It has never been more important to brush up on the latest do’s and don’ts when taking your furry friend to the dog park, as there are over 1,000 across the United States alone. Time spent at the dog park can be one of the things your dog will look forward to the most, but it is your responsibility as the owner to make the most of the outing. Dog parks not only provide the perfect place for them to run around and play, but they are a great place to socialize your dog, make new friends, and enjoy getting out of the house.
Follow the Posted Rules
The first thing you want to realize as good dog park etiquette is to follow any and all of the rules that are posted. These rules are meant to keep everyone in line (including the owners!) and allow you and your dog to make the most of using the park. There are two most important rules that must always be followed – always clean up after your dog and pay attention to any leash requirements.
Bring Your Own Clean-up Supplies
Although most dog parks provide waste stations, it is in your best interest to bring your own supply of plastic bags, and even a pooper scooper, just in case the waste station has run dry! Having extras will also make you a hero if others don’t have any!
Don’t Discipline Other Dogs
No matter how much it may bother you to see the way another owner interacts with their dog, never provide your own opinion about behavior rearing. Not only can it cause a rift between yourself and that owner, but that confrontation will distract both of you from supervising your dogs.
Always Supervise Your Dog
As much fun as it can be to meet your friends at the dog park, it is more important to always keep a close eye on your dog to ensure the safety of not only your dog, but of the other dogs and people as well.
Dogs Must be at Least 4 Months Old
Most of the posted rules will include this one – a dog must be at least 4 months old to enter into the dog park, as it is at this age that they will have had all of the necessary shots.
Remove any Halters, Metal Choke Chains or Link Collars
In the rough and tumble play that so many dogs love, a tooth or nail could get caught in these types of collar, resulting in a scared dog, lost tooth or broken nail, and possibly a panic fight.
Dogs Must be Up-to-Date on Shots
Never bring your dog to a dog park if they are not current on all of their shots and vaccinations. If there is an altercation between your dog and another dog or another owner, it is possible that infections and other issues could be the result.
All of the do’s and don’ts of dog park etiquette are meant to allow each and every dog and owner to make the most of their outing. Following these recommendations will help to ensure a safe and pleasurable day at the park!