4 Important Dog Park Safety Tips for Pet Owners: Unleash the Fun safely
When visiting an off-leash play area with your dog, use our advice to keep them safe because the dog park can be dangerous for those who are unprepared.
#1: Visit during off-
Dog parks are typically the most crowded right after the working day is over when they’re overflowing with exuberant dogs eager to release pent-up energy. Overexcited dogs are less likely to follow proper canine etiquette, which can result in bullying situations and fights. Opt for an off-peak time to let your dog exercise so they don’t have to worry about a pack of dogs on their heels as they chase a ball.
#2: Guard your dog from contagious infections
Reputable dog parks require proof of vaccination before granting access, so your dog will need—at a minimum—to be current on their rabies, distemper, parvovirus, and bordetella vaccinations. Canine influenza, parainfluenza, and leptospirosis vaccinations also may be required or recommended, so ensure your pup is up to date before heading to the park.
#3: Double up on identification
Although it’s unlikely your dog will slip out of the double gate at the entrance to the park, accidents can happen. Ensure a happy reunion with your furry friend by outfitting them with several identification forms, including collar ID tags, a collar embroidered with your phone number, and a microchip.
#4: Watch for warning signals
Keep a close eye out for inappropriate actions or indications that your dog is uneasy since dog parks are not the appropriate setting for socialization lessons. Your dog may display signs of stress, worry, or fear as:
- Running away
- Tucked tail
- Excessive drooling
- Panting disproportionate to activity
- Trembling or shaking
- Cowering or exposing their abdomen
- Clingy behavior
- Lip licking
- Whale eye
- Raised hair
- Reactivity or aggression (e.g., barking, growling, nipping)
At the first hint of unease from your dog, leave the dog park before things escalate.
Not all dogs should go to off-leash dog parks. Instead of being in a big pack of boisterous dogs, many dogs prefer one-on-one interaction or going on their own adventures. No of the preferred method of socialization for your dog, make sure they receive regular preventive treatment to keep them free from parasites and infectious diseases. Call our staff to make an appointment for your dog’s yearly wellness checkup so they can stay current.