The do’s and don’ts of a dog park
Daily trip to dog parks is a popular activity for dog owners. While pet parks vary greatly, some have double-gated entries, and others are fenced. The activity will be fun and socializing for pups if all pet parents follow dog park rules and regulations. If users don’t follow the etiquette, it can make things difficult for visitors and make them unsafe for people and pets alike.
Note that not every pup is appropriate for parks. Your canine should be fully vaccinated, be responsive to cues, and enjoy the company of others so you can keep them safe. There are multiple other things that you need to understand before you visit a park. Here we have discussed some things you should do and avoid to make the park experience delightful for your furry companion.
Things you should do at the dog parks
Here we have mentioned a few dog park etiquette you need to keep in mind and follow when taking your pup to a dog park.
- Understand dog’s body language
Chances are that you understand your dog’s body language. But if you don’t, try to learn how your pup behaves when tense and stressed out. This will help you identify if your pup is enjoying the park. It also helps you identify dogs with bad behaviour in the park to keep them away from your canine.
- Exercise your dog before going to the doggiepark
Confused? You might be wondering if exercise is something you need to do after going on a picnic. Well, if your canine has a lot of pent-up energy, it will try to run around. Doing this will create a problem for other dog owners in the park and make it challenging for you to control them. So, if you want to take them for a long walk, involve them in a physical or mental exercise to loosen up their energy.
- Take your dog’s leash off of your dog
Pet owners who think they can control their pups more on a leash shouldn’t take their dogs to the park. Not removing the leash will stress your furry fellow as other dogs will move around feeling in the park. If you are worried they will run, some parks have fenced area where you can take your dog’s leash off, which help them learn the etiquette of the park.
- Train your dog
If your dog has a habit of running, it will be challenging for you to control them in the open space. Train your four-legged companion before you step outside to make the park walk enjoyable for both of you. They should adhere to your orders and know simple commands to stop playing when you ask them and return when you call them.
- Intervene when play gets rough
Many dog owners believe that dogs will sort things themselves if they indulge in a fight. But that’s not the case every time. Like humans, some pups are bullies. So, it’s important to protect your dog when needed. If dogs are playing together and begin to bite, bark, and growl, go and grab your dog.
Things you shouldn’t do at a dog park
Knowing what to do isn’t enough to set out to a dog park with your pup. If you search for a “dog park near me” on Google, you also need to learn what to avoid when taking your pup to a park. Here are a few things to remember.
- Not picking up after your pup poops
It might sound obvious, but many dog owners at the park don’t pick up after their furry friends defecate. This is something you must avoid at all costs when at dog parks. Keep in mind infectious health conditions can spread through fecal matter, so be careful about it. Some park offers extra doggy poop bags or poop scoopers. But don’t take a chance; bring one from your home if you are unsure whether you can find one in the park.
- Avoid bringing an unvaccinated or unfixed dog
Make sure your pets are vaccinated. You might put your pup at risk if they’re not vaccinated because they might catch diseases from other dogs in the park. Besides, avoid taking your dog that is in heat or hasn’t been neutered. In fact, some pups don’t get along if one of them is in heat. This can lead to tension and fighting, which might be difficult to control and overwhelm you.
- Don’t give treats in the park
It’s best to avoid giving treats or toys to your pup as it might lead to conflict with other pets in the park. The situation can worsen if a dog is allergic to a treat and they have it by mistake, making things ugly for you and the other owners.
- Don’t try to grab or play with someone else’s dog
Never grab dogs around the park, even if you want to play with them. If a dog is playing around with other pups in the park, it doesn’t mean they will like your touch. Always ask the owner before petting any dog.
- Avoid leaving your dog unsupervised
While dog parks are designed to facilitate dogs and their owners, you should not leave your dog unsupervised and walk around the area. Note that you will be liable for anything your canine does in the park. Not only can they cause a problem for others, but your dog can also get hurt if they are unsupervised. So, you must stay with them all the time.
Public dog parks prep
Now that you have learned park etiquette and found some best options by searching “dog-friendly parks near me,” you must prep before heading out. It’s critical to ensure your dog is mentally and physically ready to hang out with other dogs before you go to a park.
Pups who are dog-reactive will be stressed on their park trips. Also, young puppies may get tense when they see a lot of strangers or other dogs. So, be sure your four-legged friend will enjoy their time outside the house. Here are a few things you need to take care of before visiting a dog park.
Required vaccines and screenings
If several dogs are present in a place, there is a chance of diseases spreading. Generally, community parks are operated by cities, requiring fecal screening proof before allowing you to enter the park to ensure they couldn’t transfer parasites in their poop. Also, make sure to keep their vaccination up to date, especially for contagious illnesses, like:
- Canine flu
Your dog playing in a fenced pet park might not cause any challenges for you. But things can get a bit problematic when you ask them to let you put the leash back on, sit, or follow other orders. It’s not uncommon to observe pet parents running behind their dogs in the park, trying to stop them or grab them to put leach back on. This usually happens because pups don’t want to go home when they are having a good time with their fellows.
If you want to avoid chasing your pup when you take them out, train them accordingly. Your four-legged fellows should understand simple commands like drop, stay, sit, and come before they go to the park. And if possible, then train them completely, which will help you avoid the slightest issues.
Required minimum age
There’s no set age to take your pup to the park, but your dog should be old enough to be fully vaccinated before walking around the dog park. This way, they will be protected from unwanted illnesses and situations if someone comes with an unvaccinated dog.
Consider whether you should also neuter or spay your pup so that socializing doesn’t get too friendly when you are not looking around. Discuss it with your vet; they will guide you when is the right time for your canine to get spayed or neutered.
In a nutshell, following the park etiquette will make things easier for you and keep your furry friend safe. So, start searching for “off-leash dog park near me” on the internet and choose the closest and best option for you.
If you are worried your pet might run or get out of control, consider getting Lifetime Protection Membership. Our protection services can help you find your pet if something happens and help you connect with your dog’s finder and arrange a quick and safe reunion.