Making sure your dog gets plenty of exercise and social interaction is a big part of responsible pet ownership. For some canines, a trip to the dog park is a fun way to release some energy and make new friends. Following these four dog park etiquette rules will help ensure a safe and enjoyable experience:
1.) Make sure your dog’s vaccinations are current: Before you ever walk out the door to the park, be sure your dog isn’t due for any vaccinations. Some parks even require proof of rabies vaccination to enter.
2.) Pay attention: It can be easy to get caught up in a conversation with a fellow pet parent, but it’s important to not take your eyes off of your dog so that you can intervene if necessary.
3.) Take responsibility: Basic obedience training is always a smart idea before venturing to the dog park so that your dog will come or sit and stay when asked. If your dog becomes aggressive for any reason at all or gets in a situation that seems unsafe, take charge of the situation by leaving the park immediately.
4.) Pick up after your dog: Bring along some doggy waste bags and dispose of any messes properly.
While dog parks can be a great experience for many canines, it’s also important to realize when it might not be the best place for your dog. Dogs that are overly fearful, dog aggressive, ill, or elderly might do better with a difference form of entertainment. If a dog park isn’t the best fit for your canine companion, walks, hikes, or games of fetch in the backyard might be a better choice.