Dog Owner Etiquette for Trips to the Park with the Pooch
The dog park can be a wonderful place for you and your dog to have fun, socialize, and release pent up energy. However, there this is a public space so you must know the proper etiquette so that you show your respect to the fellow dog owners. Off leash dog parks allow your dog to run and play and, very importantly, socialize with other dogs. This can help improve your dogs behavior and demeanor when encountering new people and dogs. However, you do not want to show poor dog park etiquette and make enemies of the other pet owners, or even worse, get yourself banned from the dog park.
In order to make sure everyone has a safe and happy time at the dog park, there are a few simple guidelines that you can keep in mind:
- Always make sure your dog is completely healthy and vaccinated before taking him or her to the dog park. Your dog should have regular check ups with a veterinarian anyway, but you should certainly get the all clear from the vet before introducing the dog to other dogs. Dogs can spread viruses to one another very easily and quickly; just as you do not want other dogs causing your pup to be ill, other pet owners wish the same. This is also why many dog parks will not permit puppies under the age of 4 months, as this is the period in the pup’s life when they are still getting vaccinations.
- You should also avoid bringing a dog that has not been spayed or neutered. If you do bring one, you should be certain that the dog is not in heat at the time. This is an extremely bad idea and you will most likely have a very big problem on your hands if you take a female in heat to a dog park where there could be many unneutered male dogs.
- It might sound fun to bring the whole family to the dog park, but it is not wise to bring a bunch of young children. There are some dogs that can be much too aggressive with a young child and could mean well, but still cause an injury. Many young children also do not understand how to appropriately approach a strange dog safely. Keep the children at the parks designed for them, and the dogs at the dog parks.
- Keep a pooper-scooper handy. The easiest way to make an enemy at a dog park is by not picking up after your dog. It is incredibly rude to not clean up after your dog, and you can even be fined and/or asked to not return to the park.
The most important thing to remember at the dog park is that you are responsible for your dog’s actions. This means that you should be watching your dog at all times and not talking on your phone or reading a magazine. If your dog is behaving badly, you should be ready to solve the problem immediately. Do not make other dog owners babysit your dog.