Dog-Park Etiquette 101

The Huffington Post says that while dog parks are excellent places for dogs to socialize, things can get out of hand quickly without careful supervision. “Luckily physical injury is relatively rare, but sometimes the damage delves deeper than skin. A few bad experiences in an impressionable pooch can progress to a lifelong fear of other Fidos.”

Here are five tips to help ensure you make the most of your dog-park experiences this summer.

Spay or neuter your pet.
ASPCA reminds us that most dog parks require it, and that “it just makes sense.” And according to PETA, “Male dogs will get along better, and female dogs will be spared a dog-park frenzy from being in heat. You’ll also help prevent animal overpopulation — just one unaltered female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 puppies in only six years.

Be on top of vaccinations and medications.
According to the ASPCA,fleas and ticks spread fast at dog parks. “If you take your dog to play, be sure to give him a year-round flea control medication like PetArmour, the exclusive flea and tick sponsor of the ASPCA.” Also, besides controlling parasites, the APDT reminds us to also make sure our dogs are up-to-date on their vaccinations

Be watchful.
The APDT says pet owners should never spend their dog-park time talking on a cell phone. “Supervise your dog at all times and be able to give your dog your full attention.” The ASPCA agrees, saying, “if you see signs that play’s not going well, you can step in to stop interaction before things get out of hand.”

Take along water but not food.
Although some dog parks have bowls available for dogs to drink from, don’t count on it, PETA advises. “Take along a water bottle and a small dish that you can use to help your hound hydrate. Avoid taking food, including treats, into the dog park, as this could provoke a food fight among dogs who don’t like to share.”

Prevent any bullying.
The ASPCA advises, “Sure, we know your pup is an angel…most of the time. But if you simply feel your dog is having a bad day, leave the park and plan to come back at a later time. It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

Leave younger dogs at home.
To quote PETA once more, “it’s not a good idea to take puppies to the dog park before they’re 4 months old. They don’t have the vaccinations that they need, which can put them and other dogs at risk, and they can also be frightened or even trampled by other, larger dogs.”

What other dog-park tips do you find useful? Leave us a comment and let us know!

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