5 Things you shouldn’t bring to the dog park
If you have a dog, you’re probably a regular visitor to the dog park. But for first-timers, there are some real do’s and don’ts you should be aware of. First, be sure to always follow the posted rules at the dog park. You should also be aware of things that you should not bring with you to the dog park. Here are the five most important ones to keep in mind.
1) An unprepared dog. If you’re not sure your dog is ready to socialize with other dogs, it’s probably a good idea to keep them away from the park for now. If your dog is timid, or is overzealous in his or her introductions to other dogs, find less stressful ways to ease them into social interactions. An unvaccinated puppy, or one under 12 weeks old, should not go to a dog park, either, because they would be at a greater risk of catching a disease.
2) Excessive collars or harnesses. While a gentle harness or training device can be helpful in your day-to-day activities with your dog, they can be hazardous to other dogs in a dog park. Other dogs can become tangled up in your dog’s contraption, which can lead to injuries. It’s still okay to leave a simple collar on your dog, as long as it can be removed easily.
3) Your smartphone. You don’t have to leave your device at home, but be sure to be fully present and engaged with your canine friend during his or her time at the park. If you’re constantly checking your phone, you’re missing out on crucial playtime with your pet, and unfortunately, potentially putting your dog or other dogs in a less than ideal situation. While you’re distracted by Instagram or text messages, your dog could be getting into fights or other kinds of mischief with other dogs, which makes the whole experience less enjoyable for everybody. Leave your phone in the car or your pocket and make some memories with your pooch instead!
4) A leash. Of course, you need a leash to walk your dog to the park. But if your dog park is the off-leash variety, it’s a bad idea to simply let go of the leash and let your dog run free with it trailing behind them. First, it almost immediately becomes a tripping hazard. Also, keeping your dog on a leash while other dogs are off of theirs may make your dog feel as though they are in danger, especially as these other dogs come up to greet him or her. Keep in mind that if this is your dog’s first time at a dog park, you want the experience to be as pleasant as possible so that they will associate good feelings with the environment. Leashes will most likely not help that cause.
5) Treats. Before going to a dog park, your dog should be trained enough to be able to return to you without the enticement of treats. If they still need treats to behave, work on that before bringing them around. The reason for this is that if you do bring treats to the park, other dogs may become hostile towards you or your dog. Furthermore, some dogs have allergies, and bringing treats from home may unwittingly cause them harm.
5 Things NOT To Do At The Dog Park [I Love Dogs]
15 things humans do wrong at dog parks [Mother Nature Network]