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How to Take a Safe Trip to the Dog Park

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First, make sure your dog is up-to-date on all vaccinations and that he enjoys social interaction. Here are other ways to ensure your dog’s safety in the dog park:

1. Choose a location that has separate play areas for small and large dogs. It eliminates the possibility of a small dog being injured by a larger dog.

2. Your dog might love playing with toys, Frisbees or balls while outside, but don’t use these in enclosed spaces like dog parks. Fights break out when a dog becomes protective over a valued object.

3. Don’t take food into dog parks, as squabbles can happen between dogs who desire first access to a tasty morsel. It also stops you from giving treats to other dogs — their owners might not appreciate it.

4. Don’t let your conversations with other dog parents take your attention away. Disagreements can kick off quickly between dogs, and there is nothing worse than a pet parent who does not actively supervise their dog.

5. If your dog shows aggressive behaviors or seems fearful, uncomfortable or agitated, head home before anything escalates and seek alternative environments to exercise in or activities to do.

Top photograph: felixmizioznikov/Getty Images

Read Next: Where to Find a Great Dog Park Near You

14 thoughts on “How to Take a Safe Trip to the Dog Park”

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  6. Good points, but I always make sure the scene is safe prior to entering any dog park, and we have visited about 20 this past year. It’s important to notice what the other dogs, and dog parents are doing inside the park as your arrive. Are they paying attention? Is there an aggressive dog? Do the dogs act obediently? A common problem is dogs running toward each other at the gate. If the leash is left on as the gate opens my dog may attempt to sprint off because dogs don’t fully understand tethering. On the other hand, if I take the leash off and other dogs act aggressively, it becomes more difficult to return to the gate and leave the dog park. All good things to think about and discuss.

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