Hoping that dogs are allowed at concerts is a dream for any pet owner. However, the reality is that it isn’t possible in most music venues.
Unless a dog is classed as a service animal for disabled owners, dogs are not allowed at most types of concerts. However, some outdoor venues may allow it in certain circumstances.
It’s understandable considering the risk of injury to both an animal and patrons, especially with the risk of loud noises spooking a pooch.
In saying that though, some outdoor spaces are bucking the trend and allowing animals to attend shows, with some organizers putting on shows aimed at pets and owners.
Why Aren’t Dogs Allowed At Concerts?
Most of the time, venues explicitly say that dogs are not allowed at concerts. And you will see this for both indoor and outdoor venues.
For many places, the issue is down to health and safety regulations After all, the last thing any premises needs is someone getting injured from a dog bite or a severe allergic reaction.
Many concertgoers are going to be amped at a gig and keen to move around. It would only take someone standing on a dog’s paw or tail to potentially aggravate it and lash out at that person.
This could then set off a whole litany of potential legal issues for the venue and the dog owner.
Then there is the issue of the mess that a dog might leave behind too.
Many venues are not equipped to cater for animals to defecate or urinate on the floor cleanly.
It creates a separate health hazard for venues to handle, as well as increases risks for other patrons to slip or injure themselves.
Why Concerts Aren’t Good For Dogs
What many people may also not consider is the welfare of the dog itself. They might think bringing their pooch along will boost their mood, but it could have the opposite effect.
Dogs can be very sensitive to loud sounds. Many studies suggest that the safe hearing limit for dogs sits at around 85dB – which is just lower than the sound of a lawnmower.
So imagine how a concert would sound to a dog when volume levels sit at an average of 120dB, with some metal or trance events exceeding 140 dB.
This exponentially increases the risk of a dog becoming spooked and potentially lashing out at nearby patrons when under duress.
It also can damage their ears. With dogs’ ears much more sensitive to vibrations than a human, the increase in loud sounds could cause them to lose their hearing permanently. It’s an unnecessary risk to put your pet under.
When Are Dogs Allowed At Concerts?
Most of the time, dogs are allowed at concerts if a venue specifically allows it in the conditions for an event.
You will normally find that this will be stated with a list of conditions that have to be strictly followed by the owner. Some of these conditions include terms such as:
- Always being leashed at events
- Dogs should remain in designated areas
- Owners must ensure they clean up after their animals
You will find these conditions are only ever going to be allowed at outdoor events too. With outdoor spaces taking place in large parks, it does allow some room for owners to bring their pets should they wish.
An example of this was in Santee, California where the local City of Santee Council organizes the Summer Concert Series within the city’s local parks.
Dogs are allowed at these shows as long as they remain on a leash.
This was underlined by a City of Santee spokesperson who said “given that events are free and open to the public and occur on park grounds, we do not impose any restrictions on dogs as long as they remain on a leash”.
With being outside too, there’s the ability to create sections for dogs to be brought along and sit, and these spacious areas give the chance for an animal to relax without risking being trampled on.
When Used As Service Animals
Service animals are very much the exception to the rule. Most of the time, service animals are specially trained dogs that help their owner safely walk when out in public.
Even though these dogs might be allowed at an event, there are still rules that owners have to abide by. Firstly, owners must register with the venue that they are bringing a guide dog to the event.
Furthermore, the animal still must be leashed at all times to ensure the safety of the owner, pet and others around them. By doing so, it creates a controlled environment that benefits the owner and the animal itself.
The only other time you might see a dog at a concert is when event security deploys them for the event itself. Often done by police or specially trained units, these are dogs that are trained to sniff and locate illegal drugs being brought into an event.
You would often see this as an added security measure at major music festivals to stop narcotics being brought in and distributed during a show. However, these animals are considered part of the event itself and would fall under other rules and regulations to follow when in use by security.
The Rise Of Dog-Friendly Concerts
For some people, their attachment to their dog means they want to always keep them company no matter where they go.
As this becomes an increasingly common theme in modern society, some organizers have started an entirely new trend: dog-friendly concerts.
These events are designed and geared towards animals just as much as they are the owners. You won’t find blaring death metal pumping out of speakers or subwoofers though.
Instead, these festivals will pump out songs that are anchored to a dog’s mood. This may be soothing classical tunes to help them relax, or even bouncy jingles that help them frolic and play.
Alongside the music component, these festivals will often have other amenities to keep pets entertained such as:
- Exercise arenas
- Food and hydration stations
- Stalls that support healthy living
Doing this gives pet owners the chance to enjoy a fun day out with their canine companions. It also gives them an experience that they will find stimulating and fun.
Examples of dog-friendly concerts
There are plenty of events that allow dogs to enjoy themselves and listen to music. Some of the most popular events include:
Bark In the Park (San Jose, CA)
Although Bark in the Park is a trend sweeping the world, the largest event can be found in San Jose. Often over 4,000 pooches attend this canine extravaganza with plenty to keep your pet entertained and happy. A unique culture for pet lovers to enjoy everywhere.
DogFest – UK
For pet owners in the UK, DogFest is their annual trip to paradise. Held across several venues in late spring, DogFest is more than just an exhibition festival.
It has all the play areas and delicious treats for your dog to enjoy. Owners can also find new ways to help their pooch stay happy and healthy all year round.
Dogapalooza (Melbourne, Australia)
Inspired by Lollapalooza, pet owners in Australia can take their pets to Dogapalooza and have an afternoon full of fun.
Sporting eclectic musical performances, this is a festival that encourages pet owners to come and enjoy an afternoon in the warm spring sunshine and let them and their pets let the day pass them by. All in the name of charity too.
Do I have to keep my dogs leashed at shows at all times?
If a music venue allows dogs into an event, they will almost certainly be required to be leashed. Check with the event conditions to see exactly what you are allowed to do. It will cite that animals can attend an event or not
What are dog-allocated zones?
If dogs are allowed at concerts, there will be dedicated areas in which dogs must be kept. These are often larger spaces where animals can relax, and the risk of them being spooked or upset is minimized. Check a site map when entering a concert to find where these zones are.
How do I know if dogs are allowed at concerts?
Every music venue will have terms and conditions listed on their website or your ticket. Read through these to see all of a venue’s policies, including whether they let dogs into a venue.
If you can’t find this information, try calling or emailing the venue ahead of the event.
Most of the time, keeping your dog at home is a wise idea if you are going to a show. Bringing animals to a music concert is generally against most health and safety laws. It’s likely that you’ll be turned away upon arrival.
Furthermore, it can be distressing to the animal too, thanks to the risk of loud noise and large crowds.
If a venue does permit dogs, make sure to follow all the rules so both you and your animal can enjoy the experience.
The rise of dog-friendly concerts around the world provides an alternative to the situation, though these are geared directly towards the animal and their owners.