If there’s one thing about Austinites, it’s that we love our pets. From pet-friendly restaurants to more than 12 off-leash dog parks and countless no-kill animal shelters — SXSW-goers don’t have to look far to find a four-legged friend to nuzzle (or lick) their South By anxiety away.
But before you take your non-human friends to these events, we asked veterinarian Isaac Croudep of Austin Corner Vet what you should watch out for while you’re enjoying the festival with your pet.
“Some dogs may become anxious in large crowds. Pacing, panting, and signs of aggression are typical behaviors when a dog is anxious or nervous,” Croudep said. “Be mindful of how your dog reacts to different situations and take the necessary steps to avoid environments that negatively affect your dog.”
Also keep an especially close eye on what your dog is sniffing and eating when you’re downtown, Croudep said.
If you’re searching for the perfect place to play with a pooch or want to take your tail-wagging, leash-nipping, head-tilting, “I’m-not-doing-anything-until-you-give-me-a-piece-of-that-breakfast-taco” begging best friend to SXSW, we made a list of the best spots in Austin (and beyond) to go.
Pet Rescue Lounge at Cedar Street Courtyard — Monday, March 13, 5 pm
Join Petcube, Whistle, Luuup, DogVacay, the Austin Humane Society, and Texas Humane Heroes, and bring your dog to one of the cutest parties in Austin: the Pet Rescue Lounge.
If you don’t have a pet but are seeking a long-term investment in the love and entertainment industry with a high ROI, head on over to the Pet Rescue Lounge at Cedar Street Courtyard, where the Austin Humane Society and Texas Humane Heroes will let you cuddle with rescue puppies and kittens for free! The event features Instagram-famous Manny the Frenchie, fortune telling from a Pomeranian, a photo booth, a doggy ball pit, Snapchat face painting, and plenty more. Guests must be 21 or older (you, not your dog) and can RSVP without a SXSW badge.
SXSW Puppy Party 2K17 at Lustre Pearl — Saturday, March 18, noon
A dog lover’s dream, the SXSW Puppy Party combines three of Austin’s beloved pastimes: ordering an ice-cold craft beer, walking around Rainey Street, and cuddling with furry animals. The event is free and open to those 21 and older.
If you have a dog, bring him or her. If you don’t, you still might walk away from the event with a furry friend thanks to Austin Pets Alive!. The event will be full of adoptable puppies, so get ready to fall in love.
Yoga ... with your dog at Austin Doga — Sunday, March 26, 1 pm
Because this is Austin, of course doggy yoga — or “doga” — is a thing. If you’re exploring SXSW, even for a day, you and your dog may need a bit of R&R when it’s all said and done. If that’s the case, head over to Austin Doga, which even offers one-on-one doga classes if your pup is a little shy or protective.
If you can’t bring your dog along to a SXSW event, drop him or her off at one of five Taurus Academy locations for a Play Day, where trainers will not only make sure your dog gets some exercise, but will facilitate social development and proper behavior with the perfect play group of pets.
If you find yourself needing a vet during these fun SXSW events or simply want to experience the latest way to communicate with your vet, download Medici on the App Store or Google Play. Dr. Croudep will be available during SXSW Interactive for free consultations (for first-time users) and can evaluate your pet, answer your questions and recommend next steps via text, talk, or video messaging, all in just a few minutes and from one app. Prefer to consult with your existing vet? Invite your own veterinarian to consult via Medici! Your first consultation will be free for up to 30 days after SXSW ends.
Remember to download Medici on the App Store or Google Play to keep professional care at your fingertips (or within paws reach). If you have a consultation with Dr. Croudep or one of the other providers on Medici from March 10-16, you’ll be entered to win $200. Invite your vet (and all of your other doctors) to use Medici and consult virtually anytime via one convenient app!