Cherry Blossom Festival: Don't forget your pet

Cherry Blossom Festival: Don't forget your pet
Happy dogs at the Cherry Festival

It's that time of year again!

Spring is in the air and it's almost time for the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC. It's always a beautiful outing no matter the weather, and there are many special events during this wonderful celebration. As we all know, Japan gave us 3,020 cherry blossom trees as a gift to the United States in 1912. The blooming of these beautiful trees is a special occasion of celebration and continues to this day. This year, the Cherry Blossom Festival will be held from March 26 through April 10, 2011.

If you are planning on bringing your pets, there are a few things you should know:

  • Dogs are allowed, but must be leashed at all times.
  • Owners are never allowed to let their pets go to the "bathroom" in the Reflecting Pool.
  • Owners are never allowed to let their pets go to the "bathroom" in the pool at the WWII Memorial.

The National Park Service has been having a hard time with citizens' cooperation. Citations can be written, but it is a shame that it should come to that. We all know the basic rules of consideration with our pets. Let's make sure a few don't ruin it for everyone else!

Some suggestions:

  • Bring bottled water and a small dish for your dog; in DC, you never know what the temperature may be.
  • Bring plastic bags and plastic gloves to "clean up" after your pet (the last thing we want is for our pets to be forbidden from the area due to inconsiderate owners).
  • Aggressive and/or overly shy dogs should be left at home; preferably with a loving dog sitter.
  • Do not leave your dog in the car under any circumstances. We all know how quickly temperatures can rise in a car even with cracked windows.
  • Do not leave your pet, even in a pet-friendly hotel, for a long period of time.
  • Make sure your pet is inoculated.
  • Make sure your pet is treated for fleas and ticks.

There are some pet-friendly hotels in the area, as pets are welcome to enjoy the cherry blossoms, too! Here are a few of them: Hotel Palomar, Hotel Monaco and L'Enfant Plaza Hotel.

For more information on events, times and locations, please refer to: