As dog parks continue to sprout across the country, allowing pups to run and play, pet parents should be aware of some essential safety tips. Not only should pet parents keep a watchful eye over their dogs, but they should be watching the behavior of other dogs, too.

Here are some helpful tips and things to know before going to a dog park. 

The Vaccine Checklist 

Pet parents should check with their veterinarian that their dogs are all up to date on all recommended shots. Despite how hard a dog park works at cleanliness, it’s challenging to keep on top of sanitizing a dog park area with so many dogs coming and going throughout the day leading to potential bacteria, viruses, and parasites on site. 

Standard shots for dogs who visit dog parks and doggie days care include the following: 

  • Rabies
  • Distemper/Parvo 
  • Bordatella
  • Influenza 
  • Leptospirosis

Please have a chat with your veterinarian to see what they advise for a dog park destination, which may likely also consist of flea and tick control. 

Special Puppy Note: Do not bring a puppy to a dog park until they have completed their series of immunizations.

Water Bowls

As you might have already guessed, running and playing equals drinking water. Please keep your dog away from the community park water bowl where every dog gets a sip and bring your dog their own water and bowl to avoid any parasitic contamination. 

Observe Your Dog’s Surroundings

Keep an eye on your dog at all times during the park visit. Make sure they are comfortable and happy. If your dog appears intimidated or frightened by another dog, it’s best to be safe and leave. 

If you have a dog that is doing the intimidating, it’s essential to snap on that leash and leave the park before anything escalates. Additionally, it’s important to figure why your dog is behaving this way and seek a way to mitigate it, if at all possible. If this behavior becomes a learned behavior at every dog park outing, seek a professional dog trainer specializing in reactivity issues. 

Every Dog Is Different

Not every dog is well-suited to be a dog park participant. Some dogs are happy enough to have one-on-one interaction with their pet parents rather than with other dogs. Just like people are different, so are dogs. The important thing is to ensure that your dog is having a good time at the dog park. 

Want to Learn More?

Performance K9 Training has helped countless pet parents with dog aggression cases with a comprehensive behavioral modification program. Contact us now to learn more about how we can help.