Taking your dog to the dog park can be an enjoyable outing for both of you. However, there are some important safety tips you’ll need to follow, especially if you are newer to visiting the dog park.
Prep Your Pup
The first thing to consider before visiting the dog park is whether your dog is ready. Make sure your dog can follow commands in a distracting environment. If your dog seems to struggle with this, taking a group training class before venturing to the park may be beneficial.
Leave the Toys at Home
This may seem counterintuitive – aren’t you going to the dog park to play? – but it is usually better to leave the dog toys at home. Dogs sometimes get very territorial about their toys and you don’t want to have an issue with another dog over a favorite toy. If you really feel like you should bring something, do not bring favorite toys and bring multiples to share if you can.
Time Your First Visit Strategically
If it is your first visit to the dog park, try and go during a non-peak time. Let your pup get used to the surroundings without a bunch of other dogs around. Usually early in the morning, later in the evening, or during a weekday when others may be at work are the best times to visit.
Watch Your Dog for Warnings
Be sure to watch for warning signs that they are stressed or uncomfortable – and keep your eye on any other dogs as well. If you see any other dogs exhibiting non-desirable behaviors, or your dog is acting up, be ready to head home.
Limit Your Visit
Don’t plan on spending all day at the dog park. While a 30-60 minute visit is fun, spending too much time at the dog park can be overwhelming for your dog, which may bring out undesirable behaviors.
Don’t Get Distracted
No matter how many times you’ve visited the dog park, there are likely to be new dogs and unique situations every time you go. If you are distracted by your phone, a book, or another person – you may be too late to stop an unfortunate situation with your dog. Make sure you are keeping watch on your dog at all times.
Consider a Membership Dog Park
If there is only a public dog park in your area, that is probably better than nothing. However, the ones that require a membership or entrance fee will likely be cleaner. Additionally, these parks sometimes require vaccination records, which can give you some peace of mind.
Clean up After Your Dog & Yourself.
No matter what kind of park you visit, be sure to clean up after your dog as well as yourself. If everyone does their part, your dog park will be a much nicer place for all.
Contact Argos Dog Training
Enjoy your visit to the dog park! Dog socialization is an important aspect of dog ownership and a dog park is a great place to give your pup everything he or she needs to be happy and healthy. If after your visit to the dog park, you realize that your dog has some behavior issues that need to be addressed, contact Argos Dog Training for private or group sessions. We’ll be glad to help! Fill out an online form or give us a call at 617-302-7467