Nothing gives joy to pet owners quite like watching your dog frolic freely amongst a pack of fellow furry friends. Spending a sunny afternoon at the dog park with your little buddy is a great way to get your dog some much needed pet care and exercise, as well as meet some new friends and get some quality playtime in.
But before you head out to the nearest dog park and let your pet roam free without a leash, it’s important to understand what areas of dog park etiquette are considered to be most appreciated and respected upon by other pet owners occupying the space.
If you’re considering bringing your little pal to a dog park for the first time, here are a few dog park etiquette tips you should always keep in mind.
Play By the Rules
First and foremost, the easiest way to get on other dog owners' nerves is if you fail to follow the rules of the dog park.
The most common rules associated with dog parks tend to go as follows:
● Keep your dog on a leash (unless off-leash is permitted)
● Pick up after your dog
● Do not bring food or treats with you
● Remove your dog upon any notice of aggressive behavior
● All dogs vaccinations and shots must be up-to-date
Always abide by the laws of the land upon entering a dog park, and if you’re ever unsure of what’s allowed or not, don’t hesitate to ask another dog owner present.
Keep the Puppies at Home
While it may not outright say it in the rules, dog parks are generally not the safest place for puppies to frequent.
Older dogs can easily get excited and play aggressively with puppies, leaving your pet vulnerable to sustain an injury. It’s a general rule of thumb to wait on bringing your dog to the dog park until it is at least nine months old.
Know Your Dog’s Behavior
If you’re already worried about how your dog will behave with other dogs before you’ve even tried out the dog park, then perhaps you should wait until your pet’s social skills are more apparent.
If your dog commonly barks or acts aggressively toward other dogs while on walks, then it’s most likely that being off-leash surrounded by dozens of other dogs isn’t the best environment for your dog and others.
Pay Close Attention
If there’s one thing to always remember at the dog park, it’s to never stop paying attention to your dog. Failing to keep an eye on your dog or stepping away from the dog park for whatever reason can not only result in a variety of risks for your pet and others, but your dog may become extremely nervous, anxious, or aggressive if it notices that you’re missing in action.
You’ll also want to monitor your dog’s body language, as failing to notice certain signs such as exhaustion or frustration can lead to a possible worse case scenario. Always be sure to look on as your dog flocks and frolics amongst its new friends!
With all the excitement and borderline chaos taking place amidst a large dog gathering, it’s extremely easy for your pet to get worn out and become dehydrated.
While a lot of dog parks tend to have water stations for your little friend, always be sure to bring water for your dog, especially if it’s a hot summer day. The more hydrated your dog stays, the longer it can enjoy its time at the dog park!
Keep Your Dog Fit & Healthy At Normandale Veterinary Hospital
While the dog park can be an excellent source for providing quality pet care to your buddy, you’ll also want to be sure you’re scheduling routine checkups for your dog as it continues to get older.
At Normandale Veterinary Hospital, we specialize in providing the ultimate care for your dog, with care services ranging from vaccines, to boarding, to even grooming.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your pet look and feel its best, or give us a call at 952-831-8272 to speak with our veterinary staff directly!