Dogs are our true best friends and just like us they too like to socialize and have a good time outdoors. But, with increasingly crowded cities, it can be difficult to find open, green spaces where they can romp gleefully with their other human and furry friends.
Fortunately, we live in beautiful San Diego, California and there are so many amazing outdoor play opportunities, from hiking trails to beach paths to dog parks that have been designed with your dog’s recreation in mind.
Dog parks can be a wonderful option for many dogs. Dog parks are not for everyone, though. In fact, dog parks can sometimes attract irresponsible owners who let their misbehaved dogs interact and possibly fight with your dog. So you should observe the other dogs’ behaviors before entering and be ready to exit if an unruly dog enters.
In many cases, dog parks are a fun place to socialize your canine kid, but there are certain said and unsaid rules to follow. Let’s take a look.
Make Sure Your Dog Is Properly Vaccinated and Has Tick and Flea Prevention
Most dogs love dog parks as they get to play to their heart’s content but they can catch numerous diseases and parasites when they are out and about. Therefore, to be on the safer side, it’s always good to vaccinate your dog against common contagious diseases, like distemper and parvovirus before going to a dog park. Puppies especially shouldn’t be around adult dogs until they’re fully vaccinated. As a general rule, puppies should not be taken to dog parks until they’re at least 17 weeks old as their immunity is still underdeveloped by that age.
Also, make sure your dog has tick and flea prevention because dogs ‘will’ interact with other dogs no matter how hard you try to stop them.
Start Training Early
Although dog parks are places where dogs can have uninhibited fun, they should still know their boundaries. Your dog should see you as the pack leader all the time and should obey you even in the presence of his canine friends. This will be very helpful in avoiding dog fights and other unpleasant behaviors, like lunging at other dogs and people, butt sniffing and more.
Exercise Your Dog Beforehand
A hyper dog can be very difficult to handle. An over-excited dog can cause other dogs to feel threatened as well. So, exercise your dog well before taking him/her to a dog park, so that you are in full control.
Let Your Dog Off-Leash Only in Designated Enclosed Areas
Your dog should never be off-leash until he is in a designated off-leash area. This will not just keep him safe but will also prevent altercations with other pet parents.
Always be Attentive
While you may be tempted to indulge in conversations with other pet parents or check your Smartphone while your dog is having fun, it is more important to focus on your canine while at a dog park. You should know where your furry friend is and what he’s doing. This will help you avert unpleasant events and make the dog park experience safe and happy for your pooch.
Never Take a Female Dog in Heat
If you have a female dog in heat, avoid taking her to a dog park as this could cause conflict between other dogs and even unintentional mating.
Don’t Get in the Middle of a Dog Fight
A calm and well exercised dog might never get involved in a dog fight but sometimes dog fights just happen. Here’s what you should in case of a dog fight:
- Never get in the middle; you may get unintentionally bitten.
- Try to squirt them with a hose or a water pistol.
- Try to distract them but never grab your dog by his collar.
Scoop the Poop
Dogs poop can be a source of many harmful parasites and microbes. So to avoid polluting the dog park, always clean up after your pet and encourage others to do so too. A clean, healthy environment is the key to keeping your pooch healthy and happy all the time.
Last but not the least, to end your dog’s day on a happy note pamper him with his favorite treats so that your dog forms a positive association with dog parks.
As always, if you need top-notch training, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’ve trained over 10,000 dogs! 877-BAD-DOGS
Tell us how you liked the article? Do you have any more rules to add to the list? We’d love to hear from you.
I am Anoop Nain, proud father of four rescued dogs and two Flemish giant rabbits. Besides being a full-time dog father, I am a freelance content writer and an educationist, with more than 6 years experience in the field of content writing. In the span of six years, I wrote for various industries but one project that remains closest to my heart is my stint with People for Animals as their social media page manager. It was while working with them I got an opportunity to educate people on animal rights, pet healthcare, animal welfare and various other issues pertaining to animals.
I have been independently rescuing and rehabilitating injured/orphaned street dogs since my college days and have been actively associated with animal rescue organizations in my city.
I strongly believe that people should always think of adoption first if they are planning to bring home a new pet. It not just saves money but also saves many street and shelter animals from dying an agonizing death without proper food, shelter and healthcare.
Being an educationist, I believe in leading by example so I myself have adopted 4 dogs from streets. I brought my first pet, Olive home when I found her in a very bad state sitting next to her dead mother. The initial days were tough for both of us but gradually she blossomed into a wonderful dog. My second one, Auro came to us when he was just 2 months old. It was Diwali night and some obnoxious kids were trying to tie crackers to this already terrified pupper’s tail. I had to sneak him inside my house that night as my dad would not have liked the idea of another pet. But, destiny had some awesome plans for both me and Auro and he was welcomed in our family by my dad, albeit after initial reluctance. The other two of my clan, Astro and Jordan were rescued by me when they were really young. They were hit by vehicles and had to undergo surgery. I thought, I would put them up for adoption once they recover from their injuries but sadly (or fortunately) no one turned up. So, we decided to keep them too. It’s 2018, all my puppers are grown up now but each day with them is a new learning experience for me. I know so much about pets (dogs and rabbits in particular) now that people come to me for suggestions and tips. This sums up my love for animals in 400 words. But there’s still a lot more to discuss. So, let’s connect. Feel free to contact me.