Dog runs and dog parks are popular locations for owners and pets alike. Aside from exercising in the great outdoors, these pet-friendly parks allow socialization for everyone involved – or almost everyone. It seems like there is always that one owner or pet that threatens to ruin it for everyone. We’ve compiled a list of awesome tips to help anybody through the daunting first time – and every time thereafter!
- Make sure your dog is healthy, up to date on all vaccinations and is sporting current rabies tags and licenses.
- Feed your furry friend and make sure she/he is fully energized before leaving home.
- Bring water, waste disposal bags for clean up (be sure to pick up after your dog!), and a leash.
- Know what your pet can handle, make sure this is not the first time you are exposing your furry friend to other dogs.
- Observe the atmosphere before joining the fun. Approach slowly with your dog on a leash. Make sure your dog is calm before letting him/her off the leash. Be cautious when entering the gates so no other dogs escape.
- Calmly remove your dog and leave the park if there is an over-aggressive dog and/or a fight.
- Remove your dog if she/he is being overly aggressive and you cannot calm him/her.
- Don’t force your dog into the fray if he/she is nervous and don’t stay if she/he remains nervous/fearful. It will only make things worse for everyone.
- Don’t bring small children to the park. It is difficult to watch your kids and your dog but more importantly, some of the other dogs may not be accustomed to kids.
- Don’t spend your time reading a book, checking your email, or playing Candy Crush Saga. Stay engaged and watch out for your best friend.
- Don’t overreact to simple play. Be aware of what normal playful behaviors are and know how to identify them. Remember, dogs will growl, wrestle, sniff, and chase each other so just enjoy it!
- Don’t lose track of your furry friend or leave him/her unattended!
Dog parks and runs can be a great deal of fun for owners and furry friends if proper etiquette is observed. Don’t be that guy (or girl) – make sure your dog is just as ready as you are!