Etiquette At The Dog Park
Since most dogs spend the bulk of their day at home alone, lazing around, snacking, and napping in their comfy little beds, they have a surplus of energy without an outlet. A dog park is the perfect solution for your dog to get out of the house and get the exercise and socialization he needs to stay healthy and happy.
Every dog park has their own set of rules. These rules are in place not only for the dog’s safety but also for the owner’s safety. After all, you want your furry family member to be able to enjoy himself without constant worry. Here are a few of the basic rules you can generally expect at the park:
Vaccinations: Your dog should be up-to-date on all his vaccinations. It is always a good idea to carry a copy of the most recent vaccines and have a current rabies tag on the collar or at least with you. Never bring a puppy to the park until they have completed their vaccination series because they are not fully protected against many of the transmittable diseases.
Leashes: Most parks are “off leash.” This means once you and your dog are in the gated area, or in the safety of the park, you may take your dog off his leash to play freely. Not all parks are off leash though, so make sure you check your parks rules on this before letting Fido run free.
Waste: All parks ask that you scoop up your dog’s poop. Most parks are even equipped with handy “waste bag stations.” Even so, you should always bring your own bags because they may run out.
Food: It is not a good idea to bring food of any kind to the park. That means no snacks for you and no treats for your furry friend. Some pets are on special diets because of food allergies, weight loss, or other diseases. Even well trained dogs will sometimes lunge to get to at food, and this could lead to dog bites or fights.
When NOT to go: If your pooch is under the weather, then wait until he is feeling better. He could have contracted something contagious, and you don’t want to put the other dogs at risk. If you have an intact female, please wait until her heat cycle is over before bringing her out to play.
Most parks will have a website you can refer to. Before taking your dog, you should go to their website or the municipality’s website for a list of the parks rules and hours of operation. If you are unable to find a website for your particular park, you can always go for a quick trip there—sans dog—to see if there are rules and hours posted.