Archive for the ‘parades’ Category

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09 Mar 11

Parades & Pets ...

by Nancy E. Hassel,

Top of the mornin’ to you – St. Patrick’s Day is upon on us – that means lots of wearin’ of the green, parades all across the Island and fun dog costumes. Wait, what? That’s right many dogs, cats and horses will be sporting the green in honor of the festive Irish season. This looks adorable and fun, but might not be so much fun for the pet. Make sure if you are heading out to Montauk on the 20th for the big St. Patty’s Day parade that: 1.) your pet doesn’t mind wearing clothing, bandana, sunglasses, etc. (some pets are not happy with clothing, don’t force it); 2.) that your pet has proper ID with both your home and mobile number on it and is attached to their collar; and 3.) that your pet is well behaved, and has been around large, very noisy crowds before; 4) and use a proper 6-foot leash (leather or cotton is best) to bring you dog with to the parade.

Parades are a lot of fun for us, but our four legged friends may not enjoy the experience at all. If you have never brought your dog before, maybe for safety’s sake, yours, your pets, and the crowd’s – leave that pup home. Dogs that are well adjusted, trained, and socialized may and can do just fine, but people tend to bring their dogs that aren’t or have never been exposed to what a parade can bring. Dogs can easily get frightened from bag pipes, fire truck sirens, drum core, people petting the dog without asking and could snap someone or some child, slip away and could get lost.  (I have personally seen dogs completely freaking out and squirming in their owner’s arms at parades.)

With a parade almost every weekend for St. Patty’s Day across Long Island, if you insist on bringing your pet, pay attention to them. If you dog seems terrified or is pulling away, stay back from the crowd, or better yet, bring him home. Dog’s ears are more sensitive than human ears, so a blaring fire truck could send him running for the hills, or make the dog just plain uncomfortable. So enjoy your St. Patrick’s Day and think about leaving Buddy at home.

I had a Doberman that I brought with me almost everywhere, and she was well behaved and didn’t mind, crowds or noise, kids petting her, etc. at a parade (and happened to love, love, love horses!). But I always watched her body language and paid attention to her behavior while there. If she seemed off or uneasy (which was very rare for her being a well adjusted dog and not to mention Doberman), we left. The dog I have now is way too much of a scardy cat, and I would never subject him to the noise, crowds and other people’s unruly dogs.  So I can enjoy the parade and festivities and he stays home and sleeps!