Dog Socialisation is the buzz word currently. Pet carnivals, pet fairs, brunches with and for pets are coming up in a big way. It’s a great way for people to move out with their pets on a Saturday or a Sunday as the parents feel less guilty about having fun on their own while thier pet stays back. While it’s a great idea to do that, there a few experiences that people have shared which makes us a wee bit uncomfortable with such events and it makes us ask a question – is the event for pets to socialise or for humans to socialise. Here are a few points to consider before heading out for such events-
1. Organising committee – is it an event management company or a pet professional. 2. Free play and/or on leash – do pets have an off leash option, obviously, if they are friendly. If not, is the space large enough for each to get their own space?
3. Is there music? If yes, how loud? – Does your pet scare very easily with crackers and traffic noise? In such a case a small space and loud music can be a disaster from your pets POV. Sounds do cause discomfort since the volume we hear is multiplied hundred times for their ears specially when it is too loud. Dogs panic and hence we might actually teach them to either flight or fight. Such inner conflicts causes stress and the purpose of the event is lost if the end result is a stressed dog!
4. First aid- at the registration desk ask if there is first aid available for pets and humans.
5. What’s in it for the pet? Is it a pet centric activity like games, free play, agility, socialisation activities for the pet? Or is it a shopping carnival for humans with pet accessories and pet food stalls.
6. Activity Orientation – Make sure the activities selected for your dogs takes your dog as close as possible to nature letting them explore their natural instincts and feeling satiated and satisfied mentaly too.
This article has been jointly written by Shalaka Mundada, Owner PetSitters, a premier pet kennel and pet event organiser and Priti Chauhan, Canine Trainer and Behaviourist.