Having a Pet-Friendly Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras dog.Want your dog to be “part of the action” this Mardi Gras season? With a little training and supervision, most dogs can enjoy the festivities with you! Here are a few helpful tips to make it a positive experience for everyone involved:

    • Know your dog: With training and consistency, we can have a big impact on our dog’s behavior; however, attending a noisy, crowded Mardi Gras parade might not be every dog’s idea of a good time. Know your dog’s limits and pay close attention to their body language. Be prepared to leave if it’s too much for them.
    • Practice makes perfect: Desensitizing your dog to new situations is a good way to get them ready for what may come. Start slowly, like going to a busy park or a dog-friendly bar, to see how your dog will respond to being around new people and loud noises. Dogs are more sensitive to sounds than people are; something that may not seem like a big deal to you, but could startle your dog. Move on to working with them on the outside of smaller parades to see how they react. If this is overwhelming for them, you’ll need to do some more work before taking them to the Mardi Gras parades on St. Charles.
    • Mardi Gras dogs.Use the right walking equipment: While dressing your dog up in a cute Mardi Gras costume might be fun, using the right walking equipment is essential. Be sure to have a snug-fitting collar with proper identification. Dogs can quickly back out of a loose fitting collar, and it may be hard to catch a frightened dog if they get away. Using a sturdy 6-foot leash can help you control your dog better than a retractable leash. Easy-Walk Harnesses are a good tool to use because they can give you control of your dog’s shoulders and neck.
    • Be aware of your surroundings: Even if your dog is typically good meeting new people, a person wearing a Mardi Gras mask and playing a strange instrument may seem like a threat. Other owners may not be paying as close of attention to their dogs as you are. Pay attention to who and what is around you at all times. Having a bad experience can be a major setback for your dog.
    • Be prepared: Even if you decide to skip parades and other Mardi Gras festivities, realize you may be surprised on normal walks and outings. The place you typically walk your dog may turn into a parade route or impromptu party site. Be prepared to handle surprises.

Having a fun Mardi Gras season with your dog can be easy if you put in a little training ahead of time. Pay attention to your surroundings and be prepared to handle surprises. Recognize your dog’s limits and when he’s had enough. If Mardi Gras parades and parties are too much for him, it may be best for your dog to just stay at home where things are consistent. Being a responsible pet owner can ensure your dog has a good time, too. Happy Mardi Gras! For more information on training, contact us!