As animal lovers ourselves, one thing that we couldn’t be happier to see is a shift in the way in which culture views pet owners and their furry friends. More and more, society is accepting pets as part of the family, and becoming more accommodating by letting pets into places of retail, food establishments, and even public transportation.
For loving pet owners who don’t like to fly solo at weddings and the like, extending an invitation, aka “plus one” to a dog can be a gift to the owner. But, before you consider bringing your precious companion to an event like a wedding, there are some things to know first.
Is it Okay to Bring Your Dog as a Plus One?
First off, it should go without saying that it’s never wise to assume that a dog is an acceptable “plus one” unless you’ve been explicitly granted permission to bring them. In other words, if you can’t find a date to a wedding, don’t just bring your dog with you, without telling anyone. This is for two reasons: one is that guests may not want a dog there, because of something such as allergies, and the other reason is that the event may not be dog-friendly, in which case you can end up exposing your dog to a lot of stress. Simply ask if it’s okay, and if they say no, respect their choice.
How to Make Sure Your Dog is Ready for an Event
If you are going to bring your dog to an event, make sure that you do some things ahead of time so that the day or night can go smoothly for you, the other guests and, of course, your furry friend.
Tip #1: Only Bring a Dog That Exhibits Good Behavior
First off, if your dog just isn’t good around people or crowded places, keep them at home. A dog that behaves poorly when they’re out and about is usually doing so because they’re anxious, so throwing them into an unusual environment can just make them far too stressed out. Not only that, but dogs that are anxious can get aggressive, and the last thing that you want to happen is for your dog to end up potentially hurting somebody.
Tip #2: Make Sure the Environment Won’t Be Too Stressful or Stimulating for Them
A lot of dogs are sensitive to overly stimulating environments – think places where there’s extremely loud music, places that are extremely crowded and places where everyone is trying to touch them. If you think that the event is going to be a bit too much for your dog to handle, consider keeping them home. And, ask the event host ahead of time if there’s going to be anything planned that could be triggering to your canine.
Tip #3: Find Out if Other Pets Will be in Attendance
It’s a good idea to find out if other pets will be at the event, especially if your dog isn’t good around other dogs. This can save you a lot of headache should an unfortunate meeting take place. If other pets will be attending and your dog is a fellow dog lover themselves, consider sitting with the other pet owners so that your dog has a chance to make a new friend or two.
Tip #4: Make Sure to Bring Treats
Most dogs respond very well to positive reinforcement in the form of treats, and because events like weddings can be unpredictable, having treats on hand can be a very smart idea. Give your dog treats when they’re behaving well, as a way to show them that there’s a right and a wrong way to behave at an event.
Tip #5: Make Sure They’re Well-Fed
Unless the host of the event is planning on serving food specially for dogs, you’ll want to make sure that your dog has a good meal before the event begins. Otherwise, they can end up getting hungry, and once they’re hungry, it can be harder for them to behave. Not to mention, a hungry dog is more likely to try to lick your plate of food, and even steal some nibbles from the guests.
Tip #6: Make Sure They Have Space to Move Around
If the event is going to be too crowded, that can backfire. Dogs typically don’t like crowds, as they can show claustrophobic behavior, and need some space to walk around freely to smell, see and explore. So, talk to the event host to be sure that the area won’t be so tightly packed that your dog won’t be able to roam around a bit.
Tip #7: Be Sure That Guests are Generally Good with Dogs
Double-check that there aren’t any guests who are highly allergic to dogs, or simply afraid of them. And, don’t assume that every guest in attendance knows the right way to approach and touch a dog – if you need to, let people know ahead of time how your dog prefers to receive attention from strangers.
Tip #8: Give Them Some CBD
Yes, it would be really wise to give your dog some CBD ahead of time. Studies have shown that dogs who are given CBD exhibit calmer and more controlled behavior, as the cannabinoid works with receptors in their brain that play a big role in regulating their stress response. A dog who is given CBD prior to an event is more likely to behave, and also be less reactive to stressful stimuli in their environment.
At Chill Paws, we make CBD oils and treats just for canines, with dog-friendly, natural ingredients and lab-tested hemp extract in the proper dosage amounts for canines of all sizes and breeds.
Dogs Can Make for the Best Plus Ones
Overall, we’ve seen time and time again that dogs make for great companions when it comes to everything from travel to family gatherings. And, now we are seeing more dogs make for some particularly cute wedding guests as well. Still, no matter how much you’d love to bring your dog with you to your next event, make sure to cover all your bases first. That way, your dog’s needs are met, and you and your fellow guests are all happy.