Posted by Lora Shaw on May 22, 2017
For the uninitiated, dog parks can seem chaotic with dogs running everywhere, lots of barking, and inattentive pet parents. Rather than stress about it, we’d like to help you feel better prepared for your next dog outing. Read on to learn our top 5 tips for keeping your dog safe in a dog park.
By good health, we mean that before visiting a dog park, your dog should be spayed or neutered, up-to-date on his shots, and physically healthy. You never want to bring a sick dog (or one missing vaccinations) to the dog park. With plenty of dogs using the park on a regular basis, you run the risk of having your own dog pick up other pets’ illnesses. Instead, make sure your dog has a clean bill of health from the vet before taking a trip to the dog park.
Rather than spending your time at the park responding to text messages, you should always keep an eye on your dog. Unfortunately, when problems arise at a dog park, things can very quickly spiral out of control. You can avoid that scenario by keeping a careful eye on your dog and watching how other dogs are responding to him.
Learn to tell the difference between playing and signs of aggression. If you do spot an aggressive dog, move yourself and your dog out of the way of its path by standing behind something, when possible. If you can’t do that, you can try to distract the aggressive dog by blowing a whistle, tossing treats at it, or throwing a tennis ball in its direction. What you should NOT do is run. That will only encourage the dog to chase you.
In the same way you want your dog to feel comfortable at the dog park, you don’t want other dogs made uneasy by your dog’s presence. If your dog engages in bullying behavior, quickly nip it in the bud by removing him from the park, temporarily or permanently. While your dog’s aggressive behavior may not seem like such a big deal to you, we can assure you that it’s a quick way to make you and your pet very unpopular at the park.
A trip to the dog park should never be your dog’s first experience around other dogs. Instead begin socializing your dog from a young age so he becomes accustomed to new people, dogs, and experiences. Doing so will make your trips to the dog park much more enjoyable (and stress-free!) for both of you.
Looking for opportunities to socialize your dog before heading to the dog park? You might want to check out our Doggie Day Care or boarding services. During the course of your dog’s visit, he’ll have the opportunity to enjoy supervised small playgroup sessions with other healthy dogs.
About the author
Lora Shaw is currently the Vice President of Operations at Pet Palace.
Categories: Pet Safety