For the sake of your pets, please leave them at home.

We strongly advise you to leave your pets at home during Steppin' Out, and here's a few good reasons why:
1. The heat of an early August day is not conducive to keeping your pets outside or traveling with them in a vehicle.
2. The ambient temperature also greatly increases the heat coming off of the pavement and asphalt, which can be harmful to the pads on dog’s feet.
3. The festival is not animal-friendly, which means no water stations are provided for the dogs/pets.
4. The festival has loud music! Dogs can hear at 4 times the distance of humans with good hearing, which could make music at that volume very uncomfortable.
5. The festival has lots of food! Where a human has about 5 million scent glands, a dog has anywhere from 125 million to 300 million, depending on breed. When the smell of food is overwhelming to us, a dog’s brain is likely going wild trying to distinguish the smells and will certainly want some of what everyone else is having.
6. The festival is crowded! Every year, over 40,000 people are expected to walk through the few blocks of downtown Blacksburg, which are filled up with vendors and booths. Dogs and pets can easily become overwhelmed in such a crowded situation.
7. Not everyone loves pets or wants to be around them! As much as we animal lovers prioritize our pets, let’s be honest…some folks do not want to attend an event where they may come in contact with pets/animals. And that is ok!

All of these situational circumstances could easily lead a dog or pet to act/react outside of their normal behavioral compass. The best dog in the world can easily stress and react in an unexpected manner.

Please consider the information provided here before bringing your companion animal to our upcoming festivities. Downtown Blacksburg Inc. works tirelessly to provide fun, amazing, and SAFE events for our residents and visitors. By adhering to the “no pets” policy, you are helping them to accomplish this each and every year.