Off-leash dog parks are a wonderful recreational outlet for dogs all over the world. The opportunity to run and play with other dogs in a securely fenced environment is a valuable tool in their social development. Unfortunately, not every dog park is filled with responsible owners, and, as in most things, a few unmannerly people can ruin the whole experience for most. Make sure you’re not one of those humans by following these basic etiquette tips for bark parks.
- Immunized Dogs Only
- Don’t bring your unvaccinated dog or puppy in a park full of other dogs. It’s just asking for the rapid spread of disease, some that could be fatal, especially to young puppies. Many parks will prohibit the entry of puppies younger than four months old, which is usually when the full range of puppy vaccines has been completed.
- Bring a Healthy Dog
- Don’t bring your sick dog to a dog park! It’s just common sense but it’s amazing how many people will bring a dog who’s currently suffering from kennel cough, has fleas or mange, or other problems that may be contagious.
- Clean Up After Your Dog
- To further prevent the unintentional spreading of disease and intestinal parasites, pick up after your dog. Leaving piles for other dog owners to clean up is unforgivably rude and could result in you being fined, and/or you and your dog being banned from the park.
- Human Children at Off-Leash Dog Parks
- There are many good reasons to keep children out of off-leash dog parks, and no good reasons to bring them in. The possibilities for accidents are staggering. Be a responsible parent, and keep your small children in the parks designed for them.
- Female Dogs in Heat
- Taking a female dog in heat out in public is unbelievably irresponsible, especially where there are dozens of unleashed (possibly unneutered) dogs running loose.
- Don’t Bring Too Many Dogs
- Many parks will have a posted limit on the amount of dogs one person can bring into a dog park. It’s really best not to bring more dog(s) than you can handle, even if that number is less than the posted/allowable limit.
- Don’t Bring Other Animals That Are Not Dogs
- For the safety of all concerned, do not ever bring animals other than dogs to a dog park.
- Be Responsible For Your Dog’s Behavior
- If your dog digs a hole, be responsible and fill it back in. If he can not play nicely with other dogs on that day, then take him home.
- Follow The Posted Rules
- Following each park’s individually posted rules and regulations will help keep dog parks open and available to all dogs. Failure to obey the rules can result in your local park being shut down, or worse, cause a serious accident that could have been prevented.
Now that you know how to have fun, see where to have fun on our Dog Park List!