Every year, I get questions about the dog-friendliness of the annual Dallas St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival on Greenville Avenue. For the record, yes – you can bring dogs to the parade and to many of the dog-friendly patios along Greenville Avenue. But before you head out with your dog, here are a few tips to make sure you and your pet have a fun and SAFE day:
1. Only take your dog if he or she is EXTREMELY tolerant of big crowds, loud noises, and being petted. The crowds at this event are huge, and there will be many people there who aren’t used to looking down to watch out for your pet. If your dog is reactive to sudden movements or being touched unexpectedly, it’s best to leave Fido at home.
2. Small dogs and pups should be picked up in large crowds. When you’re walking with plenty of room, this isn’t a huge concern. But when you’re trying to get through a crowd, make sure to pick up your pet. Wading through a sea of legs can be frightening for a very small dog.
3. Speaking of picking up…don’t forget your poop bags! Seriously. Don’t be that person who leaves a mess for someone to step in. Make sure to take your dog for a walk away from the crowd every so often, and be sure to pick up anything he leaves behind.
4. It’s going to be warm, so don’t forget the water and water bowl! Your dog will get thirsty from all the walking so make sure to carry a few water bottles and a travel dog bowl with you.
5. If your dog gets tired or cranky, it’s time to head home. Before heading out to the festivities with your dog, remember that he may be finished partying before you are ready to go home – and leaving your dog in a car is NOT an option. Just be prepared to call it a day if the heat or the crowds get to be too much for your dog.
Bonus tip: No retractable leashes! In a crowd, the very thin cord can get wrapped around someone’s bare legs before you know it – ouch! Use a “fixed lead” (aka a regular leash) anytime you’re heading out to a large event. And be sure your dog is wearing a collar with ID tags, in case you get separated.
The 38th Annual Dallas St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival is Saturday, March 11, 2017. The parade starts at 11:00am at the corner of Greenville Avenue and Blackwell Street. For more information, please visit dallasstpatricksparade.com.