How to Be a Better Pet Owner

5 Basic Rules Of Dog Park Etiquette

Every dog needs the opportunity to run and play, but many urban locations make it difficult for canines to safely do so. If you are lucky as a dog owner, you will have a local dog park where you can take a rambunctious pooch to burn off that extra energy. Even though these places tend to be free to roam, and some even allow dogs to be released from a leash, there are some simple etiquette rules to be followed. 

1. Make sure your dog is healthy. 

Get your dog vaccinated and make sure they are overall healthy before you take them to a dog park with other dogs. You do not want to put other dogs at risk if you have a sick animal that you want to take to the park, and many canine illnesses are contagious. 

2. Don't take a female dog in heat to the park. 

If you have an unaltered female dog and she is in heat, it is best to not take her to the park. When female dogs are in heat, it can cause any male dogs in close proximity to act out, get aggressive, and get hard to control. 

3. It's best to not bring along small children. 

Especially at off-leash dog parks, small children can be at risk. Your dog may be well-behaved, but not every dog will be. Bringing a child to the park can not only put your child at risk, but it can also make it difficult for other visiting pet owners to have a good time. 

4. Always, always pick up after your pet. 

Pick up some waste bags and take them along with you to the park. Dogs defecate the most when they get active, and some breeds do so as a way to mark their territory. To keep the dog park clean and tidy, always pick up your dog's mess and dispose of it properly. 

5. Avoid bringing food or treats. 

At a dog park, there can be multiple dogs present with their owners, and every owner feeds their pet in a different way. It is fine if you must take a few treats in your pocket to keep your pet following your commands. However, never bring along their food dish or throw treats out on the ground where other dogs can munch on them. It can be a really bad situation if another person's dog eats something that makes them sick because you made it available.