Dog Park Guide: 6 Things to Know Before You Go
For your dog, a trip to the park is so much more than a chance to stretch their legs. With the wind whipping through their fur as they dash for their ball, squirrels to chase up trees and other dogs to sniff and play with, taking your dog to the dog park is a real treat for their senses.
The downsides? Going off lead or not knowing dog park etiquette can lead to some awkward moments with other dogs and their humans.
To make sure you have a fun-filled and stress-free time at the dog park, keep reading for our ultimate dog park guide.
1. Check that your dog is vaccinated before venturing out
We’re starting off our dog park guide with a very important step. Is your dog up to date with their vaccinations? Before you take a trip to the park, ensure your pup has had all their vaccinations.
If you’re bringing a puppy to the park for the first time, it’s especially important that they’re vaccinated. Your puppy should be at least four months old before they head out to the new, exciting world of the playground.
Not sure about your dog’s vaccinations? Contact your vet to double-check.
2. Make sure your dog is wearing a collar and you have their lead
If you’re taking your dog to the dog park and you feel comfortable letting them off their lead - providing you’re in an enclosed park and their re-call is good - make sure you find a suitable space to allow them off their lead, ideally away from other dogs.
Once your dog is let loose, keep their lead close to hand in case you need to quickly remove them from any unfriendly interactions.
By keeping a collar on your dog, you’ll be able to quickly attach their lead, and they’ll also be easily identified if they decide to make a quick dash for the exit! Attaching your dog’s ID tag to an eye-catching collar will make it even easier to spot when they’re playing.
3. Just take the essentials for your dog
Just remember that by taking your dog to a shared space like the park, other dogs may be just as interested in your dog’s things! If your pup isn’t comfortable sharing, it may be best to leave their toys at home, and always check with other pet parents before giving out treats.
Lastly, don’t fur-get poop bags! This leads up nicely to our next point…
4. Always clean up after your dog
Now, this is a dog park guide essential! Sure, your pup may view the park as their personal toilet, but there’s no excuse for not picking up after them.
Keeping the park clean won’t just stop others from getting their trainers mucky, but it’ll also help protect against the spread of parasites.
5. Pay attention to your dog
While it’s tempting to sit on a park bench, relax and scroll through your phone while your dog plays, it’s important that you’re always aware of what your pup is doing, as well as what other pooches are doing too.
By supervising your dog, you can help keep them safe and check they’re socialising nicely and behaving well.
6. Know when not to bring your dog to the park
Taking your dog to the dog park is not always a good idea and although it’s never fun to say “no” to your pup, you’re responsible for their safety, therefore sometimes it’s necessary.
It’s wise to swerve the park completely if your dog:
Has a history of aggression with other dogs and humans
Is unwell or has been sick in the last 48 hours
Is a female on heat
Doesn’t respond to commands or being called
Dog park trips are a wonderful way to bond with your pup, and by following this dog park guide and observing park rules, everyone can play happily together.
Share your top tips & dog park experiences with us
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our dog park guide and learning more about the basics of dog park etiquette. Now you should feel prepared for your trip to the park with your best pal! Heading out during summer? Make sure to read out post on safe dog walking temperatures.
If you’ve got any other top tips for everything dog park, don’t fur-get to share them with us. Simply tag our handle @yappy_com or use our hashtag #Yappy.
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