As summer winds down and fall creeps ever closer, the first football games of the season will soon be here – and with them the popular sports lover pastime known as a tailgate party. Because everyone knows that even the best things in life are better when shared with your canine companion, here are eight tips to ensure your tailgate is a truly tail-wagging event.
1. Retrieve the rules. Some stadium parking lots may not be dog friendly. Confirm that the venue allows canines on the premises before planning your tailgate party. If they do not, consider hosting your gathering at home instead.
2. Gather the guests. While most humans are able to “get along” for at least a short period regardless of personal differences, dogs take a more direct approach to confrontation. Make sure guests know that you’re only inviting dog friendly, non-aggressive pets.
3. Dress festively. Of course, you plan to wear your favorite team’s jersey to the tailgate party. Now your dog can as well. Order a doggy sized football jersey from MSPCA Angell. Available in the colors of popular national and college football teams, the company will imprint one with your dog’s name as well.
4. Review the menu. Avoid foods that are dangerous for dogs if you anticipate any sneaky sampling by the furry guests. This means no dishes with onions, garlic, or anything that may present a choking hazard. Bring your pet’s favorite dog food and plenty of safe treats so he won’t feel left out. Bake up a batch of homemade dog snacks – can find great recipes at Bullwrinkle.com.
5. Cool off. Dogs pant when they’re excited, but they also do so when they are hot. Prevent heat stroke by making sure furry fans have plenty of clean water to drink and adequate shade to lounge around in if they need to get out of the sun. Severe heat stroke is life threatening, so be aware of the signs. If your dog is panting excessively, showing signs of weakness and vomiting, take him to the veterinarian immediately.
6. Leash up. Moving cars, rowdy fans and dangerous temptations galore surround every parking lot tailgate party. Keep your dog leashed for his safety.
7. Have a plan. Accidents happen, so make sure you bring along a first aid kit with the basic supplies including gauze, bandages, adhesive tape, hydrogen peroxide and antibiotic ointment. Stash the number for your veterinarian and the nearest emergency animal clinic in the bag as well. Brush up on pet first aid with the American Veterinary Medical Foundation.
8. Keep it clean. Pick up and dispose of any dog waste immediately. Ensure the humans dispose of their trash and food scraps in garbage bags placed out of the reach of the dogs.
Are you ready for a tail wagging good time? If you decide to host your own dog-friendly tailgate this football season, let us know how it goes in the comments.