Dog parks are popping up all over the place and it’s no wonder. A dog park serves as a neutral ground where unleashed dogs can interact and learn socialization skills while humans can relax and enjoy the show. And what a show it can be at times as dogs frolic and play in the company of other like minded canines. You want your experience at the dog park to be positive for both you and your dog. Here are some tips for making your dog park experience beneficial for you and your dog:
Dog park tips: Choose the safest park
Choose a dog park that’s securely fenced with no open areas where your dog could potentially escape. Dogs can sometimes become disoriented in a new environment and may not be as responsive to you. Make sure the gate to the park is closed when your dog is inside. It’s also best to select a dog park as far from a highway or other busy thoroughfare as possible. You can’t relax if you’re worried about your dog’s safety.
Dog park tips: Bring along your cell phone
You never know when a dog park emergency may happen. If a major dog fight should erupt or a dog should become severely injured, you’ll need to contact the nearest veterinary hospital quickly. Always be prepared.
Dog park tips: Bring along lots of water
Dogs that are playing, particularly in warm weather, can become dehydrated quickly. Remember, dogs don’t sweat and can only release heat by panting. This can cause moisture loss to occur more rapidly. Always have a big jug of water with you at all times and offer it to your dog frequently.
Dog park tips: Learn how to recognize dog speak
When you take your dog to a dog park, you need to be aware of other potentially aggressive dogs. Learn to recognize the body language of dominance, submission, and aggression in dogs and respond appropriately. If you see a dog exhibiting dominant or aggressive body language towards your dog, move your dog to greener pastures before a fight develops.
Dog park tips: Clean up after your dog
It’s a privilege to have a public dog park to take your dog to. Do your best to preserve this treasure so you and your dog can enjoy it for many years to come. Always bring along supplies to clean up after your dog and dispose of the waste responsibly. It’s a small price to pay for the opportunity to access the park.
Dog park tips: Choose the best time to take your dog
The first time your dog visits a new dog park, go during a slow time of day so your dog can have time to acclimate without experiencing the sensory overload of having too many dogs to and people to interact with. Give him a chance to discover the smells and become familiar with the new location before having to deal with a crowd.
A visit to a dog park can be a treat for both you and your dog. Take the steps necessary to make sure the experience is safe and enjoyable for everyone.