Dog parks are becoming more and more popular here in Kentucky. Seems like every month we’re hearing about a new one opening up here or there. We’ve had the pleasure of taking some of our own clients to dog parks during the day and had great experiences. On the flip side, we’ve also witnessed dogs being viciously attacked by out of control dogs in these same environments.
We know that local dog parks can be tons of fun for you and your fur-kid. However, there are a few Do’s and Don’ts that pet-parents should know about if you choose to take your fur-kid to a local dog park. We’ve listed a few for you below:
- Do exercise your dog before going to the dog park. A nice 15 minute walk before you take your fur-kid to the dog park will help put them in a better state of mind before you cut them off leash to run around.
- Do educate yourself on the signs of healthy play and dog body language. YOU are responsible for your dog. The dog park isn’t a place just to turn your dog loose and then play on your phone for an hour. It’s your responsibility to be watching your fur-kid closely so you can intervene if things start to escalate before a scuffle breaks out.
- On that note, do leave your cell phone and other distracting devices at home. It is important for owners to be mindful of their dog’s interactions at the dog park.
- Do practice obedience commands such as “Sit”, “Down” and “Come” when called. Having your dog reliable with their obedience commands when off leash in the presence of a high level of distractions will make the dog park experience that much safer and more enjoyable for you and your dog.
- Don’t bring your dog to the park if you think or know that they are sick! It’s like daycare or school….everybody else’s fur-kid can get sick too.
- Don’t bring a dog with social issues to the dog park thinking that throwing him/her in with a bunch of other fur-kids is going to solve the issue. A dog park IS NOT….repeat with me…..IS NOT a great place of try and socialize a dog with issues (fear, aggression, reactivity, etc.).
- Don’t bring your fur-kids foods and treats with you to the dog park. Food is a common trigger for aggression, so it is better to reward your fur-kid with a “good job boy!” and a bunch of ear scratches instead of food.
Dog parks are a great opportunity for people and their fur-kids, but it is important to make sure that owners are educated on the important considerations for interaction and play, and that the dogs are well behaved and obedient for the safety of all fur-kids and their pet parents.
If you would rather have your dog stay in the comfort and security of it’s own environment, give us a call at 502-802-5052 or email us at www.pawspetcareathome.com We offer 20, 30 and 45 minute PRIVATE walks with your fur-kids.