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!
Ellen Shedlarz says
They seemed like perfect angels. Way to go Emma and Bailie!
We can be, but we can also put on our devil ears at a moments notice.
Sparkle the PBGV says
The mom says she is thankful she left me at home when she went to Nationals! Not sure I understand her thinking, but I learned how to jump up on her bed while she was gone. XOXO Sparkle the PBGV
Careful with jumping! You don’t want to damage your growing back or joints. Mom says it is much easier without us along but she is glad we were with her.
Sparkle the PBGV says
The mom said she missed me very very much. I went to puppy class today and I can now do my “down” FINALLY on command! I just was not ready -when they were for me – to do it! Sparkle the PBGV
Just like people, we all have to wait until we are “ready”. Some dogs are earlier than others. Congratulations.
SlimDoggy (@MySlimDoggy) says
Great tips Emma – I think you followed every one of them during BlogPaws. You were a perfect attendee.
Bailie was probably the more perfect one, I was a bit snappy from all the commotion.
Very good advice. Pet conferences are fast paced, long hours but lots of fun. A lot of dogs can’t handle it. I always take advantage of the sessions by sneaking a nap in under the table.
I took a nap every afternoon alone in the room and on the final night I slept under the table for two hours.
Bailie do seemed a little lost at the pic from the playground. Sniff and wags from Laika and Vaks
She was concerned about being left behind, but she also had a good time from what we heard from others that visited her out there.
Molly The Wally says
Great tips but we probably would not enjoy a conference but you both behave perfectly. Have a fabulous Friday.
Best wishes Molly
For me it was real stressful, Bailie just had a blast with no worries.
Dogs N Pawz says
Great tips! I’m sure both of you were angels! Love the last picture!
We were pretty good. I did snap at several dogs because I wanted to be left alone, but overall we did a great job.
Roxy and Torrey were wiped out too. Torrey enjoyed a little time at the bark park, and i think that helped her get away from the noise. Roxy enjoyed the sessions, all those laps to sit on.
I enjoyed my afternoon naps alone in the room and sleeping under the table the last night. Bailie wanted to be front and center all the time. Every dog is a bit different.
Will and Eko says
How nice of you two to save mom a spot on the floor!
Hey, her fault. She is the one that made a reservation for two beds knowing there would be three of us 😉
Did you ever bark in the hotel? When my sister and I have stayed in a hotel we don’t like the noises in the hall. We eventually get used to it, but sometimes we forget and bark at the door. It gets mom upset, but really, what can we do? Thanks for the tips, mom read the post very carefully. your doodle friend, Dash
It was super quiet at the Westin, so we didn’t bark in the room. We got in big trouble, though Sat. morning. We went out for our walk at 4:30am (we forgot to change our internal clocks) and met another dog in the hall and started howling. Boy was Mom upset. Geez, we had to alert everyone to the danger!
Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady says
Great info as always guys! Thanks for sharing your tips, they will come in handy when I go to the conference next year!
ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
Great tips. I could see Bailey making it through Blog Paws, I’m not sure Katy would do as well.
I had a tough time, but Bailie did awesome and just loved it.
y’all always look fit for fun!
My sisters and I are always ready for fun 😉
M. K. Clinton says
You girls were wonderful. I don’t blame you for snapping at some of those dogs. I mean they wanted to sniff you in private places! I’m going to have to take Bentley on a test trip to see how he reacts in hotels and long car drives. I miss my huggles from Bailie! http://www.mkclinton.com
Thanks, but Mom was a bit unhappy with my snapping. I have no problem with the traveling, just all the dogs and stuff is hard for me. Bailie is giving Mom all the huggles now.
Diane Silver (@ToDogWithLove) says
Great post! It was so much fun to meet you all!
Diane and Rocco
It was great to meet you both too. If you are ever in MN let us know!
Helpful advice. Thank’s for sharing- Petnetio Anu
Great tips Emma. I’m sure a lot of people don’t think about these types of things, but the more you can maintain your pet’s normal schedule (eating, pottying, walking) the easier it will be on everyone!
Exactly. That is why we got Mom up every morning at 4:30, so she would stay on the home schedule. She didn’t seem appreciative at the time, but we know it was the right thing to do.
Great tips Emma and it was lovely to meet you and Bailie. I got to eat an entire can of dog food at lunch one day! Boy I was not hungry at dinner time! Mom thinks it was over 1/4 of a mile from our room to the conference rooms, she figures we walked a couple of miles each day just back and forth to the room! Love Dolly
There sure was a lot of back and forth walking. I don’t think we gained any poundage on that trip. It was fun meeting you too, but boy, isn’t it nice to be home again?
Jan K says
Great advice, Emma, I think it’s important to consider all that when thinking about taking your pet somewhere like that. I’m sure it’s not for all dogs, but it sounds like you and Bailie really did great. I’m not surprised you did…..you are a world traveler, after all! 🙂
It was stressful for me, but Bailie has such a good time!
Great post and advice, Emma. Thanks for sharing. I’m hoping to go to BlogPaws with Petal next year so this is very helpful. Thanks!
Looks like you girls had a blast! 🙂
We all plan to go again next year 🙂
Such great tips, Emma! I would love to bring Ace to a conference. I think he would do pretty well. He is good at just lounging around, however sometimes he gets a case of the “whining.” I guess if that happens, I would just have to leave whatever session we are in because I wouldn’t want him to bother anyone. Were the other dogs well behaved at the sessions you attended? Were any of the dogs naughty? 🙂
I did snap at a few dogs because I wanted to be left alone and there were always dogs barking or something in the sessions, but nothing real bad. No serious problems occurred that I know of.
Ace will snap every now and then too if dogs won’t leave him alone.
I need a sign that says humans can pet me all they want, dogs, leave me alone.
Paws and Pedals (Scooter & Kate) says
Looks like someone was exhausted after all that conferencing – some good tips here & great advice if I ever took my Big Mutt along to a major conference. Thankfully he’s pretty cool about hanging out for any length of time (as long as he gets the occasional cuddle)
Bailie has the short attention span since she is still pretty young, but she did have to sit through lots of sessions and did well. I don’t mind just hanging out, but all the dogs and stuff did have me a bit tense.
Cathy C. Bennett says
Emma, you observed everything on this trip didn’t you? I’m so proud of you, but tell me – did you share your twin bed with your Mom that night? Please tell me you didn’t make her sleep on the floor!
Actually, I don’t like to sleep in bed, and Bailie likes to sleep in bed with Mom, so we had an extra bed after all.
Sand Spring Chesapeakes says
Great tips and pictures, so glad you gals had a great time.
We had fun and I think we are finally recovered from the travels and conference.
You’ve given some great tips for people thinking about having their dog with them at an event.
Excellent tips. Those beds look comfy. 😉
We love to be as comfy as possible!