For many of us, our pets are an extension of our family, so keep that in mind when you go to a dog park. Treat the situation as if you were taking your child to a playground – use common sense and good manners, and it will be a great experience for everyone.
- Supervise your dog at all times
- Clean up after your dog
- Watch for changes in your dog’s behavior
- Make sure your dog has been fixed and is up-to-date on all their vaccinations
- Stand up for yourself and your dog. Even though someone says their dog is friendly, if your pup seems threatened or uncomfortable, you have every right to ask the other dog’s owner to rein their animal in
- Take some water and a small bowl in case your pup gets thirsty at the dog park
- If you see a dog on a leash or off to the side with its owner, respect their privacy. Don’t approach them until they say it’s okay
- Let your dog run free in parks where they’re supposed to be on a leash. It’s against the law and dangerous for other people and dogs in the park
- Bring a dog that’s younger than four months
- Allow your dog to bully another
- Go to an off-leash dog park unless your dog can follow your verbal commands
- Bring a female dog in heat to a dog park
The best way to make sure your dog knows how to play well with others? Start socializing them early on. And remember, a dog park won’t work for everyone. If you still want your pet to get some great exercise outside, consider going on a hike – just be sure to follow the leash laws!