Ah, the dog park. What a wonderful, peaceful place to bring your adorable pooch to make some furry friends and get all that bundled energy out, right? Well, sort of.
5 Dog Park Etiquette Rules You Should Never, Ever Break
The dog park can be a great place, but there are some Golden Rules that all dog owners need to abide by in order to make so. Following these rules will not only ease your anxieties about exposing your beloved fur child into a new space, but everyone else around you who is probably feeling the same way. Take these tips with you, and it'll be smooth sailing!
1. Understand That What You Bring For Your Pooch Is Fair Game
When you head to the dog park with your doggo, you need to remember that what's yours... isn't yours anymore. Not to say that you won't leave with any ball, bone, or toy you came with, but this means that for the duration of your dog park experience, it's pretty normal for dog owners to share their belongings. This definitely applies to water as well. If you're a kind neighbor and bring a giant bowl of water — best believe any and all dogs at the park will take a drink. Honestly, I don't see how this is a negative. New dog friends for all!
2. Be Game for Some Small Talk
Social anxiety havers, beware! This is where things can get a bit tricky. Going to the dog park means inevitable small talk with other dog owners. You don't need to talk about your childhood or dating record or anything so that's the great side! You just have to talk about your precious pup! Dog park small talk is just that — all about dogs! We all love gushing about our dogs to literally who will listen so where better to gush than at a park full of dog owners?!
3. Keep An Eye On Your Dog
Don't. Have. Your. Eyes. Glued. To. Your. Phone. This is a huge no-no! At the dog park, you are responsible for your dog. This means that you need to pay attention to where they are and who they're sniffing. There is nothing worse than the clueless person at the dog park. Don't be scrolling through Instagram while your dog is wreaking havoc all over the grounds. Don't make others responsible for your dog's behavior. Pay attention.
4. Pick Up The Poop
We do it everywhere else, so why not at the dog park? That's right! Poop duty! (Pun 100% intended.) The dog park is not a place where picking up after your pooch is excused. What is more disgusting than walking into a park with poop all over the place? It's also horrible for your dog! There are so many diseases and parasites living in dog poop that other dogs can contract when they touch, roll in, or (YUCK!) eat it. No thank you! There was even a dog park in Denver had to be closed because of so much dog waste. So let's avoid the spread of sickness and follow this simple rule of etiquette.
Rule 5. Make Sure Your Pooch Is Up For It
This is a big one. There are a few things you need to check on your "Ready For This" list before bringing your furry friend to the park with you. Are they over 12 weeks? Are the up to date on all their vaccinations? Are they aggressive towards other dogs? Have they had any training at all? These are huge factors. Before heading to the dog park, you need to know if your dog has socialization skills or not. It only takes one incident to a ruin a nice morning for everyone. Do yourself (and your pooch) a favor and invest in the proper training and vaccines before letting your dog roam.
Do you bring your dog to the dog park? What Golden Rules do you live by? Leave us a note in the comments!