Dog Park Etiquette
- Guidelines to making your dog park and your visits to it a success
- BEFORE YOU COME
- Owners are legally responsible for supervision of their animal and any damages caused by their dog. All owners/handlers must remain in the dog park with their dog at all times.
- Please keep your dog leashed at all times while outside of the dog park. Even if your dog is under perfect voice control, many non-dog people have fears.
- While a rabies vaccination is required by law, we recommend you consult with your veterinarian in regards to additional care/vaccinations such as Bordatella (Kennel Cough), Distemper, Parvo, etc. and heartworm protection.
- If your dog has a contagious condition do not visit the dog park until a vet has released your dog from danger to other dogs.
- If your dog is aggressive or timid, it is recommended to remedy these behaviors before bringing your dog to a dog park. A dog park can be a wonderful place to socialize a dog, if you can stick with them, keep them under control, comfort, and encourage them. As a general rule, well-behaved, well-socialized dogs do best at a dog park.
- Teach your child how to behave properly in a dog park environment. Small children should be supervised closely. This is a playground for dogs, not children. Children should not run around, scream, pick up and wave sticks, or approach dogs. While it is not recommended, children may enter – however, child’s play may not. Playful, unsupervised children and playful, unleashed dogs mixed together could result in injury. Understand that this area is provided for dogs to interact with other dogs and that your child could be considered by dogs as an interruption in doggie play. If you choose to bring your child within the dog park, you should SUPERVISE CLOSELY!!!
- If your dog is having a bad day, consider skipping a visit that day.
- Flea and Tick preventative is highly recommended! It takes two fleas to begin an infestation. While we do our best to keep the park pest free, it is surrounded by wildlife and open to the public so there are any number of ways to bring home fleas and ticks. In turn, DO NOT enter the dog park if you are aware that you pet has fleas.
- After applying topical flea/tick preventative (i.e. Frontline, etc), please wait at least 48 hours before bringing you dog to the dog park. When dogs play, they tend to mouth each other on the back of the neck. If a dog licks newly applied flea/tick preventative, they can become sick.
- FIRST TIMERS & SHY DOGS
- Many dogs will be experiencing the off-leash environment for the first time and may not be used to the experience. Consider coming at off-peak times to get your pet adjusted to the dog park. Allow dogs to adjust at their own pace; do not push them to do anything they will not do on their own. Keep your first few trips short to minimize the stress on your dog. Leaving early when your dog is having a good time will make it more likely that your dog will be eager to return for subsequent visits. It takes time for a dog to become comfortable with the fact that other dogs all share the neutral environment.
- ENTERING THE PARK
- Place your dog off leash in the transition area before entering the unleashed area. Some dogs can feel threatened if they are leashed in the presence of unleashed dogs.
- Quickly move away from the gate as you enter. That will help disperse the group of dogs that will come over to welcome your dog to the park and your dog will not feel cornered or threatened. This will lessen the problem caused when several off leash dogs, already in the dog park, come running over to greet the new arrival, perhaps overwhelming the arriving dog.
- INSIDE THE PARK
- If you notice your dog is a member of the “welcoming committee,” please move them away.
- ALWAYS SCOOP YOUR DOG’S POOP! Bags are provided for your convenience. Please help with clean up. Keep in mind that you will occasionally miss some of your dog’s poop and our continued use of this type of public amenity will depend on our control of this issue.
- Be considerate. Even if you know your dog is just playing, other people/dogs may not find their play enjoyable. If someone seems hesitant to allow your dog to play with his or her dog, please be courteous and move your dog away.
- Do not pick up or grab somebody else’s dog without permission. You might get bitten or you might inadvertently injure a dog that is recovering from illness or surgery, etc.
- Keep your dog park clean. Trash, cigarette butts, and anything else on the ground may end up in a dog’s mouth. If you see it ask yourself, “Would I want my dog to eat this?”
- Keep moving. Dog experts say this will keep the off-leash area neutral territory.
- Be aware of your dog(s) behavior. Know where your dog is and what your dog is up to at all times. Distractions can lead to unsafe conditions or incidents, annoying of people or dogs, missed poops, accidents, escapes, injuries, etc.
- Keep your head on a swivel at all times as there will likely be groups of dogs running around the park and having fun. People standing around are obstructions. A dog being chased may try to run its pursuer into a person in order to gain an advantage. Stay alert!
- BOTTOM LINE
- Remember that the dog park is for everyone to use. Be respectful of others and YOUR dog park will be an enjoyable, healthy, educational experience for handlers and dogs. Keep in mind that everyone at the park wants the same thing – socialized dogs that can have fun together.
THIS IS YOUR DOG PARK!
Take pride and ownership in your park to make it great for everyone