Taking your dog to the dog park
If you have access to a dog park, it can be a great outlet for your pooch. On top of socialising with other dogs, they will get plenty of exercise and you will also have the opportunity to mingle with other pet owners. However, there are few things to consider before you turn up.
Is your dog trained and socialised?
If your dog has never met other dogs or had any sort of training
a dog park can be a minefield of problems. Once you’re there, your dog will no doubt be excited by the space and other potential dog friends. An unsocialised dog may find the situation overwhelming. Dogs can react in a number of ways, and in some cases that could be aggressively. It’s important to respect your dog’s wellbeing, as well as that of the other dogs. Socialise your pet before bringing them to the park. You can start off with small interactions, like walking with another dog or taking them on a play date then start by taking your dog to the park during less busy periods, and build up from there.
Watch your dog
Off-leash dog parks can be terrific. They enable dogs to have a good run around and release energy. However, your pet is still your responsibility. It’s up to you to know their whereabouts at all times. This is for multiple reasons including their safety, the safety of other pets and people, and so you can pick up any poop when needed!
If your dog enjoys playing with balls and similar toys, you can bring them along. You may also want to bring some water if there isn’t easy access to any at the park. Also, don’t forget your leash. If your dog becomes over excited or irritated, putting them on the leash and walking with them may help to calm them down.
Finally, make sure you check out all the dog parks in your area. A change can offer a bit of variety and you may find they enjoy some parks over others.
Remember, the most successful dog parks are the ones where the owners are taking notice of their dog’s behaviour, and doing their best to ensure a harmonious environment for everyone.