Dog's eye view.

Dog parks are a great place to take your dog for some fun and exercise.  There are often dog runs, open areas for play, and sometime even play structures or obstacle courses for your dog to enjoy.  While dog parks are a great place to allow your dog to run free without the worry that they will run up to children or strangers or get dangerously far away like they might at a that is not designated for dogs, there are still safety precautions that should be taken.  Dog parks a great place for your dog to experience the “leash free” life but keep in mind that there will be other dogs there doing the same thing.

While most dogs are incredibly friendly and just want to play at the park, there is a lot of unknown experiences for your dog while there.  Other dogs may have very different experiences with being socialized.  They may be very used to “rough play” with other dogs or they may have never spent any time around other dogs.  They may have experienced past abuse or have other socialization issues.  Your dog may be significantly smaller or larger than other dogs at the dog park.  All of these are important factors to consider before you go to play at a dog park so that you can prepare ahead of time.  Below are 5 safety tips for your next visit to the dog park.

5 Safety Tips for the Dog Park

  1. Keep a Close Eye on Your Dog
    • It can be easy to get lost looking at your phone, reading a good book, or talking to a fellow dog owner at the dog park while your dog plays but it is important to keep an eye on your dog. By keeping a close watch, you can see if they are getting into trouble, eating something or doing something they shouldn’t, looking aggressive or anxious, or if you need to clean up after them if they have gone to the bathroom.
  2. Bring the Necessities
    • When you go to the dog park it is a good idea to pack the necessities including food/snacks/treats, water, poop bag, leash,
  3. Be Certain Your Dog Has Had All Necessary Vaccinations
    • Just like kids that go to the park and spend time around other kids, when dogs go to the park and spend time around other dogs, they are more susceptible to illness and disease. It is important that you do not go to the dog park unless your dog is current on vaccinations for their safety and the safety of others.
  4. Be Aware of Dog Sizes
    • Hopefully the dog park you visit will have a separate area for small dogs/large dogs but if they do not keep an eye to ensure that interactions are safe. This will help avoid aggression and injury.
  5. Use Commands with Your Dog
    • Before going to the dog park it is ideal that your dog understands basic commands. If they already know what to do it will help maintain safety while at the dog park and help everyone have a better time.