Dog Park Etiquette

From getting plenty of exercise by running freely and playing to socializing with other dogs, dog parks can provide tons of fun for our furry friends. Some dog parks may be open year-round, but we’re sure to see these areas get busier and busier as the temperatures continue to rise this summer. 

While our dogs can benefit from regular trips to the dog park, it’s important to be mindful of their behavior and surroundings to ensure a safe and enjoyable time for everyone. Many dog parks will have posted rules that you can familiarize yourself with as you enter the facility, and the following tips can also help you and your pup enjoy a fun-filled outing together. 

Make Sure Your Dog Is Ready 

As pet parents, we want our dogs to have as much fun in their daily lives as possible. Taking trips to the dog park can be a great way to provide our urban and suburban pups with some fun and exercise. However, it’s important to make sure your dog is ready to visit the dog park. Any dog that does so should be up to date on vaccinations and not be younger than four months old. Having your dog trained to obey basic commands such as “Come,” “Sit,” and “Stay” will also be very helpful should you need to remove your dog from an unpleasant situation at any point.    

Keep an Eye Out 

The most important rule to keep in mind when bringing your four-legged friend to a dog park is to watch them at all times. What may look like a fun and playful interaction at one moment can quickly turn aggressive, so it’s crucial that we monitor our dogs in case they or another dog start behaving poorly.   

If your dog is behaving inappropriately and is not listening to your correction commands, or has another dog acting aggressively towards them, quickly remove your dog from the dog park. While your dog should be off-leash while inside the dog park, make sure they’re wearing their collar at all times so you can quickly attach their leash and guide them out of the park if necessary. 

Be Prepared to Scoop 

Before you leave the house, make sure you’re sufficiently prepared! Bring plenty of poop bags with you so you can easily clean up after your dog should they happen to take care of “business” inside the dog park. You wouldn’t want to step in, or have your dog step in, something unpleasant because someone didn’t pick up after their pooch, so make sure not to put anyone else in the same situation. 

Young Children 

Just as young puppies shouldn’t be brought to the dog park, it's not a good idea to bring young children either. As there will be dogs, some that are likely quite large, running off-leash it’s possible that a small child could be knocked over and get hurt. Many young children also don’t understand the boundaries when it comes to interacting with dogs, so they will likely be safer if they aren’t brought along.

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