Having just returned from BlogPaws, I thought it might be a good time to write about keeping your dog fit at a pet conference. There are lots of pet events around the country. Some dogs are always at events, but some of us only go occasionally which means our humans need to know how to handle us during these events.
First and foremost, your dog needs to be a “safe rider” which for our family is the term for wearing a seat belt whenever we ride in the car. If you, the human, buckle up, Fido needs to buckle up as well. Wearing a seat belt provides safety for your dog in the event of a crash, but also prevents your dog from distracting you while you are driving and in the event of a crash, not becoming a dangerous projectile. If it is a long ride, make sure they have something comfortable to sit/lay down in/on.
Make sure you have a nice place for your dog to rest. I don’t know what Mom was thinking on our drive. We had a room with two queen beds in the first hotel. Where will she sleep? I guess on the floor since Bailie and I already claimed the beds. Your dog will be tired out from all the activities of the day and needs a good rest.
Get up a bit earlier in the morning and take your dog out for a nice walk. Walking reduces stress for dogs and humans and the early hours are so peaceful! If you know others with dogs at the pet conference, meet up and walk together. We met up with our friend Sugar.
If you have a dog that loves to socialize with other dogs and there is a daycare at your pet conference, that might be a fun idea. Don’t just drop off your dog for the whole day and leave. Remember, your dog is not sure where you are or why you are where you are and may worry you won’t return. Leave your dog for a couple hours or go back and check on him every few hours. We left Bailie at daycare every day for 3-5 hours, but we also visited her now and then to make sure she was okay and knew we had not abandoned her.
A pet conference is the perfect time to work on some behavior and commands. Bailie and I had to learn to attend sessions that could be loud, had people and pets moving about, dogs barking, movies playing, people eating, etc. We attended some sessions together, some separately. We needed to learn to lie down and be quiet for as long as 90 minutes at a time. For me it was pretty easy, but Bailie, being only eleven months old had some trouble after an hour. It is great practice. Don’t forget to bring treats for reinforcement.
Keep track of what your dog is eating. You are not the only one getting food at a pet conference. We dogs are bombarded with treats. Try not to let us overeat. It may be necessary to reduce our meal portions if we are getting too many treats during the day. If your dog has dietary restrictions, be extra careful to monitor what he is eating.
Bringing your dog to a pet conference is a super fun thing to do, but be prepared. It might not be easy depending on your dog and how they handle being in a crowd of people and pets. Don’t get mad, use the experience to work on training to make it a pleasant experience for you and your dog. At the end of the day, your dog will be exhausted (for sure mentally, possibly physically) and you will both sleep well!
What have you been doing to stay fit? I’m joining the FitDog Friday Blog Hop hosted by SlimDoggy, Peggy’s Pet Place and To Dog With Love! Share your story with others and find fun, new fitness ideas too!