5 Things to Know Before Taking Your Puppy to a Public Dog Park

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Dog parks are resources that can be beneficial for you and your dog, but only if you know what to expect. As dog parks continue to pop up in communities, it’s important to understand the etiquette – both for you and your pet. Here are a few things to know before taking tour pet to a public dog park that will guarantee a fun and enjoyable experience. For more information, feel free to contact us!

Keep it Clean Most dog parks will have clean up stations for when your pet takes care of business. Just in case, however, it’s good practice to bring a few of your own bags in the event that the clean up station has run out. If you see a pile, do a favor for everyone at the park and pick it up. Not only will this keep the place looking clean, but it will also protect your puppy (and all the other dogs) safe from any possible communicable diseases spread by contact with feces.

What to Wear It’s always good practice to make sure your dog’s collar includes ID tags and (if required by law) proof of vaccination. These are especially important when visiting a dog park. Despite the double fence, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. You don’t want your dog loose in an unfamiliar area with no identification. At the dog park, keep a leash on hand in case play gets a bit too rough and you need to take your dog off the premises for a few minutes to calm down.

Pregame ProceduresWhen your dog first arrives, it’s likely that he will be overexcited. This could be dangerous for you (and anyone in his path) and could spark some unnecessary dog park drama. Get rid of some of this extra energy by walking or playing with your dog beforehand.

Owner ExpectationsWhile at the dog park, you will probably have a chance to speak with some of the other dog owners. Always keep an eye on your dog; don’t get distracted by the conversation around you (also, turn off your cell phone!). Try to avoid giving or receiving advice from other park patrons. Some parks may have a staff to supervise the park, but this is a rarity.

Who to Bring and When to Bring ThemIt’s not a good idea to bring small children to a dog park. Your dog may be good with little ones, but that doesn’t mean the other dogs are. If you must bring your child, consider visiting a dog park during the weekday when fewer dogs are around.