Dog Park Etiquette

by Justin Young

With nearly 57 million American households with a canine family member, dog parks have become very popular in communities nationwide. A dog park is the perfect place for pooches to run, bark, sniff and play with their fido friends. As your canine’s tail starts wagging with anticipation for dog park season, pet owners should be mindful of these five basic rules of conduct—courtesy of PetSafe Brand—so that dogs can exercise and socialize safely.

Don't bring your dog to a park that you haven't checked out first.

Take a quick visit to the dog park first to make sure it’s the right atmosphere and fit for you and your dog. Consider whether the park is fenced in, how the other dogs are playing with each other and if water is available.

Never leave your dog unattended.

This seems like a simple rule, but it’s easy to get distracted at a dog park. Keep a close eye on your furry friend and judge how comfortable your dog feels by staying nearby and paying attention to its body language.

Don’t forget to clean up after your furry friend.

As a courtesy to the other dogs and owners enjoying the dog park, come prepared to clean up after your dog. Some parks have plastic bags available near the waste cans; we recommend you carry a few extras just in case.

Make sure your dog has been properly vaccinated.

Although it may be tempting to begin socializing your new puppy, check with your veterinarian to make sure all of the necessary vaccinations are up to date, including being spayed or neutered, before heading to the dog park.

Know your dog’s play style.

Your dog will meet dogs of varying breeds and temperaments while playing at the dog park. While you can’t predict how other dogs will behave, you can monitor your dog’s interaction with other dogs, watching for any aggressive behaviors and possibly taking a break from the park if needed.


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