5 Dog Park Tips

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May 7, 2012
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With all this wonderfully beautiful spring weather upon us, trips to the dog park are going to be super fun. More dogs, more play, and more time spent outside are all on your dog’s mind.

The dog park is a great place where your dog can make friends, run around and socialize, and burn off some energy and play. But your dog and you should also be mindful when going to the dog park and do your part to keep other pets and owners safe.

Here are 5 dog park tips:

1: Spay or neuter your pet before interacting with other dogs. Most dog parks require it. An un-spayed female could unintentionally make the male dogs focus on her and she may become very agitated or intimidated if the dogs crowd her too much. An un-neutered male can also arouse dogs to become more aggressive as well. Dogs can detect hormone changes in each other and may react to those more than body language cue and sometimes a dog fight can break out.

It’s better to be safe than sorry. If your dog is still a puppy and not old enough to be spayed or neutered, then hold off on trips to the dog park and opt for hikes and long walks instead till it’s done. Of course, not all dogs will be aroused and not all dogs are aggressive but why take the chance?

2: Keep an eye on your dog when at the park. You’ll end up making a few friends and seeing some of your neighbors with their dogs there. So a trip to the dog park will be social for you as well. But while you are talking about life, the universe, and everything, keep an eye on your dog. You don’t want your pup playing too rough or bugging a tired dog or bugging another person. Step in and stop interactions that are negative.

3: Don’t let your dog bug or bully other dogs. Your dog might be well-behaved but sometimes being excited and overly playful can turn into bullying. Other dogs might be tired or older and your dog may nudge them to play and annoy the other dogs. If your dog seems to be getting too worked up or might be having a bad play day, it’s time to leave the dog park.

Take a walk through the park, jog the energy off, or go home and play in the yard. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

4: Clean up after your dog. No one ever wants to step in a mess. Walking through a park and having to look down is no fun for you and your dog may run through it, roll in it, or slide in it as she’s playing. It’s not respectful to the environment and thoughtless. Always bring bags and do your part to keep the park clean. Many parks have rules about cleaning up and in some states you can be fined and banned.

5: Keep your dog protected. Flea and tick medication should be applied to your dog to prevent bringing home any unwanted parasites. It also helps prevent the spread of them from dog to dog and house to house. If you take your dog to play, having this protection helps make sure that your local dog park is safe from those nasty little things. Also, don’t forget heart-worm protection too!

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