You’re barking up the wrong tree
Before you go to a dog park for the first time, your puppy or dog needs to be fully vaccinated.
Since your dog will be in a social environment, you should only bring them when they are fully protected. If they don’t, you’re barking up the wrong tree and you may need to wait until all vaccinations are complete.
It’s also important to monitor your dog’s health before you go to the park, says Rhea.
“Dogs should have their annual check-ups and vaccinations (or titre tests) for parvovirus, distemper, and the components of canine cough. Your local vet can help with how often and which vaccines are necessary. The risk is to your dog but also others so please do not take your dogs if they have coughing, sneezing or an upset stomach.”
Please be paw-lite
At the dog park, your furry friends will be interacting with other doggos and this can be overwhelming for both animals and humans.
If your dog doesn’t warm up as easily to other dogs, remember that you don’t have to take them off-leash because it’s an open area. You can also use a long line to keep your dog under control.
Rhea says that being in control has two factors.
“Make sure you have a reliable recall and keep an eye on what your dog is doing. Make sure if you let you dog off-lead when others are using the park that you can reliably call you dog back 100 percent of the time. Even if you’re in an off-lead park, people have the right to be in there without your dog running up to them.
“If a new dog enters the park, check with the owner before letting your dog approach. If you are meeting your dog owner friends, make sure you continue to watch your dog. They could be become overwhelmed with other dogs, being a bit of a bully, or leave a poo that needs to be picked up. Walking around the park while you are chatting can be a good way to facilitate this. Don’t bring food or treats for other dogs either, you don’t want any competition or give a dog something that they can’t eat.”