Dog Park Safety Tips for Responsible Pet Parents
When visiting an off-leash play area with your dog, remember our safety advice since the dog park may be a deadly place for those who are unprepared.
#1: Protect your dog against infectious diseases
Your dog must, at the at least, be current on their rabies, distemper, parvovirus, and bordetella vaccines since reputable dog parks demand evidence of vaccination before giving entry. Leptospirosis, canine influenza, and parainfluenza vaccines may also be necessary or advised, so make sure your dog is up to date before taking them to the park.
#2: Visit during off-times
When the day is ended and the dogs are brimming with energy and anxious to let off steam, dog parks are often the most crowded. Dogs who are overexcited are less likely to behave politely, which may lead to bullying and conflicts. If you want your dog to be able to exercise without having to worry about a group of dogs chasing after them while they chase a ball, choose an off-peak hour.
#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: Keep an eye out for warning signs
Keep a close eye out for inappropriate actions or indications that your dog is uneasy because dog parks are not the place to teach socialization skills. Your dog may exhibit any of the following signs of stress, worry, or fear:
- 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.
Off-leash dog parks are not right for every dog. Many dogs prefer one-on-one socialization, or exploring on their own, rather than in a large pack of exuberant canines. No matter what type of socialization your pooch prefers, ensure they remain protected from infectious diseases and parasites through regular preventive care. Call our staff to make an appointment for your dog’s yearly wellness examination.