At the entrance to every dog park, a list of rules states the do’s and don’ts for the space. Follow them and keep the following five points of etiquette in mind to avoid unnecessary trips to the veterinarian.
1. Stay at the dog park.
Most pet parents wouldn’t drop their dog off and leaving to run errands, but some do. If you ever feel tempted to pick up a gallon of milk while your pup plays, consider that someone could steal your dog while you are gone, or your dog could be injured or injure another dog. Plus, it’s just plain rude and inconsiderate to the other pet parents.
2. Supervise your dog.
Your responsibilities don’t end at just being there. Watch your pet and how he or she plays with others. If your dog steals another dog’s toy, intervene and return the toy to the other dog. Pull your dog away if he or she tries to dominate another dog in any way. You know whether your dog plays well with others. If he or she doesn’t play well, leave the dog park to those who do until you go through the proper training with your pet. As an alternative, you can bring your dog to a pet day care because they offer close supervision.
3. Leave younger kids at home.
Most dog parks set an age requirement for entry, which many parents ignore. Don’t be that parent. Leave at home younger kids and those afraid of dogs other than their own. Not only can the setting stress out your child, it also changes the dynamic for other participants at the dog park and ruins their fun. And you have to watch your child along with your dog, while both are heading off in different directions.
4. Leave treats in the car.
Dogs know who has treats in a pocket and they will sniff them out in pursuit of getting one. Even if you don’t mind, be considerate of the other pet owners who might not want their dogs to have treats for diet or other reasons. It makes their day harder if they have to pull their dog away from you.
5. Pick up after your dog.
This rule ranks at the top of the do’s and don’ts for a dog park, but it bears repeating as a point of etiquette. No one wants to smell, step in or have their dog step in your pet’s poop. Pick it up immediately. Most dog parks have waste stations on site, but if yours does not, use recycled grocery bags or stop by your local pet supply store for poop bags. Don’t know where one is? DexKnows has comprehensive listings for stores that sell pets and pet supplies.
Following the rules of the park and these points of etiquette help make going to the dog park a pleasant experience for the pets and the humans.