Summer's halfway gone. School's around the corner. Last year's mighty high school seniors are on the threshold of becoming this year's lowly college freshmen and summer football practice is gearing up.
Soon . . . soon . . . when football season comes the tailgaters emerge from summer hibernation. Snaking through streets to ritual stomping grounds, they come from all points of the compass, drawn inexorably by the blare of marching bands, the taunts of old rivals, the hope of the post season, crammed into steely carapaces packed with coolers filled with the clink of ice against metal and glass containers, cans of sterno, portable grills, pans of wings, trays of cold cuts, brats and wursts, condiments and corn chips, guacamole and ribs.
Not much of a good time for your pet gecko or the family feline, but it has distinct possibilities, with planning and preparation, for America's favorite party animal -- the dog. It is, after all, a TAILgate party.
First and foremost, before even thinking about bringing the Tail to the tailgate, be absolutely certain there is a safe, cool place for your furry buddy to stay when the game starts. The beginning of football season can be downright hot in most parts of the United States; too hot for a dog -- or any animal -- to sit in a vehicle for the duration of the game, and a loud, crowded stadium is no place for most dogs, if they're allowed to enter. Even if it's cool enough, you'll want to take a break from the action several times to check on your dog. Ideally, it's best, if you're going to include your dog in the tailgating festivities, that you or someone you and your dog can trust implicitly be staying at the tailgating site for the duration, picking up the game on a portable TV or the radio.
If your dog doesn't like crowds let him stay home, and please, please, don't bring your new puppy! That's too long a time and
too much sensory overload for a young dog to handle. Socializing is an important part of a dog's life and a puppy's
development, but excessive stimulation can set your dog's tolerance and enjoyment of the social scene back, or even destroy
his ability to cope with large groups of strangers completely. Once you've got those logistics handled and you've established
a game plan to assure your dog's safety and comfort the real preparation begins.
Including your dog in a tailgate party requires thoughtful preparation and honest evaluation of the situation and your dog's comfort levels with social situations, but if you do your due diligence it can be a good experience, especially if you've drawn sentry duty at the party site while everyone else goes to the game. You'll have good company.The best.
Here's the place to go for Tailgating Supplies, Merchandise and Products.
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