Practicing Good Dog Park Etiquette
Before getting down to the nitty gritty, there are a few basics to think about before heading outdoors to the dog park.
- Be up to date on vaccinations: Keep all dogs at the park as safe as possible by staying on top of vaccinations. Not only will you prevent potential illnesses for your pup, it also minimizes the likelihood of passing on any icky parasites or viruses.
- Have current tags: This one is especially important if you plan on letting your pooch off-leash at the dog park. While canines are pretty amazing, having the most current info on your dog’s tags will be critical for getting them home ASAP in the event that they get lost.
Photo by Ben Pitasky
If your furball isn’t quite ready to hit the doggie social scene yet at the park, using a real bark pee pad like Bark Potty is the perfect way to get them ready for the experience! Using an indoor dog bathroom stimulates the dog park experience at home so that they’re better prepared for the big day!
Now that that’s been covered, here are some additional ways to make sure you’re practicing good dog park etiquette.
- Pick up after your dog: Sure, picking up after your dog is a nuisance, but it’s an easy thing that all dog pawrents can do to help keep parks clean and sanitary for everyone to enjoy. Compostable poo bags are a fantastic way to not only be responsible about pet waste but about the earth, too!
- Master voice commands: Recognizing voice commands is about more than just obedience. Mastering voice commands means that your furry one will be able to respond if there’s an urgent situation. Plus, things can get pretty hectic at a busy dog park–you’ll want to be sure that your furry companion knows how to identify your voice out of many.
- Socialize your dog: Proper socialization is especially critical for a smooth dog park visit. Being around a bunch of unfamiliar canines can make any dog feel overwhelmed. But for pups who haven’t been socialized, this feeling can quickly turn into aggressive and territorial behavior. Even if your fur baby isn’t the aggressive type, undersocialized pooches can become incredibly stressed when surrounded by new faces. For the more sensitive doggos out there, try emptier, smaller parks before moving onto the big leagues.
- Get a handle on leash training: Leash training isn’t just about controlling your doggo. It’s also about communicating with your pup. For example, keeping a dog on-leash tells them that it might not be quite the time to let loose, while letting them off-leash says, “run to your heart’s desire”!
And don’t forget – treats and praise are always a good idea when trying to encourage your dog to be on their best behavior!