It's another beautiful football afternoon. Fido ducks the leash and avoids tacklers in the hallway! What a spin move in the foyer and he is out the front door! Looks like someone is READY TO TAILGATE!
Tailgating with your dog may be something you’ve never considered. Or, it may be something you see every weekend in the late summer and fall. Either way, there can be some hurdles if you’re not experienced.
First, confirm that dogs are allowed in tailgating areas. Also, check if there are specific dog-friendly tailgate areas. Here a few other things to consider if and when you decide to tailgate with your pooch.
Is My Dog Ready for Large, Boisterous Crowds?
This should definitely be first and foremost. If your dog tends to scare easily, or not play well with others, you should keep them feeling comfy at home. The last thing you would want is your dog reacting scared and causing a much larger issue for you. By contrast, some dogs are very chill. They may not scare, but they won’t be very comfortable in that atmosphere either. Keep them comfy too!
What Can I Do to Make this is Enjoyable for My Fur-Fam?
Now that you have decided your dog is a great fit for a tailgate, let’s make sure to keep them entertained while they are there. It may be surprising, but dogs could care less about touchdowns or field goals. They just want to hangout with their pack. So, before you leave home, pack your fur-bestie a little care package for the day:
· Water (water dish)
· Doo-Doo bags
· Shade (if possible)
· Leash (and spare)
How Do I Make Sure I am a Responsible Owner at a Tailgate?
Coaches Voice: Well, you have been practicing all week for this day. Now that it’s gameday, you can show those other dog-owners what you’ve got! Do you know how?!
You can do it by being very mindful and attentive to your pooch as they hangout around the tailgate with you. You can do small things. Make sure to clean up immediately after they doo-doo. Keep them clear of cooking hazards or human games.
A very important aspect is to keep a close eye on the “scrap food” they can pick up around the tailgate. Most every tailgate food we love is not great for your dog’s stomach. Some can even be quite toxic, like onions and beer. Too much hops can actually be fatal to a dog.
You’re probably also wondering what to do with your dog once the game starts? Well, the ideal situation would be to have one or a group of people stay at the tailgate that could take care of the dogs. In an imperfect situation, you could leave them in a vehicle. IT MUST BE WELL VENTILATED. I would STRONGLY SUGGEST checking on your dog each quarter.
It sounds crazy, but they love you. So, show ‘em some love back on game days too!