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4 Dog Park Safety Tips for Responsible Pet Parents

When visiting an off-leash play area with your dog, use our advice to keep them safe because the dog park may be harmful for those who are unprepared.

#1: Guard your dog against contagious infections

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 him to the park.

#2: Go at off-peak hours

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 can 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: Watch for warning signals

Dog parks are not the place to teach socialization skills, so keep a sharp eye out for inappropriate behaviors or signs that your dog is uncomfortable. Stress, anxiety, and fear can appear in your dog as:

● Running away
● Tucked tail
● Freezing
● 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)

Leave the dog park at the first sign of concern from your dog to prevent things from getting worse.

Not all dogs are appropriate for off-leash dog parks. Many dogs would to interact with people one-on-one or go exploring on their own than in a big pack of boisterous dogs. Regardless of the socializing style your dog chooses, make sure they receive routine preventative care to keep them free from parasites and infectious illnesses. Call our staff to make an appointment for your dog’s yearly wellness examination.