Safety Tips For The Dog Park

Dog parks can be a lot of fun for you & Fido, but there are some things to remember so that it’s also safe!

Your dog should be current on vaccines.  Puppies who have not been fully vaccinated (given a full series; usually 2-3 boosters) should not be at the dog park!!

Intestinal parasite screens should be performed at least yearly, if not every 6 months.

Your dog should know basic commands: (come, sit stay, and leave it)

The park should have lots of room for your dog to run, secure fences, plenty of shade, and a source for water.  You might want to consider bringing a bowl, and if your dog is like mine, you might need your own bottle of water because your dog considers drinking from a fountain beneath him 😉

You should carry bags for cleaning up messes. Your dog should always be on a leash when entering and exiting the park.  Be courteous and make sure the gate is secure when entering/exiting.

Be attentive to your dog at all times. The dog park is not the place to catch up on your reading! You must be prepared to get control of your dog in an instant.

Keep an eye out for overly excited or aggressive dogs. (including your own) A playful exchange can escalate to a fight suddenly, so watch their body language. For example: growling, stiff posture, raised hackles or a sudden change in focus.  You might even consider carrying some kind of veterinary approved detterent spray to be used in an emergency.

Keep small dogs on the “small” dog side! Small dogs on the big dog side are an accident waiting to happen. Even if there are no signs of aggression, it doesn’t take much for an 80 pound dog to hurt a little guy, perhaps by stepping on him.

Know your dogs limit! If they are showing signs of pain  (like limping) or exhaustion, it’s time to go! Also, don’t take a dog who has had surgery of any kind recently. Get your vets okay before venturing back to the park.

Make sure everyone has a good time and stays healthy and safe on your next visit,