Farmers markets are fun places and almost always outside in the fresh air. Seems like a perfect place for you and your fuzzy BFF to spend some time together, right? It might be, but there are some things to think about first when it comes to a farmers market funday with your dog.
Important things to think about before heading to the market:
Is your dog ready for the market?
- Does your dog understand basic training? Do they already have a calm, pleasant demeanor in public-facing situations?
- Can you control them on a leash? Do they get excited and jump up on people/things?
- Are they scared by loud noises?
- Newly adopted dogs and puppies may not be ready for the market until you’ve had extensive time to figure out their temperament.
- Are they up to date on vaccines, especially Bordetella? You don’t know what other dogs could be carrying.
Check the farmers market’s rules and regulations on dogs before you go. Markets may individually have their own rules and not allow dogs in the market. Some local jurisdictions even prohibit dogs at the market.
Check the weather. Extreme weather is never pleasant for dogs.
- Hot weather can be too much. They can get overheated easily in summer. Markets held on paved roads can be too hot for dog paws in the summer.
- Extreme cold can be too unpleasant for dogs. For short-haired breeds, if you need a coat, they most likely do, too.
- Thunderstorms are scary! If there is a chance of storms, it might be best to leave your dog at home and head out alone.
Does your dog have proper ID in case they get lost?
- Tags securely fastened to their collar or harness with your up-to-date contact info is a must.
- Microchips are always a good idea in case your dog somehow slips out of their collar or harness. Make sure to keep your registration and contact info current with the microchip company, too.
If it is a very busy and congested market, it will be a stressful experience for your dog. Pick another market nearby with more room to move that would be a better fit.
It’s always a good idea to come prepared. Here’s a list of what to pack:
- Poop bags… enough said.
- A collapsible bowl and water bottle is a good idea, particularly in the summer months.
- Their fave treats that may be more desirable than market temptations they may encounter. Treat distractions are always a good idea if they encounter something a little too irresistible.
So you’ve decided the market is a good outing for your dog. Here are some tips for a successful market experience for your dog:
- Be aware of your dog’s emotions and reactions at the market. If they seem at all stressed or anxious, take them home.
- Always be aware of who is approaching your dog. Kids, other dogs, rambunctious people, etc. may put you into a liability situation. You cannot control others’ behavior.
- Be prepared for the weather; make sure you have water for your dog and anything else they might need.
- Keep your dog away from vendor displays, food, hot grills, etc.
- In a nutshell, if you take your dog, the dog should be your main priority as a pet parent, not the shopping.
If you consider all these tips and prepare in advance, we’re sure you’ll have a pleasant market day with your best buddy.
Looking for a dog-focused market event this holiday weekend? Check out Overlea Farmers Market’s Four Legged Friends Week happening Saturday, July 6th!