive panting or drooling.
  • Licking their lips.
  • Ears pinned back.
  • Turning their gaze away.

Taking your dog to a festival can be a wonderful experience for both of you if done responsibly. But remember, when your dog looks like they’ve had enough for the day, it’s probably time to head home. So, grab your furry friend, make memories, and have a fantastic time whatever you end up doing this summer!

Got a festival in mind?

If you’re ready to embrace the summer vibes and enjoy some time with your pooch at some fantastic doggy festivals, why not consider sniffing out Dogstival, 3-4th June 2023, in the New Forest, and Pawfest, 9-10th September in East Kent?

Both festivals will have an array of exciting activities to keep you and your furry friends entertained all day long. From exhilarating agility courses and dog shows to scrumptious treats for you both, there’s something for everyone. Plus, we will be at both events so why not drop by and pick up some goodies!

For more information and to get tickets for Dogstival click here.

For more information and to get tickets for Pawfest click here.