This year the Festival is teaming up with Mars Petcare and its BETTER CITIES FOR PETSTM program to help the Festival be pet ready and to ensure dogs attending are healthy, happy and safe. As part of the partnership with Mars Petcare, the Festival will provide pet comfort services throughout the event at the Tidal Basin Welcome Area and during events such as the Blossom Kite Festival and Petalpalooza.
Amenities for dogs and their owners will include waste bag distribution, treats, shade, and water stations using bowls with potable water, to keep pets hydrated and out of the sun. We’ll also have educational resources on responsible pet ownership and the importance of creating more pet-friendly spaces as outlined in Mars Petcare’s Playbook for Pet-Friendly Cities, which highlights 12 traits of pet-friendly communities and offers best practices organized by trait. Our goal is to create a positive experience for all four-legged attendees throughout the event.
We want everyone to feel comfortable bringing their dogs to the National Cherry Blossom Festival this year. Below are a few things to keep in mind before you enjoy the blossoms with your furry friend:
- Prepare for your pet: We will have hydration stations, treats, waste bags and relief areas available at the Festival, but please come prepared with anything specific your dog may need outside of your home.
- Keep your furry friend leashed: To protect your dog, it’s important to keep your dog on a leash to ensure they are secure in the crowd and other attendees don’t get any unwanted attention.
- Keep it clean: Please be a responsible pet owner and pick up after your pet.
- Weather 101: Keep in mind any impending inclement weather and plan accordingly for your pet.
- Be your dog’s best advocate: Know your dog, including what they like and do not like, so you can know if the festival environment will be appropriate for them. If you have a nervous pup, or if your pet doesn’t like being around large groups of people, keep that in mind as the Festival draws thousands of people per day.
- Fireworks frights: While we all love the visual spectacle of fireworks, the sounds may frighten dogs, so please plan to depart with your pet by 8 PM on April 7, before the Petalpalooza fireworks begin.
Owners should download the Body Language Pamphlet from Mars Petcare to make sure they know what their dog is saying!
Kids can also learn about responsible pet ownership by checking out some of the activities from the Better Cities for Pets program.
Join Mars Petcare and their Better Cities for Pets ProgramTM at the following signature events to learn more about the program, and grab some of the essentials for your dog while they’re on the go!
- Blossom Kite Festival, Grounds of the Washington Monument
Saturday, March 31 • 10 AM – 4:30 PM
Be sure to check out the Pet Comfort Station and learn more about responsible dog ownership from the Better Cities for Pets team!
- Tidal Basin Welcome Area
Saturday, March 17 – Sunday, April 1
12 Noon – 6 PM Daily
The Tidal Basin Welcome Are will feature a Pet Comfort Station, complete with water bowls and waste bags for the dogs on the go! You can also learn more about the Better Cities for Pets Program directly from the team.
- Petalpalooza at The Wharf
Saturday, April 7 • 1 – 9 PM
During the Petalpalooza event on April 7, attendees can interact with the innovative approach to creating park space in urban at the Better Cities for PetsTM pop up park for shade, water and relief stations, as well as spend time with and take home adoptable pets in partnership with Humane Rescue Alliance.
About BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™:
BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ is a program of Mars Petcare US, the world’s leading pet nutrition and health care business, created to help communities become more pet-friendly by bringing the voice of pets and their owners to places of influence and advocating for fewer pets in shelters, more pet-friendly places, and happier, healthier lives for both people and pets. Mars Petcare works with key partners, businesses and local governments to better understand how to improve communities by: providing safe and welcoming shelters that lead to forever homes; encouraging pet-friendly, responsible homes for pets; welcoming more pets into local businesses, and giving pets plenty of park space to play. For more information about Mars Petcare and BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™, visit www.bettercitiesforpets.com.
About Mars Petcare US:
Mars Petcare is the world’s leading pet nutrition and health care business. A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS™ is the vision statement held by Mars Petcare as we believe that pets make our lives better and that pet ownership brings joy and benefits which should be accessible to everyone. In the United States, Mars Petcare food brands include PEDIGREE®, IAMS™, ROYAL CANIN®, GREENIES™, CESAR®, NUTRO™ and SHEBA®. Veterinary practices include BANFIELD™ and BLUE PEARL™. Specialty brands include WISDOM PANEL™ Canine DNA Tests and WHISTLE™ GPS Pet Tracker. The company’s WALTHAM™ Centre for Pet Nutrition is a leading scientific authority on pet nutrition and wellbeing. Mars Petcare has more than 37,000 Associates worldwide. For more information about Mars Petcare’s vision: A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS™, visit www.bettercitiesforpets.com.