Before starting off for the park for the first time, you should be sure your dog is fully protected. For starters, make sure your dog is fully vaccinated and ready for such an experience. If your dog has a problem behaving with one or more dogs or is timid or aggressive, you should discuss the matter with a behaviorist or trainer. Proper training can be affordable and fun. Look for a trainer that teaches only humane, positive, and motivational methods to help build a great relationship between you and your companion. If your dog has previous or on-going medical conditions, talk to your veterinarian before going to the park to prevent more serious problems or complications.
Above all else, use your common sense and knowledge of your dog. Remember to remain vigilent and never rely on another person to do the right thing. You should feel comfortable intervening on behalf of your dog whenever needed. Most importantly make sure you and your dog have fun at the park. If you get stressed, your dog also will get stressed.
- Always clean up after your dog
- Never bring glass into the park
- Never bring food or treats into the park, including natural or artificial bones
- Do not over-exercise your dog in excessive heat or cold
- Be sure vaccines and license are up-to-date
- Use a correctly fitting collar with ID tags
- Do not leave a harness or prong collar on your dog in the park
- Use a proper-length lead to and from the entrance
- Keep an eye on your dog and intervene at the first sign of poor behavior
- Only use safe toys manufactured specifically for dogs
- Leave females who are “in heat” and small puppies at home. Intact males are not usually allow at dog parks.
- Use extra caution if you bring a small child
- Check with each park for local protocol, paid passes, and other rules
What to Bring:
- Extra water
- Towels or rags – Clean dogs paws off with cleaning wipe or soap.
- Extra lead and collar
- Extra poop bags
- First aid kit and vaccination paperwork
- Knowledge of nearby animal hospital locations