Dog parks are wonderful – they provide our pups with a place to socialize with other dogs while letting out some pent-up energy.
To have the best dog park experience, here are some dos and don’ts you should follow.
Do pay attention to your dog. Don’t just let your dog free in the park and go sit in the corner on your phone. Even if you are a dog park veteran, it’s important to pay attention to your dog, their behavior, and their surroundings. You’ll be able to notice if something is off right away and intervene if necessary.
Don’t bring sick dogs to the park. Unhealthy pets, or pets that have not had all of their mandatory vaccines, pose a threat to all of the other dogs in the park. If your dog is feeling under the weather, perhaps it’s a good idea to take a break from the park and relax at home until they’re feeling better.
Do clean up after your dogs. You want to do your part to help maintain a clean play area for you, your pet, and the other park visitors. While dog parks typically have clean-up stations with bags and trash cans, it’s never a bad idea to bring your own clean up bags, just in case. Better safe than sorry!
Don’t hand out treats to all of the dogs. It’s fine if you bring treats for your dog, as long as they aren’t food aggressive and you can feed them without drawing too much attention. But you should refrain from giving them to other dogs. If you don’t know them, you don’t know how they are with treats. Some dogs may be aggressive or possessive when given treats around other dogs. Additionally, some dogs may have food allergies that you don’t know about. Avoid the risk and keep the treats to yourself – or just leave them at home.
Do make sure your dog has a basic understanding of commands. Ideally, you don’t want your dog to run wild with no regard for you. At the very least, they should know “sit/stay,” “leave it/off,” and “come/here.” This will ensure that you still have control while the dog is playing in the park.
Don’t overdo it. Make sure your dog is happy and is having a good time. If they seem like they’re becoming less interested or are not having fun anymore, call it a day. Ending your play time on a high note will ensure your dog associates the dog park with a good experience.
Do be polite and considerate of the other people in the park. It is a community space and everyone should be respectful of the area and each other.
While these are some great tips for your next trip to the dog park, it is also very important to make notice of any rules posted at the park and to follow them.
Now get out there and play!