Mind Your Manners at Dog Parks
The creation of Dog Parks across the country has given dogs the opportunity to run and play with friends in a secure, fenced-in environment. For those living in big cities, it's a wonderful improvement over the daily, sometimes boring walk. However if we want these dog parks to remain open, there are some rules and regulations we should follow.
- First, make sure your dog is up-to-date on vaccinations. Some parks don't allow pups under 4 months old as they haven't received all their vaccines.
- Don't bring a dog suffering from health problems to the park. Dogs with fleas, kennel cough or any other communicable disease or parasites that can easily and quickly spread, should not be in dog parks.
- CLEAN UP AFTER YOUR DOG! If you don't you can be fined and banned from the park.
- Small children don't belong in the dog park no matter how great the temptation to take them along. The possibility of accidents occurring is too great.
- Unspayed females in heat should not attend dog parks where there may be unneutered males.
- Check the number of dogs you are allowed to bring to the park. Some parks have limits.
- Do not bring a different type of pet to the park. These are DOG parks.
- Leave that frisbee or other toys and interactive games at home. Dogs are like children and can be very possessive, with fights breaking out over toys.
- If your dog destroys any park property, you are responsible. Report damage and see that it is repaired. Something as simple as digging a hole can be filled in by you.
- Before considering taking your dog to a dog park, make sure he's well socialized. If your dog creates any problems or starts a fight, immediately take him home. Your dog may need more training and socialization.
- Always keep an eye on your dog, never leave him unattended.
- Bring a towel, drinking water (although most parks have facilities where dogs can drink), and/or wipes. If your dog unexpectedly steps in poop, just take your towel, wet it and clean him. No comment is necessary about the poop as you don't know when it happened or which dog is the culprit.
- When entering the park, don't let your dog rush in. It can be agitating to some dogs and other owners.
- Be sure to keep your dog away from entrances or exits, especially when there is activity there. Your dog is safe within the park. You don't want him running off somewhere.
- Each park may have its own rules and regulations. Be sure to acquaint yourself with them and follow them.
- When you are ready to leave, have your dog come to you, leash him and reward with a treat and/or a pat, letting him know how well-behaved he is. "Well done, Fido!"
You should also be aware of things to watch for at the Dog Park.
Make sure your dog has some sort of preventive against fleas and ticks.
If at all possible, don't allow your dog to eat feces and wash paws immediately if your dog steps in them. Parasites and other diseases have long lives in the poop.
Carry a first aid kit with you in case of bites, either from other dogs or from insects.