Ah, the dog park what a wonderful, serene place to bring your adorable pooch to make some furry friends and get all that bundled up energy, right? Well sort of.
A dog park can be a great place to be, but there are some golden rules that all dog owners must abide by in order to make this happen. Not only will following these rules ease your anxiety about exposing your beloved fur baby to a new location, but everyone around you probably feels the same way. Take these tips with you, and it will be smooth sailing!
1. Understand that what you are bringing to your Pooch is fair game
When you head to the dog park with your pooch, you need to remember that what is yours is… not yours anymore. It doesn’t mean you won’t leave with any ball, bone, or toy you came with, but it does mean that for the duration of your dog park experience, it’s normal for dog owners to share their belongings. This certainly applies to water, too. If you’re a nice neighbor and he brings a big bowl of water – all you can believe is that all the dogs in the park will take a drink. Honestly, I don’t see how negative this is. New dog friends for everyone!
2. Be game for some small talk
Worrying about social anxiety, beware! This is where things can get a little tricky. Going to the dog park means the inevitable small talk with other dog owners. You don’t need to talk about your childhood, dating history, or anything else, that’s the cool aspect! You just have to talk about your precious pup! Small Talking Dog is just about all of that – it’s all about dogs! We all love gushing around our dogs to literally who will listen so better than rushing off in a park full of dog owners?!
My favorite type of small talk is at the dog park where you can talk about your dogs all you want without sounding like a weirdo
— big tuna (@pedrowaters) December 15, 2016
3. Keep an eye on your dog
no. Owns. your. eyes. glued. to me. your. phone. This is a big no-no! At the dog park, you are responsible for your dog. This means that you need to pay attention to where they are and who they are inhaling. There is nothing worse than a clueless person at the dog park. Don’t be scrolling through Instagram while your dog is running amok all over the grounds. Don’t make others responsible for your dog’s behavior. I notice.
4. Pick up the whoop
Photo posted by Cypress Collectibles Inc. (souvenirpatch) in
We do it everywhere else, so why not at the dog park? correct! Poop duty! (Cover-up 100% intended.) A dog park is not a place where you are excused after you get out of the dog. What’s more disgusting than walking in a park with poop everywhere? It’s also terrible for your dog! There are so many diseases and parasites that live in dog poop that other dogs can contract when you touch it, roll it, or (YUCK!) eat it. No thank you! There was even a dog park in Denver that had to be closed due to so much dog waste. So let’s avoid spreading disease and follow this simple rule of conduct.
Nothing bothers me more than having to clean poop off a dog’s paws because people can’t clean up after their dogs at our dog park 😒
— Brett Bette (@brettebaker) December 5, 2016
Rule 5. Make sure your dog is in order
My goal is to be happy for Sergio when he gets home from the big dog park. pic.twitter.com/I6qW7A8umo
— Lindsey Brinkman (@lyndseyrenae_) January 31, 2017
This is a big one. There are a few things you need to check off your “Ready For This” list before bringing your furry friend to the park with you. Are they more than 12 weeks old? Are all their vaccinations updated? Are they aggressive towards other dogs? Did they have any training at all? These are huge factors. Before you head to the dog park, you need to know whether or not your dog has the socialization skills. It only takes one incident to ruin a beautiful morning for everyone. Do yourself (and your pooch) a favor and invest in proper training and vaccinations before letting your dog roam.
Do you bring your dog to the dog park? What golden rules do you live by? Leave us a note in the comments!