My friend, Janice, just adopted a dog from her local shelter (a must!) and wanted to bring him to the dog park. Being a new dog owner, she wanted some advice as to what she could expect at the dog park. As most dog owners know, the dog park is a great place for our furry friends where they can socialize and burn off some energy. However, there are a few things every dog owner should keep in mind to make your dog’s experience at the dog park safe and fun.
Watch your dog
It is important to keep an eye on your dog when you’re with him or her at the park. You will invariably make some new (human) friends and some of your neighbor’s dogs could be there too. But while you are talking about life, your boyfriend or husband, make sure to keep an eye on your dog. You don’t want your dog bothering a smaller or older dog and if you keep an eye on him, you’re ready to jump in and stop him or her.
We love the dog park!
Don’t let your dog be a bully!
Don’t let your dog bug or bully other dogs. Your dog might be well-behaved but can sometimes become overly playful which can turn into bullying. Other dogs might be tired or older and your dog may nudge them to play and annoy the other dogs. If your dog seems to be getting too worked up or might be having a bad play day, it’s time to leave the dog park. (Don’t feel bad as it happens to all of us)!
Clean up after your dog
Always bring bags with you and make sure to clean up after your dog. No one ever wants to step in a mess. It’s not respectful to the environment and messy if you or your dog steps in dog poop! Many parks have rules about cleaning up and in some states you can be fined and banned.
Make sure to put flea medication on your dog
Flea and tick medication should be applied to your dog to prevent bringing home any unwanted parasites. It can also help prevent the spread of fleas from your dog to another dog or home. If you take your dog to play, keeping him on the above medication helps make sure that your local dog park is safe from those nasty parasites.
Spay or Neuter your dog before taking him to the dog park
Spay or neuter your dog before you take him to the dog park or have him or her interact with any dog for that matter! Most dog parks require it. An unspayed female could unintentionally make the male dogs focus on her and she may become very agitated or intimidated if the dogs crowd her too much. An unneutered male can also arouse dogs to become more aggressive as well.
If your dog is still a puppy and not old enough to be spayed or neutered, then try to hold off on trips to the dog parks and take long walks instead. Of course not all dogs will be aroused and not all dogs are aggressive, but it is better to be safe than sorry!
I hope these tips help and you and your dog have a great time at the dog park!
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