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    What to Know Before You Take Your Pup to the Dog Park


    Dogs are extremely social creatures. While we often refer to them as “man’s best friend,” many dogs also love running around and playing with other dogs just like them. Dog parks are great local areas where your dog can run and play without a leash, socialize with other dogs and exercise. As a dog owner, you might also be able to meet other local dog owners and make some new friends while your pooch is having the time of its life.

    However, just because your dog seems lonely and the weather is warmer does not mean you should take your dog to the park immediately. Not all parks are created equal and some dogs just aren’t made to visit dog parks. There are some things you should do and know before venturing out, so you can make sure your dog—and everyone else’s—stays safe and happy.

    Understand the park

    The first step to visiting a dog park is finding one nearby. Look for one that’s within walking distance—that way, you can walk or jog with your dog there, letting it use up some energy so it won’t be as energetic once it is able to run free.

    • Research the park: When you’ve found a park you think might be good for your dog to frequent, visit it on your own and observe the environment and the dog and dog owners there. Is the park well-maintained? You don’t want your pooch running around in overgrown weeds or grasses, where it can get bitten by bugs. You also don’t want it getting into any trash or stepping in left-behind waste. Check that the fencing is secure, so no dog can get out. Finally, see if you and your pup would fit it with the other people there.
    • Pick an appropriate park: Not all parks are the same or support the same kinds of dogs. Some allow dogs of all breeds and sizes, while others are designed for small or large dogs only. Other parks have designated areas for small and large dogs that are separate. Although large- or small-dog only parks may be inconvenient, they ensure the safety of all dogs, since larger dogs might hurt smaller dogs accidently. Choose a park that works with the size of your dog.
    • Bring a bowl, leave the toys: A lot of parks have a communal water bowl available to dogs, but allowing your dog to drink from it could expose it to bacteria and diseases. Bring your dog’s water bowl from home and keep it near you so you know only your dog is drinking from it. Additionally, avoid bringing toys from home, unless you’re prepared for other dogs to play with them too.

    Understand your dog

    Your dog’s personality and ability to follow commands plays a big role in its ability to behave at the dog park. Make sure you have a solid understanding of your pooch before letting it run free.

    • Know its personality: Every dog has its own unique personality traits. Some dogs are more social while others dislike being around other dogs. Overly aggressive dogs tend to get into trouble at dog parks due to biting and fighting. On the other hand, very shy dogs also have trouble at parks because other dogs are intimidating to them and they may get stressed by any encounters. If your dog is aggressive or shy, try setting a puppy playdate with one other dog to start and avoid the dog park if it doesn’t go well.
    • Make sure it knows commands: While running free without a leash, you won’t have any way to control your dog besides your voice. For this reason, your dog must be able to follow basic commands, especially “come,” “sit,” and “stay.” If anything starts to go awry, you should use these commands to regain control of the situation before a dog gets hurt.

    Understand your responsibility

    As a dog owner letting your dog loose in a public place, you have a responsibility to maintain control over your dog and ensure not only its safety, but the safety of other dogs, as well. Taking your dog to a dog park is not an excuse to kick back and scroll through your phone or chat with other owners while other people watch your dog.

    You must remain attentive to your own pup—after all, you are the one who knows your dog best! By keeping a close eye on your pooch and watching for signs of fear, aggression or harm, you’ll be able to stop dangerous interactions before they occur and keep everyone safe.

    Don’t be afraid to take your dog to the dog park this spring. Dog parks are great places to let your dog socialize, exercise and have a lot of fun outside your home. As long as you stay in control and keep a watchful eye for any suspicious behavior, you and your dog can enjoy the dog park for endless hours!безплатно скачатьhd live cam girls

    Meet Our Expert

    Dr. Janice Huntingford

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