Taking your dogs to the dog park is a great way to let them run freely off-leash, get some fresh air, and socialize with other canines. Pet parents can find happiness in seeing how excited their dogs get when they figure out they are taking a trip to their favorite location. Just like a playground for children, the dog park should always be a safe and fun place to take your dogs. The following are 8 tips you should follow to make sure that each trip to the dog park is a positive experience for everyone.
1. Make Sure That Your Dog Is Vaccinated
If you have a new puppy, you may be eager to take him to the park to watch him play with other dogs. However, before you take this step, making sure he has had all of his vaccinations is crucial to protect him against transferable diseases.
2. Consider the Size of Your Dog
Visit the dog park ahead of time to see if they have a designated area for small dogs and for larger dogs. Very small dogs should not be playing around very large dogs because even if they are both friendly to one another, accidents can occur.
3. Make Sure Your Dog Follows Basic Training Cues
Before visiting the dog park, “sit, stay and come” are commands that your dog easily follows. In addition to this, the AKC recommends that your dog should master these obedience commands in distracting locations before visiting the dog park.
4. Think Before You Bring Toys With You
Chances are, your dog isn’t going to want to share his favorite toy with the dog next to him when he is at the dog park. It just may start a fight. If you decide to bring a toy, experts suggest bringing extras to avoid any potential doggie confrontations.
5. Visit the Park When It Is Not at Its Busiest
The fewer dogs that are present, the less of a chance that there is going to be dogs that are having personality clashes (with your pooch right in the middle!) The best time to go to the dog park may be early in the morning, later in the evening, or when most people are working during the day.
6. Pay Attention to Your Pooch
While you are at the dog park, avoid the temptation to zone out and play with your cellphone, read a book, get into a deep conversation with someone, or otherwise remove your immediate attention away from your dog. Keeping your eyes on your dog will help ensure that no uncomfortable or unsafe situation occurs.
7. Pick Up After Your Dog
This should go without saying, but if your doggie makes a number two, be sure to be courteous to others and pick it up right away! No one wants to step in some doggie doo and track it into their car and house. Always pick up after your dog and earn some good karma in the process.
8. Know When It’s Time to Go
Ideally, 30-60 minutes is enough time at the dog park for your canine to enjoy themselves. Any more time than that and dogs can grow tired of each other’s company and begin to play too rough. Going home before your dog reaches that point ensures a good time for everyone.