Dog Safety at Summer Festivals

dog on leash
Alexas_Fotos / Pixabay

Happy May!

We hope you are enjoying the beautiful spring weather. At Calgary Humane Society we are very busy getting ready for this year’s Dog Jog! On June 3 we will welcome hundreds of awesome people, and their dogs, for a day of family fun with proceeds going directly to animals in need! Enjoy delicious food, fun activities and a scenic run or walk through South Glenmore Park! To learn more about how to join us for this family-friendly event, please visit

Dog Jog is just one of the great festivals around Calgary that you can enjoy with your pet, but before you set out with Fido here are a few safety tips to keep in mind!

Pet-Friendly Festivals

  1. Check that the festival is pet friendly! Each year Calgary Humane Society receives many calls about dogs locked in hot cars at festivals and events. Dogs left in hot cars (even with the windows cracked) can quickly fall victim to heat stroke.
  2. Stick to less crowded areas. Large crowds can be stressful for dogs and each year several dogs in Calgary are injured when they are accidentally stepped on in a large crowd.
  3. Watch for signs of stress. Dogs have a number of ‘calming signals’ that indicate stress. If your dog is lip licking, yawning, dry panting, trying to leave or has a stiff body/tense facial muscles, it’s time to find a quiet space!
  4. Stay away from stray snacks. Festivals mean food, and food + walking = a LOT of snacks on the ground! Scarfing up these stray snacks could make your dog sick or could even be fatal.
  5. Watch for friendly strangers. Lots of people love dogs! Unfortunately they may forget to ask before trying to pet Fido. If you choose to bring your dog to a festival you are responsible to ensure your dog’s safety and the safety of others.
  6. Please don’t let dogs visit. Most pets find meeting on leash to be more stressful than meeting off-leash.
  7. Bring lots of water. Keep Fido well hydrated and happy!
  8. Keep it on leash. Unless you are in a designated off-leash area, Calgary bylaws state that your dog MUST be on a leash. Festivals are no exception.
  9. Training is key. Loose leash walking, sitting, staying and heeling are important skills for any dog that will be attending crowded places. Calgary Humane Society offers training classes and private consultations to help Fido work on his manners.
  10. Watch out for heat and sun! Just like people, pets can wind up with sunburns. The sun can also heat up asphalt, making it dangerous to unprotected paws.