Ok, you got us, we don’t really have an advice column. But, as pet people, we think this is an important topic for both people and their pets. The truth is, there’s obviously no one-size-fits all answer to this question because it depends on a variety of things like just how large the event is, how your pet does with a lot of commotion as well as other animals, and also how you handle what could be a stressful situation.
The first thing we consider is how large the event is; is it a busy farmer’s market or food festival with lots of foot traffic, trash, and tight quarters? Or is it an outdoor concert with grass, blankets, and room to stretch out? Clearly the latter is going to be a much more enjoyable experience for everyone involved. Next, consider your canine. Are they usually the relaxed, stick-by-your-side type or are they an overeager leash puller who get easily distracted? Has your pet ever shown aggression toward people or other animals? If so, just leave them at home where they’re happy. Remember: just because you think it’s good for them to go out and about, doesn’t mean it’s actually going to fulfill that expectation. And, of course, size matters; bringing a Great Dane to an event is obviously much different than bringing a Maltese so consider their size in relation to the event’s space.
Lastly, be honest with yourself – is it fun for you to bring your dog or are you doing it because you think they’re bored and lonely at home? Are you good in stressful situations? Just because your dog is well behaved it doesn’t mean you won’t run into one that isn’t – so you’ll need to feel confident you could handle a dog-on-dog problem.
We will say, if you do opt to bring your dog along, it never hurts to carry a few of their favorite treats to make them want to stay by your side.