It is so exciting to bring your dog to the dog park to play for the very first time. But, are you aware of all the things you need to do so your dog stays safe, is respectful of other dogs and owners, and has a great time? Read on for a quick lesson in dog park etiquette.
1. Don't Bring Your Puppy
As much as you would love to watch your puppy run around and play with other dogs, you have to wait until they are old enough. Make sure your dog is over 4 months old before you bring them to the dog park.
2. Do Reinforce Good Behavior
Watch your dog at all times and make sure to positively reinforce good behavior and negatively reinforce bad behavior. Do not let your dog pick on other dogs or owners or form a pack with other dogs.
3. Don’t Get Distracted by Your Mobile
It’s fine to talk on the phone for a bit or check on your texts while you’re at the dog park, but make sure you always have your eye on your dog. Fights and injuries can happen between dogs within seconds, so it is very rude to let your dog run wild as you camp out and get some online shopping done on your iPad.
4. Do Make Sure Your Dog Is Vaccinated
If your dog doesn’t have his or her full range of shots yet, don’t head out to the dog park. It’s important to stay up to date for your dog’s health and the health of dogs he or she may be playing with.
5. Don’t Forget Your Supplies
Don’t forget to bring your essential supplies. You will need a leash, some water, some treats or a bone, and bags to pick up when your dog goes to the bathroom.
6. Do Know When to Leave
If your dog is consistently acting up, don’t just assume things will get better and wait around until a real problem occurs. Your dog may be having an off day or a negative reaction to one of the other dogs in the park. Maybe he or she feels threatened or protective. If your dog is acting strangely or being rude or harmful to the other dogs, leave as quickly as possible.
7. Don’t Leave a Mess Behind
The cardinal sin at the dog park? Pretending you don’t notice when your dog relieves himself behind the park bench! You want other owners to pick up after their pets, and you absolutely must show others the same courtesy.
Do you have pet parks near you? Do you go often with your dog? Let us know in the comment section!
This guest post is contributed by Lauren Bailey, who regularly writes for accredited online colleges.