Essential Dog Park Safety Tips for Pet Owners

The dog park can be dangerous for the unprepared, so when venturing into an off-leash play area with your canine companion, follow our tips to keep them safe.

#1: Protect your dog against infectious diseases

Your dog should be up to date on their rabies, distemper, parvovirus, and bordetella vaccines at the very least as reputable dog parks demand evidence of immunization before allowing entry. Before taking your dog to the park, make sure they are up to date on their leptospirosis, canine influenza, and parainfluenza vaccines, which may also be necessary or advised.

#2: Visit during off-times

When the day is ended 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 bullying and conflicts. 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 two forms of identification

Accidents do happen, even if it’s improbable that your dog would escape through the twin 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: Watch for warning signals

Dog parks are not the place to teach socialization skills, so keep a sharp eye out for inappropriate behaviors or signs that your dog is uncomfortable. Stress, anxiety, and fear can appear in your dog as:

  • Running away
  • Tucked tail
  • Freezing
  • 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)

At the first hint of unease from your dog, leave the dog park before things escalate.

All dogs should not be allowed at off-leash dog parks. Instead of being in a big pack of boisterous dogs, many dogs prefer one-on-one interactions or independent exploration. Whatever the preferred method of socialization for your dog, make sure they receive regular preventative treatment to keep them free from parasites and infectious illnesses. To keep current, call our staff to arrange for your dog’s yearly health checkup.