Tips and Manners for Safe Public Play with Your Pooch
Healthy Dogs Only
Make sure your pooch is fully vaccinated before you head to the dog park. Also, check the rules at your local park: Some don’t allow puppies younger than four months old.
Never take a female dog who’s in heat, or she’ll attract unwanted attention from any non-neutered males. If you have male dog that hasn’t been neutered, keep an eye on him.
No matter how snappy a dresser your doggie may be, remove any harnesses, gear or clothes, so nothing will snag on fences, branches or other dogs. However, never take off your dog’s collar or ID tag.
Mind Their Manners
“Let your pet play with the other dogs, but watch (their) body language and look for signs of fearful or aggressive behavior,” says Dr. Robyn Jaynes, a Veterinarian. “This means always keeping an eye on your dog and not letting them get too far out of reach.”
If you have multiple dogs, only bring as many as you can manage at one time.
Keep in mind that dogs have different personalities. Some dogs in the park may not want to interact with your dog at all, in spite of your dog’s obvious beauty and charm.
If your dog begins to growl, show teeth, or behave aggressively, it’s time to move them to another area of the dog park. If the aggressive behavior doesn’t stop, or if your dog seems overly fearful, it may be best to avoid the park and try some training classes first, to help socialize your pooch.
No Toys; No Kids
Leave your dog’s toys at home because dogs can get jealous if other dogs want their belongings. If another dog has a toy and your dog is eyeing it, it may be time to head to the other end of the park.
Leave small children at home, too. Dogs are likely to be excited and your tot might take a tumble if bumped by a passing pinscher or distracted dachshund. Since you don’t know if any particular dog is child-friendly, it’s generally best to keep kids at a safe distance from unfamiliar pets.
Mind the Gate
Many dog parks feature a double set of entry gates to keep pups safely inside. Let others pass through before you enter and make sure you close the gates behind you.
Scoop the Poop
If your dog makes a mess, clean it up immediately. Bring a plastic bag or two so you can take care of your dog’s business.
Picking up after your dog may not be pleasant, but it’s the right thing to do. After all, no one, not even you, wants to step in your dog’s mess on a sidewalk or in a park.
Aside from being gross, un-scooped dog poop…
- Can transmit parasites and illnesses to other dogs and people.
- Can pollute nearby rivers and streams.
- Does not make good plant fertilizer. In fact, poop that isn’t cleaned up will encourage other dogs to do their business in the same spot, causing a buildup of nitrogen that can kill grass and other plants.
The solution is simple: Carry plastic poop bags with you at all times. They’re a sanitary and convenient way to pick up your dog’s droppings.
Concerned about the environment? Get these eco-friendly, oxo-biodegradable Pets N Bags Dog Waste Bags. These bags come in compact rolls that fit into standard leash dispensers (a cool dispenser is included). Easy to open and detach from the roll with easy tear off design. They are unscented and allergy Free (great for sensitive puppies). Extra water resistant coating keeps dry and minimize waste odor.