Double Dentals Pet Toy Kills a Dog
March 16, 2014
Help! My Dog is AFRAID of MEN!
March 31, 2014
Show all

Think BEFORE You Bring Your Dog to People Events

It’s becoming very popular to use special events for fund raising and pet adoptions. Rescues and shelters bring adoptable dogs with them in an attempt to try to find them homes, it’s another version of adoption fairs. I commend them for their efforts, but I’m more concerned about the emotional health of the dogs in attendance — both those that need homes and the dogs who’s people bring them to these activities. The most recent event I read about is the Milwaukee Admirals joining up with the Purina company for Purina Dog Day where they’re currently expecting more than 500 dogs to attend.

Bringing dogs to events like this can be very stressful on a dog! Thinking of the hundreds and sometimes perhaps even thousands of people attending, the noise and the commotion and how it can affect dogs is disturbing to me. Oh sure, it’s great fun … FOR PEOPLE! But for dogs I visualize a lot of stress and of course this kind of stress can be an open invitation for a bite(s) to occur. Let’s face it, there are more people than not that don’t pay attention to what’s going on with their dogs emotionally, they blow it off saying things like “They’ll get over it!” or perhaps they simply aren’t dog-behavior-smart enough to realize some of the signals their dogs are displaying are stress related. A stressed dog can be a dangerous dog.

We’re not talking about a dog show here where you have nothing but dog-savvy people with very well trained dogs. Even dog-specific events such as these are not 100% incident free. On the other hand, something like what the Milwaukee Admirals and Purina are planning is more like a free-for-all. I’m not bashing the Admirals, I’m sure they are full of good intentions. As for Purina, I have no use for them whatsoever. They sell inferior products and what they’re doing here is nothing but a publicity stunt to help them sell more inferior products to unsuspecting people who think they’re giving their dogs a high quality products. Check one of the the food grade lists for their products if you don’t believe me.

Fun for Humans is NOT Always Fun for Dogs

These types of events are for the enjoyment of humans, not dogs! Here are some things to think about before you subject your dog to something like this … and believe me … you are subjecting your dog … I can pretty much guarantee you that he’s not having fun like you are.

  • Dogs ears are very sensitive to sound and the noise alone at some of these people events can be painful for a dog.
  • Often there are kids running around being kids, screeching, excited and wanting to pet every dog they see. It’s dangerous for a child to go running up to a strange dog. Even if you have a dog that’s never bitten and has always been good with kids — that doesn’t mean he’s not going to react with a bite if he’s under stress. You might want to read up on reasons dogs bite, some of which may surprise you.
  • What about the folks that have had too much to drink and want to pet your dog? For the safety of our dogs, the intoxicated people and our dog’s emotional health, we never let anyone who’s been drinking to come anywhere near our dogs. Drunk people stumble and their physical movements are awkward and exaggerated. Some of them are loud and obnoxious which is scary for a dog. We don’t need or want some boozed up person stepping on our dogs and certainly neither do my dogs. We don’t need our dogs coming home smelling of the beer that accidentally got spilled on him or sticky and needing a bath because a child oopsed and spilled their soda on them.
  • My dogs don’t need to be scarfing up all the food that finds its way to the floor and gets left there instead of cleaned up. You have no idea if that hamburger your dog just ate had onions on it which could kill him.
  • What if your dog needs to potty? Some people are very selfish and would make their dogs wait until the event is over instead of excusing themselves to take their dog to potty because they don’t want to miss anything. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say “Oh they can wait.” when it comes to their dogs bathroom needs.
  • If you have a small dog, you could overheat the little dude if you’re one to hold your dog for long periods of time or want to keep him safe from being stepped on in the crowd.
  • Take a look at the photo at the top of the page. Where does your dog sit or lay in a crowded stadium while he’s waiting for you to finish hooting, hollering and cheering on your team? Between your legs in the cramped space between rows upon rows of seating? Oh doesn’t that sound like fun for your dog? NOT!
  • Let’s say your dog has always been people and other-dog friendly, but what about the dogs who aren’t and their people bring them anyway? Believe me, they’re out there.
  • The thought of what could happen to a (scared) dog slipping it’s leash in a parking lot full of cars and people is a very real possibility.
  • Then there’s the dog that slips his leash in the crowd, takes off to go visit anyone and everyone who will pet him and gets lost. Oh, but that kind looking stranger on the far side of the building well out of your site is more than happy to help Fluffy out — right into his waiting vehicle and off to his new life — as bait in a dog fighting operation.
  • Your dog will have to be kept on a leash. What fun is it for your dog to see all those people with their good smelling snacks and kids and other dogs to play with everywhere he looks but there he sits — immobilized by a leash. Isn’t that kind of like you being forced to sit on your hands when you’d much rather be doing something fun with them?
  • Think about the illnesses your dog could get from some other dog in attendance. Not everyone vaccinates their dogs properly. Are they going to require proof of vaccinations at the door?  Your dog could come into contact with an unhealthy dog carrying a nasty disease. Is it really worth the risk?

Are there dogs that can handle things like what I’ve mentioned above? Certainly, but they are few and far between. The general dog population cannot and to put them in a position of having to deal with this kind of stress is just wrong. It’s not like they can say “Thanks for asking me to join you but I think I’ll stay home where it’s quiet and safe for me.”

Watch the Game — Adopt a Dog?

Another thing to consider are the rescues and shelters who bring in dogs for adoption. I really have a hard time with this. These people are supposed to know better than to intentionally put dogs in a stressful situation yet this kind of fund raising and adoption technique is gaining in popularity which really blows my mind. I totally get it that there are many many dogs needing homes and the rescues and shelters need as much exposure as possible to help this happen. I just think for the health and welfare of the dogs that they need to be more selective where they do this kind of thing.

At an event like this dogs are not going to be their normal self. This means you have people basing their decision to adopt or not adopt a dog that is very excited and under stress and so they’re not getting a true picture of the dog’s personality and emotional health.

It’s great that the shelter and rescue people are working hard to find loving homes for dogs in need but to me, this kind of event is just not the time and place to do it. If these organizations want to fund raise at events like this — go for it! But there are safer-for-the-dogs ways to do it. Take a big can for collecting donations and big posters of adoptable dogs. It may not have quite the same effect as a cuddly puppy or an adorable dog all squiggly and wiggly with excitement with that “Will you take me home?” look on his face, but it’s a damn site better than exposing him to things that can endanger his safety and emotional well-being.

Soft Hearts and Decisions Made too Quickly

Trying to adopt a dog into a new loving home in this manner reminds me of what stores do to get impulse buyers to spend more money before they walk out the door. Stores put snacks and other nifty little things near the cash registers which encourages people and makes it easy for them to spend a few extra bucks on that candy bar or novelty item. A dog is not a novelty nor should it be an impulse purchase (adoption). I picture kids begging to take these dogs home and parents caving in to their begging in the heat of the moment or even adult dog lovers who aren’t really ready to have a(nother) dog but just can’t resist that adorable face. Even if they have to go through the full adoption process and they don’t get to take the dog home that very day, getting a dog this fashion is still too close to being an impulse purchase in my opinion.

Oh yeah, and don’t forget that every dog adoption might just come complete with a supply of Grade F Purina products! Just the thought of any dog ingesting Purina anything makes me want to scream!

Dog lovers get tangled up in their emotions when it comes to dogs (guilty as charged!). Putting a dog in need of a home in their faces can make for poor decision making. Many people are not going to be thinking clearly about the long term responsibility a dog is or that adorable puppy is not far from becoming a dog. I don’t even like to think about what happens to many of these dogs a few weeks or months later when the novelty wears off and the reality of what they’ve really done hits.

A Good Dog is a Well Socialized Dog

Absolutely! However, this kind of situation is in my opinion NOT a good way to socialize your dog, it’s people-and-other-dog-overkill which could very well do him more harm than good. If you want to expose your dog to significantly smaller groups of people as part of your socialization training (PLEASE DO if your dog can handle it!) I urge you to instead do your meet & greets by standing outside of places like Walmart, take them to pet stores that allow dogs in the store, include them in family picnics and gatherings where it’s legal for you to bring a dog. Let them interact with people in smaller doses. There’s a huge difference between groups of people and crowds of people.

Most dogs love people but for your dog’s sake, use good common sense! Whatever your reason is to want to bring your dog with you to people oriented event where there are multitudes of people and loud noise, please stop thinking about your own selfish desires and put your dog’s health, comfort, emotional well-being and safety first. Your dog would never intentionally put you in a stressful situation like this, so why would you do it to him? There are just some places that are not good for dogs to be and from where I stand, crowded, noisy people events is one of them.

Comments are closed.


We're sorry but Riley's Place is Not Accepting Help Requests or Blog Comments at This Time. Help Can be Found by Reading Existing Posts and Comments.