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A trip to the dog park can be fun for both you and your furry friend, but not every dog is good for it. Some puppies can get anxious in public and would prefer to play in their own yard. Before deciding on a dog park, it is a good idea to think about your pet’s personality and whether this venue is the best fit for them.
“The most important thing before visiting a dog park is to make sure your puppy is up to date on all vaccines and drugs to prevent parasites,” said Mark Primiano, DVM, veterinarian for the Anti-Cruelty Society, the oldest animal welfare organization in Chicago: ” Parks can be a very easy place for your beloved pet to catch something contagious like parvovirus, kennel cough, fleas, or lice. “
In addition to protecting health, make sure your dog is obedient and listens to your commands. The park can be overwhelming and they can be easily distracted. It is important for their safety that your dog responds to commands, including coming, leaving, and leaving. Puppies under six months old are too young to go to the dog park as younger dogs may not have received a full suite of vaccines and are more prone to disease and overstimulated in a new location with many other dogs.
The first few times you visit you go in a quiet time with no other dogs present. Make sure your dog is comfortable around the area and work on solidifying his cues in a new setting. As soon as your puppy responds reliably to commands in the dog park on its own, you can get started with a few other dogs playing.
Bring water and a bowl to keep your dog hydrated during and after play, and trash bags to clean up afterwards. Don’t bring toys or treats. Even if your dog shares well with others, not every dog may be that generous. If you’re looking to find a buddy or playgroup for your dog, pick one with dogs that are similar in age, breed, size, and play style. However, do keep an eye on your dog and their body language to make sure they are safe in the park.
“You and your dog can do everything right and behave well, but that doesn’t guarantee that someone else’s dog won’t whip and potentially harm your pet,” said Primiano. “Make sure you are careful all the time and you don’t get lost scrolling your phone or having distracted conversations. The best way to avoid a dog fight is to look out for warning signs and stop it before it starts, dog.” plays too roughly, safely pauses, and takes your dog to a quieter place to calm down. “
Visiting dog parks is not a great way to get in touch with your dog. Instead, take your dog to a controlled environment, e.g. B. to a training course. Unless there is a separate area for small dogs, dogs under 30 pounds should be left at home. Smaller dogs may have a harder time playing with larger dogs and can even be injured.
Find a dog park near you by visiting anticruelty.org/dog-parks.
The Anti-Cruelty Society offers a variety of programs and services to build a community of care by helping pets and educating people, including free resources such as a behavioral line at firstname.lastname@example.org or a comprehensive Pet Care Library at anticruelty.org/ library. To learn more, visit anticruelty.org.
Lindsay Welbers is a team builder for the Anti-Cruelty Society.