With dog parks cropping up everywhere, it can be tempting to pop into one and let your dog run around and make new friends. However, keep in mind that many dog parks may require a membership and keycard to get inside, so it may require some planning. Some even require a “welcome session” where the rules are spelled out and dog parents sign paperwork.
Even if your local pup run is “all access”, there are a few rules to follow to make sure that everyone stays safe and has fun.
Dog Park Etiquette
- Make sure your pet is up to date on his/her vaccines and rabies shots.
- Keep your pet on-leash until you get to the off leash area. It’s safer than letting your dog bound out of your car without any restriction. You don’t want him running in the wrong direction.
- Don’t drop your dog off while you run errands. If your dog were to get hurt or to hurt someone else’s pet, you’d want to be there.
- Pay attention to your dog. While it’s fun to chat with other dog parents, it’s important to watch your dog’s behavior and make sure they’re playing nicely. If they’re being aggressive, take them home.
- Pick up after your pet. Most dog parks have pooper scoopers and bags for this purpose with a trash can. No one wants to step in doggie droppings.
What if someone doesn’t pick up after their charge? You can politely point out the tools available for this purpose.
- Make sure you close all doors and gates when entering or leaving the dog park. Double check that they’re latched. You don’t want to be responsible for any escapees.
- Don’t bring a picnic. If you’re eating a sandwich and someone’s overeager lab snatches it right out of your lap, you’ll be very disappointed – and hungry.
Dog parks can be a lot of fun for both humans and dogs. Being mindful of the others will keep it an enjoyable experience for all. Share your favorite dog park experience on our Facebook Page.