4 Dog Park Safety Tips for Responsible Pet Parents

When going to an off-leash play area with your dog, remember our safety advice since the dog park may be harmful for those who are unprepared.

#1: Guard your dog against infections

Your dog must be up to date on their rabies, distemper, parvovirus, and bordetella vaccines in order to enter a reputable dog park. Leptospirosis, canine influenza, and parainfluenza vaccines may also be necessary or advised, so make sure your dog is up to date before taking them to the park.

#2: Visit during off-times

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 may 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

Accidents do happen, even if it’s improbable that your dog would escape through the twin gates at the park’s entrance. Give your pet numerous kinds of identification, such as collar ID tags, a collar embroidered with your phone number, and a microchip, to ensure a joyous reunion.

#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)

At the first hint of unease from your dog, leave the dog park before things escalate.

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 get 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.