dog park basicsHave you ever miscalculated your dog’s behavior? Surely, it’s not uncommon to incorrectly anticipate reactions to certain environments, but it’s less fun to experience this in public. Before venturing out, it’s crucial to prepare your dog for various encounters; there are few places as important in this area as the dog park. Following certain key dog park basics can save the day and keep you both coming back for more fun and games.

Is it Right for Your Dog?

Dog parks are great for pups for various reasons, but primarily, they’re used to boost important exercise and social opportunities. Plus, when owners follow the rules and act respectfully, everyone can enjoy the outdoors alongside new friends.

Only If…

In order to keep every visitor safe, there are some dog park basics that must be understood and followed closely:

  • Obedience – Having your dog under your voice command is very important to a successful visit. If your dog does not come when called or doesn’t follow basic commands like “down,” “stay,” “leave it,” or “heel,” it may be best to skip the park until he or she can.
  • Behavior – Aggression, fear, stress, or even bullying are typical forms of dog behavior at dog parks. Pay close attention to what your dog is doing, and intervene before things get out of hand. This being said, many dogs enjoy the park without incident, but it’s best to control behaviors.
  • Gear – An off-leash park doesn’t mean forget the leash. You might need it before entering a fenced-in area or afterwards on the way to the car. Plus, if you have to step in between your dog and another, leashing him or her up can help with control.
  • Leave ‘em – Your dog’s personal toys and treats should always be left at home. Resource guarding and other territorial behaviors are instinctual and can inhibit successful socialization with other dogs.

Other Dog Park Basics

Before you consider taking your dog to an off-leash dog park, he or she should be checked out and given a clean bill of health at a wellness exam. Complete vaccinations are vital before possibly exposing your dog at a public park, and parasite prevention is equally important. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns about your dog’s health.

Dogs in heat and those who aren’t spayed or neutered should be kept safe outside the dog park.

Cleanliness Counts

Dog parks like Longview Dog Park are usually well-maintained, but due to heavy traffic, they can become prime environments for germs. Always pick up after your dog and take measures to ensure others do, as well.

Lastly, always bring your own water. While many parks offer full bowls to visiting pups, you never know if the water is free from contagions or bacteria.

Good Luck!

Once you have these dog park basics down, we’re sure you and your pet will have years of good times ahead. Since they provide an outlet for obesity-preventing exercise, dog parks are always a good idea.

Please let us know if you have additional questions or concerns. Good luck!