7 Things You Shouldn’t Do At A Dog Park

happy dogs smiling

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You look outside and it’s a wonderful day out–the kind of day you and your dog don’t want to waste. So where should you and your dog go out on a day like this? The dog park! At least that’s what your pup might scream out in excitement if they could talk.

These days there might be a dog park in every corner of your city. A dog park is great place where your pooch can be social with other canines. They can run and play and burn off some energy that a leisurely walk might not be able to do. It is, in fact, a playground for pups.

But whenever we think about taking our pooches to the dog park, we have to keep in mind it’s not just an open space where our dogs can run amok. In fact, there’s usually a list of rules posted by the entrance that we as pet parents must adhere to before bringing our pets inside. And even if there are no rules posted, there’s still etiquette to follow if we want to be welcomed back to the park.

Here are seven things you shouldn’t do at a dog park.

1. Not Picking Up After Your Dog

This might sound like a no-brainer, but there are pet parents at the park who do not pick up after their dog. This is a no-no, especially if you do not want your dog or others around them to get sick.

Infectious diseases can spread though fecal matter. Sometimes dog parks will have pooper scoopers or extra doggy poop bags around the area.

But it’s always best to bring one or two poop bags of your own if you’re unsure or going to a new dog park.

2. Bringing Dog Treats Or Personal Toys

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At the park, we might think about bringing dog treats with us to reign in or train our dog to come to us. Or we might even bring our dog’s favorite frisbee or ball to play catch with.

Neither might be very good ideas for the dog park. Bringing in treats or toys that your dog cherishes to an open environment might lead them to resource guarding. This can lead to your dog getting into a fight with other dogs as they try to protect their valuables.

Also, other dogs at the park might have allergies to the treats you bring. If you give them to other dogs or they manage to sneak one away from your pup, it could cause an unwanted trip to the emergency vet.

3. Bringing An Overzealous Dog Into The Park

When we think about taking our pups to the dog park, it’s basically to let them expend as much energy as they can. But we have to make sure we do not bring them directly into the park if they’ve spent most of the day lying around the house full of pent-up energy.

Other dogs might feel threatened by an overly excited dog, which can lead to trouble and, possibly, a brawl. Try to burn off that excess energy by taking your dog for a quick walk before entering the dog park.

4. Leaving You Dog Unsupervised

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A dog park is not a place to text or catch up with friends over the phone. It is a place, of course, for dogs to socialize.

Leaving your dog to their own devices might lead to a lot of things that can hurt or endanger them. We must always keep an eye on our pets, as we are responsible for anything that they do within the dog park.

5. Bringing An Unvaccinated Or Unfixed Dog

We must always make sure our dogs’ vaccinations are up-to-date. When we bring our dogs into an area with other dogs, we must be mindful that they can catch a disease just as easily as we do if they are not protected by vaccinations.

We also do not know which dogs within the park are vaccinated or not.

It’s not a good idea to bring a dog in heat or one who has not been neutered to a dog park. Intact dogs sometimes don’t get along, especially if there is a dog in heat around. If they share an area in the dog park, it could lead to tensions rising. It’s not worth the risk.

6. Keeping Your Dog Leashed Inside The Park

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This is a danger to both dogs and dog parents. Dogs must be able to roam freely while inside the park.

If they are leashed and sense other canines moving freely around them, they might get anxious or threatened, which can make them try to run away or hide behind you. Or, dogs can simply get excited and wish to play and run circles around you.

This can lead to you, your dog, or other dogs getting tangled within the leash, and someone might get hurt. Usually dog parks have a small entry point where you can unleash your pooch before entering the actual open environment.

7. Bringing A Dog Who Isn’t Socialized

Dogs are usually naturally social creatures. They want to be friendly and have fun with others.

But a dog park can be a little intimidating and overwhelming, especially if your dog has never been to one or is still a puppy. Make sure your pup is at least 12 to 16 weeks old and they’ve interacted with other dogs before thinking about taking them inside a dog park.

Socialization classes are often available for puppies and even older dogs, so if your pup has trouble, seek a training course.

Remember, we want to take them to the dog park to have a good time. But if they are anxious or have poor social skills, then it might not be a good idea.

Have you ever seen someone do these things at the dog park? What other things should dog owners not do at a dog park? Let us know in the comments below!