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Make sure it’s safe for your pup to celebrate.

Mark your calendars — one of New York City’s most festive and important events is quickly approaching. We’re talking about the NYC Pride March on June 26, 2022. The crowd will gather at 26th Street and 5th Avenue at 12:00 PM EST and begin their march towards 23rd Street and 7th Avenue to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ history and community.

As an attendee of the 53rd annual Pride March (which is just one of several NYC Pride events throughout June) you’ll be amongst a sea of marchers celebrating, commemorating and advocating for equal rights for all people. There’ll also be several walking groups to admire and other ways to get involved. 

Even better, it’s a dog-friendly event, too! So your pup can get decked out in Pride gear and take part in the monumental celebrations. But, before bringing your pet straight into the action, there are some vet-approved ways to make sure their experience goes off without a hitch. 

Prepare, prepare, prepare

Not only will there be hundreds of people at the parade, but there’ll also likely be a lot of dogs — and we want your pup to be friends with everyone. Make sure to socialize your pet with different people and animals before the parade so they are used to all the friendly faces around them. If your pup doesn’t get along well with others, it’s best to let them relax at home. 

If your dog knows basic commands, that’s a major plus. It’ll be a new, loud and potentially chaotic environment, and knowing commands like “drop it,” “come,” and “leave it” can help you both navigate unexpected situations, Dr. Aliya McCullough, Fetch’s on-staff veterinarian, says. 

Make sure your pup is comfortable with loud noises

There’s bound to be loud music, city sounds and lots of celebrating at the parade. Some pups struggle with noise phobias, which is when they’re frightened by loud or sudden sounds. If your dog excessively licks, paces, whimpers, cowers or becomes destructive to themselves or your home when they hear loud noises, it may be best to leave them at home.

RELATED: Jacksonville Humane Society’s Cutest Pet Photo Contest

Check the weather before you head out

Since the parade takes place in the summertime, you must check the weather before bringing your dog. If it’s above 75 degrees Fahrenheit, you’ll likely want to leave your pup at home (especially if you’re walking your dog). If you plan to bring your dog, make sure you find plenty of shaded areas for them to cool off and bring lots of water to drink. 

Pack helpful dog accessories

You can bring some items to make your dog feel comfortable throughout the day. Consider packing a dog stroller (especially if you have a senior pup) to make walking the parade a breeze and providing a shaded area for your dog. Dr. McCullough suggests some other ways to make your best friend comfortable and safe: 

  • Make sure to microchip your pet before the parade so you can find them if the two of you get separated.
  • Avoid using a retractable leash as they aren’t great for controlling dogs. 
  • Pack a portable water bottle or bowl (dogs should drink 1 ounce of water for every pound they weigh per day).
  • Bring enough poop bags for the entire day. 

Know when it’s time to go

The parade isn’t for all pups. If your dog becomes stressed or overwhelmed, be ready to make a quick exit. “Even the best trained and socialized dogs may be uncomfortable with crowds, noise, costumes and decorations,” Dr. McCullough says. 

The Dig, Fetch's expert-backed editorial, answers all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park. We help make sure you and your best friend have more good days, but we’re there on bad days, too.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

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