Dog parks are a great place for pet owners to socialize their dog and a fun way for your dog to be physically active. It is a time for them to release some energy and a chance to make some new friends.
However, like anything that is meant to be fun and safe, there needs to be a few guidelines in place in order to make the visit to the dog park is a success.
Here are a few things to make sure that your dog park etiquette skills are up to the standard:
1. Vaccinations Up To Date
Make sure that your dog’s vaccinations are up to date before you take your dog to a public park and being around other dogs. This is because you will be ensuring that your dog is safe from diseases and bacteria that other dogs may be carrying and also ensures the other dog owners and dogs are protected from getting sick as well.
Also it is a good idea to make sure that your dog is protected from fleas and ticks, as being outdoors and around other dogs gives a higher chance for your dog being in contact with these nasty insects.
2. Know Your Dog
It is important to know your dog’s temperament and natural behavior before entering a park of unfamiliar dogs and faces. This is because you cannot predict how others dogs may act in certain situations, but at least you are able to determine how your dog may act, or in some cases react.
This will allow you to take your dog out of a potential bad situation; if you know your dog’s temperament and behavior which will keep your dog safe and the others around.
3. Clean Up After Your Dog
It is important when you go to a dog park that you have plastic bags on you to clean up after your dog. Most parks have trash cans available to get rid of the unwanted waste.
In addition, it is important to keep the dog parks clean in general, as many dog parks get closed down because dog owners choose not to clean up after their dog; as this can cause other dogs and people to get ill and sick.
4. Keep Hydrated
When your dog is running around in the dog park it is likely that your dog will get thirsty, and this will be prominent when the weather is warm. Therefore, it is important to make sure that your dog keeps hydrated as they tend to get overheated quickly.
Many dog parks have water bowls available, but it is always better to be safe and carry a small water bowl and some water on you. Additionally, it may be more hygienic and safer to bring along your own because there is always an uncertainty if the bowls and water at a dog park are clear from bacteria that could make your dog to become ill.
5. Neutered or Spayed
Before you take your dog to the park for the first time, it is important to make sure that he or she is neutered or spayed. This will ensure that your dog gets along with other dogs and making the dog park a safe and pleasant experience. In addition, you will also help with the growing issue of animal overpopulation.
Treats are a great way to celebrate and to promote good behavior. However, it is important to be selective when bringing treats into a dog park. This is because other dogs may become jealous and can sometimes promote bad behavior. So if you do decide to give your dog a treat, make sure that yourself and your dog are not around other dogs. But it is important to note that not all dog parks allow treats.
7. Short Breaks
Dogs are like children in many ways and when they get too excited with some freedom this can result in a disaster. Therefore, it is important to interrupt play time with short breaks and it also gives you a chance to squeeze in some training time. This will also allow your dog not to get too excited that can result into bad behavior sometimes.
Before entering a dog park, it is a good idea to walk your dog 10 to 15 minutes prior to enjoying some fun time in the park. This is because it reduces the chance and/or risk of injury in your dog when he or she is running around. Also, it will allow your dog to calm down and not to get too excited before socializing with other dogs; as this will allow a low risk to rough play and bad behavior. It is also important to end playtime at the park with a cool down as this will also prevent injury and calm your dog as well.
9. Take Responsibility
It is important to take responsibility when it comes to your dog’s behavior. Therefore, if your dog is out of line and/or is aggressive make sure you take responsibility of the situation and leave the park immediately. This will show your dog the consequences of bad behavior and also it will remind your dog who is in charge. Likewise, if you are in a situation where another dog is bullying your dog make sure your address the owner and to leave the situation.
10. No Cell Phones
As a pet owner, there are also guidelines for you as well when you are in a dog park. For example, it is important to have cell phones away while you are in the park as it can become a big distraction. This is because it is important to keep an eye on your dog all the time to ensure his or her safety.