Dog parks are wonderful things, right? They allow dogs everywhere the opportunity to run free, exercise, socialize, and soak in the great outdoors – a great thing considering most homes don’t actually have adequate space outdoors to accommodate all that dogs need. As great as dog parks are in theory, they’re really only as great as the attendees, though. It’s important to get the best of a dog park situation that all dogs and their owners pay attention to the park rules set forth and have a general understanding of some do’s and don’t’s.
Also Read <Top 6 Mistakes Made At Dog Parks>
Do Pay a Visit to the Vet Before You Go
Before your first ever trip to the dog park, go ahead and have a baseline physical performed on your pup, just to give everyone a great idea of his health before exposure to dozens of other dogs and humans. Make sure that his vaccinations are up to date, so that you don’t put his health or any other pup’s health at risk.
Do Scoop the Poop
It’s common sense and common courtesy: if your dog poops, pick it up and bag it. It’s dirty business, sure, but it’s public property, and nobody wants to step in it or have their dog nosing around in it. There’s millions of bacterias found in dog poop, so don’t expose other animals to that kind of danger. Plus? If nobody scooped their dog’s poop, can you imagine just how gross that dog park would be?
Do Supervise Your Animal
It’s not a daycare for dogs – don’t make the assumption that someone else is watching your pup. Pay attention to him: is he having fun? Is he being bullied? Is he being a bully? Is he picking up any bad behaviors? Is he playing too rough? These are common occurrences in dog parks simply because owners don’t pay attention to their own animals; don’t make that mistake. If there’s a negative situation at hand, be prepared to break it up and go home if necessary.
Don’t Take Itty Bitty Puppies
Puppies under four months of age are too young for the dog park. They’ll likely be bullied or picked on by bigger dogs, for one. More importantly, they won’t be up to date on their vaccines – exposing them to a ton of health risks.
Don’t Use Treats or Toys Near Other Dogs
Would you want a complete stranger giving your pup a random treat? Or letting him play with their dogs toy? Probably not. Also, don’t you think it’ll stir up unnecessary excitement or interest on the part of other dogs when you pull a bacon flavored treat out of your bag? Keep those for your dog only, and don’t tempt or taunt other nearby dogs with it.
Don’t Bring Dogs Who Aren’t Neutered or Spayed
Dogs in heat are no joke; they’re aggressive, they don’t behave, they don’t follow commands. Bring an intact male or dog in heat to a dog park with dozens of other dogs around him or her? You’re in for a mess. Just leave them at home.
Dog parks are places you’ll want to avoid if these general guidelines aren’t followed. Pay a visit to the vet, clean up behind your dog, supervise him, don’t bring a puppy, don’t use toys or treats in the presence of other dogs, and only bring neutered and spayed dogs… if you follow those rules, the dog park will be a great place for your dog to visit.
Image: Courtesy of Katherine via Flickr (CC By-ND 2.0)