7 Ways to Keep Your Dog Safe Around Pride Parades and Celebrations

Published: 6/30/2021
Thinking of taking your dog with you to an LGBTQ Pride Month celebration? Then read on for pointers on how to ensure a tail-wagging good time for both you and your furry BFF!

#1 Do some research before you go
From low-key gatherings to loud parties, Pride is celebrated in many different ways, and not all events are suitable for four-legged attendees. Looking up information about an event will help you decide whether you should bring your pup or leave them at home. Check the website for rules and information about attending. Many canines find large crowds and booming noises scary and overwhelming, so if the celebration you’re planning to join is known to draw a big crowd and includes loud performances, it would be best to go without your furry pal, or look for a quieter event.

#2 Prepare to beat the heat
Many Pride celebrations are held outdoors in June which is the beginning of summer, so be prepared to keep your pup cool if you’re bringing them along. Pack plenty of water to help them stay comfortable during the day, and keep an umbrella handy to protect your pooch from the sun. If you’ve thought about dressing up your dog in a colorful costume, consider leaving them au naturel. Our canine companions have fewer sweat glands than we do, so they’re more prone to heatstroke. Your pup can still show their support and partake in the festivities with a rainbow leash or bandana.

#3 Make sure their collar is secure
Before you and your pooch head out, check their collar or harness to make sure they can’t wiggle free or back out of it. Being around lots of people, other dogs, and activity can make your pup feel nervous and want to escape; a secure collar or harness will help prevent them from slipping away and getting lost in the crowd. See to it that your pup also has their ID tags and/or microchip up to date, and avoid using long or retractable leashes to keep them safely by your side. If you have a smaller dog, consider carrying them throughout the event.

#4 Scout the surrounding area
Check if there will be a pet booth at the event; some parades have them for four-legged attendees who might need to take a break or receive medical attention. If there’s none, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the surrounding area a day or two before the event. Find out where the nearest vet along the parade route is in case of an emergency. Note any dog-friendly spots such as cafes or parks that you and your furry friend can retreat to if you need to get away from the festivities for a bit.

#5 Prioritize your pup’s comfort
Have fun at the event, but remember to keep a close eye on your canine companion as well. If they’re getting stressed, tired, or too hot, bring them to the pet booth or one of your designated escape spots right away. You can rejoin the festivities once they’ve calmed down, but be prepared to leave early and go home if needed. You can come back without your dog or find another way to celebrate Pride. Either way, your dog’s comfort and safety should come first.
#6 Look for events organized with canines in mind
See if you can find an event in your area that specifically caters to dogs. Some cities have Pride yappy hours and pawrades, which usually include dog-friendly activities, adoption events, contests, and/or mini parades. Smaller events like these are often less stressful and provide more opportunities to make new four-legged friends. So if your pooch isn’t a fan of large crowds and loud noises, skip the big parties and take them to a calmer, quieter celebration instead.

#7 Celebrate at home

If there are no pup-friendly events nearby, you can easily celebrate Pride with your dog at home! Here are some ideas:

  • Attend a virtual Pride parade. Join the festivities without having to worry about the weather, big crowds, and loud noises!
  • Have a Pride picnic in your backyard. This can be just for you and your pooch, or you can invite a few two- and four-legged guests over.
  • Dress your dog up with Pride-themed accessories. Don’t forget to take lots of pictures and share them online! 
  • Teach your dog a Pride trick, like how to hold a mini rainbow flag.

For more ways on how to celebrate Pride at home, check out this article!

We wish you and your pup a safe and happy Pride Month!