As the snow starts to melt and the flowers start to bloom it’s time to get out to the dog park again! Yippee! Fido can finally really let loose again without his hooman freezing to death. But before you head to your neighborhood dog park make sure to brush up with our Dog Park Etiquette Basics.
- First and foremost pick up after your pooch. Many dog parks provide plastic bags and bins, but just in case they don’t make sure to bring a small stash. Not removing your dog’s messes is rude and could result in you being banned from the dog park.
- Know your dog’s temperament. It’s often easy to forget that the world and other dog’s don’t know your doggo as well as you do. Is he prone to barking at large dogs? Is she timid around other people and dogs? You can’t predict how other dogs will react to little Max or Millie, so make sure to introduce them slowly to the new dog park and new dogs. Always know where your pup is and keep an eye out for trouble by reading your dog’s body language. You know your dog best so be proactive if you witness your dog behaving badly. If your dog begins to show aggressive behavior remove him immediately. If the behavior doesn’t stop you might want to consider some training classes.
- Only bring dogs that are healthy and up to date on all vaccinations. This is one that many dog owners may not think of, but it is important to make sure your fluff ball is 100% healthy and up to date. Not only does it keep all of your doggy playmates healthy, but you wouldn’t want your little guy or gal to catch something from another pooch.
- Don’t bring your dog’s favorite toy. By all means bring a toy or a ball to the park, but make sure it is something your dog doesn’t mind sharing and you don’t mind losing. There’s always a chance that you may not get the toy back or it may not come back in one piece.
- Do not bring in food or treats. Although you might want to reward your pooch for good behavior it isn’t a good idea to conduct that kind of training at the dog park. It could spark a brawl or aggressive behavior if there are dogs that get over protective about resources like food.
- Bring water and a collapsible water bowl. Some dog parks provide a water station complete with a water bowl, but just in case it doesn’t bring your own. Dogs can overheat easily and they need regular access to water. Even if a dog park provides a water bowl I always prefer to bring one for Watson since I know it is clean and free of any potential chemicals or pollutants.
- And lastly, have fun! If you follow the basics of dog park etiquette it can be a wonderful time for you and your pup both to socialize and burn off that extra energy.