Rules Of Engagement When Visiting A Dog Park With Your Pet
Dog parks have been a popular venue for owners and their pets for years. Owners can let their canines roam and play off-leash. But as with any public venue, there are several guidelines to follow to ensure the experience is pleasant for everyone. Neglecting them may draw stares, and even make you and your dog unwelcome.
With this in mind, we’ll provide several rules of dog park etiquette below. Some will seem intuitive while others may come as a surprise. The goal is to be informed, so you can avoid doing something that annoys other owners, and prevents them and their pets from enjoying the experience.
Pros And Cons Of Visiting A Dog Park
First, it’s worth considering some of the benefits and drawbacks to attending a dog park. Your canine will have an opportunity to interact with other dogs and people. This will play an important role in his socialization. The more comfortable he becomes around others, the less likely he will act aggressively down the road.
Also, your canine will enjoy physical and mental exercise. He’ll have an opportunity to race and play games with others. Or, he may wrestle with them. These and other activities will stimulate his mind while letting him work his muscles.
One of the potential downsides to dog parks is that some canines arrive with parasites. If your pet has received his vaccinations, he should be adequately protected from them. Also worth noting, some owners’ dogs are aggressive. This can pose a threat if they fight with other animals.
Things To Avoid Doing At A Dog Park
If your pet is still a puppy, consider waiting to take him to a park until he is six months old. Otherwise, his behavior may irritate the other animals.
Don’t force him to interact with the other dogs. If he is uncomfortable, take him elsewhere. Forcing him will only make him nervous, which in turn increases the risk of a confrontation.
It is also a good idea to leave treats behind, or only provide them to your pet when he is alone. If given an opportunity, other canines may attempt to acquire them.
Lastly, leave your cell phone and other gadgets in your car. Otherwise, they will distract your attention away from your pet. It is important to remain aware of your dog at all times, so you can act quickly if the need arises.
Tips For Being A Good Dog Park Patron
Be sure to clean up after your canine immediately after he has defecated. Have plenty of bags handy.
If your pet becomes aggressive – even slightly – toward another animal, remove him from the park. Do the same if you notice another dog showing aggressive behavior toward him. It is far better to intervene and prevent a physical confrontation than to risk your pet’s injury.
Also, watch your canine while he plays with others. Dogs will often play well together at first, but start to fight when play becomes too rough. If you feel your pet is playing too roughly with another animal, intervene.
Before your canine’s first visit to a dog park, take him to a veterinarian for a checkup. Make certain he is in good health, free of diseases, and current on all of his vaccinations.
The socialization, exercise, and mental stimulation your canine will receive at a dog park will make the experience a valuable one. Follow the above guidelines to help make the experience pleasant for everyone.