With spring officially upon us and warmer weather around the corner, a lot of dog owners in Canada are going to be heading out on more and more pleasant walks with their canine companions. If you are a long-time dog owner, than you probably are familiar with most dog park etiquette. If you are a new dog owner, though, or you have never visited a dog park before, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with basic dog park etiquette before you go.
Here are some basic dog park do’s and don’ts.
· Bring very young or very sensitive dogs to dog parks, especially those which are enclosed or do not offer a large amount of space. While you should expect other dogs to be on their best behavior, you cannot rely on older dogs to leave young dogs alone, and you do not want to upset a sensitive dog.
· Permit your dog to run off-leash if the dog park is not enclosed. Unless your dog is well trained, it is a bad idea—with other dogs around, even the best-behaved dogs can sometimes become upset and run off. We have many dog leashes for sale. It is a great idea to purchase new dog leashes and collars in springtime!
· Allow your dog to bully other dogs or dog owners. Make sure your dog is well behaved. Do not attempt to make other people’s dogs behave. Walk away, and never share your dog’s treats or toys with other dogs. It is best not to use them at all in a dog park.
· Supervise your dog at all times without allowing yourself to be distracted. You will sometimes see dog owners who get caught up in chatting with others or talking on the cell phone. While there is nothing wrong with being sociable at the dog park (it is a great way to meet new people), you should always be paying close attention to what your dog is up to.
· Clean up after your pet. Do not leave your dog’s droppings around for others to step in.
· Make sure your dog is warm and comfortable. If you are walking on a cold day, a coat for dogs is a great idea. We carry a large selection of dog coats for winter and jackets and sweaters for spring. If there is snow on the ground, dog boots can help to keep your dog’s feet warm and cozy.
· Let your dog have fun in the way that suits him. Dogs will sometimes be sociable and sometimes explore the dog park alone. As long as he is enjoying himself, it is best to let him do it in whatever way he prefers.
· Take full responsibility for the health and safety of your dog. Your pet will encounter other dogs in the park. Many of them will be friendly, and your dog may have a fun time playing with other canines. But not all dogs are friendly and well behaved, and not all owners at the dog park know what they are doing. Always check out the park when you arrive and have a good long look around to make sure that you are on safe grounds. If another dog makes you or your pooch uncomfortable, it is wise to leave. If your dog is playing too roughly with another, separate them and move along.
Walking your dog at a local dog park is a wonderful way to pass some time with your best furry friend in a fun and inviting setting. Dog parks can be very pleasant places, and you may make a lot of friends when you socialize with the other dog owners. Following these do’s and don’ts can help you to keep your dog safe and healthy and ensure that you both have a fun time—and that everybody else at the dog park does as well!