Safe and Sound: 4 Must-Know Tips for Ensuring Dog Park Safety
When visiting an off-leash play area with your dog, use our advice to keep them safe because the dog park can be dangerous for those who are unprepared.
#1: Guard your dog from contagious infections
Your dog must be up to date on their rabies, distemper, parvovirus, and bordetella vaccinations because reputable dog parks demand proof of vaccination before giving access. Leptospirosis, canine influenza, and parainfluenza vaccinations may also be necessary or advised, so make sure your dog is up to date before taking them to the park.
#2: Go during off-peak hours
When the day is over 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 can lead to dog fights. 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: Use multiple forms of identification
Accidents do happen, even if it’s improbable that your dog will escape through the double 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: Keep an eye out for signs of danger
Keep a close eye out for inappropriate actions or indications that your dog is uneasy since dog parks are not the appropriate setting for socialization lessons. Your dog may display signs of stress, worry, or fear as:
- Running away
- Tucked tail
- 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)
Leave the dog park at the first sign of concern from your dog to prevent things from getting worse.
Not all dogs are appropriate for off-leash dog parks. Many dogs would prefer to interact with other dogs 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 receive routine preventive care to keep them free from parasites and infectious diseases. Call our staff to make an appointment for your dog’s yearly wellness examination.