Pets at SCA Events

Taking animals to an event can offer a great deal of period atmosphere. That said, there is a great deal of responsibility to taking an animal to an event. You are solely responsible for any damage which occurs as a result of your animal's actions. These suggestions of etiquette are not made just for the populace in general, but they are made on behalf of your beloved animal.

  1. Make sure animals are welcome. In many cases, animals are not allowed on site. ILL BEHAVED ANIMALS ARE NOT WELCOME.

  2. Have your animal properly vaccinated and proof of vaccination should accompany you to an event. Dog tags are not proper proof of vaccination. This is for your pet's safety and for the safety of the populace. Many events are held in areas in which your pet may be subjected to exposure or injury from wild animals which may carry diseases such as distemper or rabies.

  3. Bring your pet's regular food and equipment (i.e. leash and food bowls) as this allows the animal to be more comfortable and leashes are generally required.

  4. Keep your pet under control. Keep your animals restrained and in appropriate areas. Staking your animal near a busy walkway where they become troublesome to others by accosting unsuspecting people in the middle of the night as they try to walk home from Bardic is not under control.

  5. Do not feed your animals strange foods. This can lead to vomiting, diarrhoea and flatulence. This is the Middle Ages as it should have been!

  6. Animals can cause injuries to others. I will skip the legal implications here, but you do take a risk if you bring an animal if you expect everyone to understand the basics of handling your pet. The last thing anyone wants is an accidental mauling. Aggressive animals have no place at events.

  7. Bring a first aid kit for your animal. This is just good common sense. Your pet will be exposed to people trying to feed it strange foods, wild animals, insects and things like foxtails.

  8. Have a quiet area for your pet. Most animals need ‘down time' just like humans do, and should be provided with a safe and quiet area away from the noise and strangeness of events.

  9. Pick up after your pet and keep them clean. Poop on your new period shoes....need we say more? Not everyone enjoys the scent of certain animals. Billy goats come to mind here. If you have ever smelled one from a mile away, you know you do not want one at an event. This also goes for manure, the natural byproduct of most pets.

  10. Heat is a problem with most animals. Be careful not to expose your animal to heat exhaustion and check their water frequently. Animals should have shady and breezy places to rest if possible.

  11. Do not impose your animal on others. Many people do not like pets or certain animals. Unruly or aggressive animals are not welcome at events.

  12. If you are setting up camp close to an established camp, it is courteous to ask them if they mind being in close proximity to your pet.

Staking your dog out near a busy walk way where they can jump out barking and tangling their leash around the legs of unsuspecting people is not acceptable. Remember, it is your dog's job to bark and alert you of danger so keep the dog's feelings in mind. Dogs that bark a lot are very disruptive and should be left home.

Keep your cat leashed and offer it a place to get away from the noise of the event. Cats should be watched carefully so that they do not suffer heat exhaustion. Sometimes, it is hard to tell that your cat is overwhelmed until it is too late.

This information provided courtesy of the Barony of Vinhold, original author unknown.