Dog Park — 11 Dos And Don’ts
Taking your dog outdoors is an amazing way to make him happy and provide him the much needed physical and mental stimulation. Nothing tires out a pooch with lots of energy like a good run and play at a dog park. While, being at a dog park is an exciting experience for dogs, there are certain said and unsaid rules that the dog owners must be aware of before going to a dog park. If you are a first-time dog owner or have a young pup, here are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind.
Check if your dog is properly vaccinated
Most of the dogs love dog parks as that’s where they can run and sniff around freely but if you are not careful enough, they can catch numerous diseases and parasites when they are out and about. So, always vaccinate your dog against common contagious diseases, like distemper, parvovirus, kennel cough etc. before going to a dog park. Young puppies especially shouldn’t be taken to dog parks until they’re fully vaccinated. As a general rule, puppies should be taken to dog parks only after they are at least 17 weeks old.
Ticks and fleas prevention is important too
Not all pet parents are as careful as you. Some bring their ticks and fleas infested pets to dog parks, putting everyone at risk. The risk of ticks and fleas shouldn’t deter your dog from having fun. Therefore, it is important to make sure your dog has tick and flea prevention because dogs ‘will’ interact with other dogs no matter how hard you try to stop them. Get him/her a good quality tick and flea collar. When your dog returns home, check him/her manually for ticks and fleas to prevent parasites from entering your home.
Train your dog in basic commands
Before making your visit to a dog park, it is important to make sure your dog is trained in the basic commands. He/she should at least know the basic commands like sit, come and stay. This is important not just for his safety but also to avoid any unwanted instances, like – butt sniffing, eating poop, lunging at others etc. Your dog should at least have recall training so that he comes to you when called. Here’s what it is –
Recall training: Your dog should be trained to come to you when called. When your dog comes to you, always make sure to reward him and grab his collar at the same time to make sure he/she doesn’t run away when you are about to put a leash.
A well exercised dog is a happy dog
While you may think, there’s no need to exercise a dog when it’s already being taken to the park to socialize and play; it makes sense to exercise your dog well prior to your dog park visit. A hyper dog can be very difficult to handle. An over excited dog can cause other dogs to feel threatened as well. So, exercise your dog well before taking him/her to a dog park, so that you are in full control of him/her.
Don’t forget the identification tag
Before taking your dog to a dog park, camping, hiking or any other place, it is very important to put identification tag on your dog. Having an identification tag securely attached to your pooch’s neck ensures that you’ll be able to find your furry kid, if he decides to embark on a solo adventure. You need to have an identification tag on your dog, even if he/she has been microchipped as it is the fastest way to trace your dog and save him/her from unnecessary trauma. The identification tag should contain your pet’s name, your phone number and the city where you reside.
Let your dog off-leash only in designated enclosed areas
Although, we love to see our pooches run and jump around, they should never be off-leash until they are in a designated off-leash area. This will not just keep them safe but will also prevent dog fights and altercations with other pet parents.
Keep small and big dogs separate
In most of the dog parks there are separate sections for large and small dogs. It’s for a good reason. One cannot predict how a dog will react in unknown circumstances. Big dogs may attack small dogs, or high energy dogs may cause big dogs to get aggressive and things may become very dangerous. So, always take your dog to designated areas and keep your furry safe.
Be attentive and careful
While you may be tempted to indulge in conversations with other pet parents or check your emails and messages while your dog is having fun, but your little carelessness can put your dog at risk. While at the Dog Park, you should always be attentive and know where your furry friend is and what he’s doing. This will not just prevent dog fights and other unpleasant encounters but will also prevent your dog from escaping the park.
Never take a female dog in heat to dog parks
If you have a female dog in heat, NEVER take her to dog parks or other public places. Taking a female dog in heat to the dog park may cause unpleasant dynamics to take place – it may start nasty dog fights, unwanted mating, and quarrels between dog owners.
Avoid dog fights
Dog parks are public places where all kinds of dogs visit. You can surely control your dog but there are certain careless dog owners who let their aggressive dogs off-leash without caring about the safety of others. Here’s how you can avoid the trouble:
- Be attentive always.
- Take your dog to the dog park when it is less crowded.
- If you have a small dog, keep him away from big dogs.
- Never interfere when two dogs are fighting; you may get unintentionally bitten.
- Never grab your dog by his collar.
- Try to squirt them with a hose or a water pistol.
Impromptu parties are the best. So, find your nearest off-leash dog park and let your pup have lots of fun. He will be happy to socialize and play with new friends and you will be equally happy to see your pooch jumping with joy.
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