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Sep 25

Are Dog Parks Good For My Dog?

Dog parks are great places to get exercise for your dog. One of the best things about them is the ability to let your dog off-leash in a safe environment.  Your dog not only has the ability to enjoy this time with you, but he can play with other dogs as well.  Some parks have kiddy pools to help keep your dog cool in the summer months while others have ponds for those dogs that enjoy a good swim.

In order to make sure your dog park outings are both fun and safe, there are several things you will want to do prior to picking the best dog park for your best friend.

Before taking my dogs to a new dog park, I go to the park on the days I plan on taking them and observe the other dogs and their owners.  I watch to make sure the owners are aware of where their dogs are and what they are doing.  I also watch to see how the dogs react when a new dog enters the park and how the owners in the park handle their dogs.

Is the dog park fenced in?  I have seen some of the best-trained dogs run off after something caught their eye.  When dogs are running and playing together, they really don’t pay attention to where they are and might accidentally wander out of sight.  Fenced dog parks will keep your dog safe and prevent him from getting lost.

Does the park have a separate fenced area for the dogs to use as an entry point?  These are extremely important in order to allow for safe leash removal.  It also allows the other owners to get their dogs away from the gate so you can make a safe entry into the play area.

Do the owners pick up after their dogs and is there a place for them to dispose of the droppings?  I have been to some parks where owners don’t pick up after their dogs.  These owners make the experience extremely unpleasant for others.

Another thing I look for is how the owners handle different situations.  I look to see if they know their dogs and realize when it’s time to step in and stop play.  I have seen a number of scuffles break out because the owners didn’t realize that their dog was getting tired or not enjoying the play.  Do some research on body language for dogs.  Dogs may vary in the way they play and what is acceptable.  Learn how to “read” your dog so you know when he is becoming stressed or overwhelmed with a situation.

Is there an area for small dogs to play together?  Some smaller dogs enjoy being around the bigger dogs, but they are much more fragile and can get hurt accidentally by the bigger guys.

Once you decide which dog park you want to take your dog to, there are several things to consider.  Remember, you want to make this an enjoyable experience your dog.

Has your dog had all his shots?  You don’t want to bring him to the park and have him get sick because he’s not up to date on his vaccinations.  Never bring a puppy under 16 weeks old to a dog park.  They don’t normally have all their vaccinations and are still mentally  at very critical stage .  It only takes one bad experience to ruin it for a puppy.

For your first visit to the park, try to find a time when the park is empty or there are very few dogs.  Depending on your dog, visiting a dog park for the first time can be very stressful.  By taking him during slower times at first, it will allow your dog to get used to the idea of going to a park.

Dog parks can be good for your dog.  By following these suggestions, you can make your visits to the dog park safe and adventurous for your dog.

 

Dog parks are great places to get exercise for your dog. One of the best things about them is the ability to let your dog off-leash in a safe environment.  Your dog not only has the ability to enjoy this time with you, but he can play with other dogs as well.  Some parks have kiddy pools to help keep your dog cool in the summer months while others have ponds for those dogs that enjoy a good swim.

In order to make sure your dog park outings are both fun and safe, there are several things you will want to do prior to picking the best dog park for your best friend

Before taking my dogs to a new dog park, I go to the park on the days I plan on taking them and observe the other dogs and their owners.  I watch to make sure the owners are aware of where their dogs are and what they are doing.  I also watch to see how the dogs react when a new dog enters the park and how the owners in the park handle their dogs. 

Is the dog park fenced in?  I have seen some of the best-trained dogs run off after something caught their eye.  When dogs are running and playing together, they really don’t pay attention to where they are and might accidentally wander out of sight.  Fenced dog parks will keep your dog safe and prevent him from getting lost.

Does the park have a separate fenced area for the dogs to use as an entry point?  These are extremely important in order to allow for safe leash removal.  It also allows the other owners to get their dogs away from the gate so you can make a safe entry into the play area. 

Do the owners pick up after their dogs and is there a place for them to dispose of the droppings?  I have been to some parks where owners don’t pick up after their dogs.  These owners make the experience extremely unpleasant for others.

Another thing I look for is how the owners handle different situations.  I look to see if they know their dogs and realize when it’s time to step in and stop play.  I have seen a number of scuffles break out because the owners didn’t realize that their dog was getting tired or not enjoying the play.  Do some research on body language for dogs.  Dogs may vary in the way they play and what is acceptable.  Learn how to “read” your dog so you know when he is becoming stressed or overwhelmed with a situation.

Is there an area for small dogs to play together?  Some smaller dogs enjoy being around the bigger dogs, but they are much more fragile and can get hurt accidentally by the bigger guys.

Once you decide which dog park you want to take your dog to, there are several things to consider.  Remember, you want to make this an enjoyable experience your dog.

Has your dog had all his shots?  You don’t want to bring him to the park and have him get sick because he’s not up to date on his vaccinations.  Never bring a puppy under 16 weeks old to a dog park.  They don’t normally have all their vaccinations and are still mentally  at very critical stage .  It only takes one bad experience to ruin it for a puppy.

For your first visit to the park, try to find a time when the park is empty or there are very few dogs.  Depending on your dog, visiting a dog park for the first time can be very stressful.  By taking him during slower times at first, it will allow your dog to get used to the idea of going to a park. 

Dog parks can be good for your dog.  By following these suggestions, you can make your visits to the dog park safe and adventurous for your dog. 

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