Taking your dog to a public dog park can be a great form of exercise and socialization. However, you should follow certain guidelines, not just limited to the rules of the particular dog park or dog run. This is more than just a matter of courtesy, but it’s also a matter of safety for your dog and for other dogs.
The first factor to consider is the dog’s age. Often times, a puppy can be a little too rambunctious for some older dogs. A puppy’s behavior, while loveable to you, may be irritating to an aging dog. This could cause a fight to break out, possibly resulting in an injury. Additionally, younger dogs may be moreÂ susceptibleÂ to germs and/or other contagious illnesses.
For your little one’s protection, it is best to wait until he or she is at least 6 months of age before making trips to the dog park.
You may also want to use caution if your dog is older. Certain breeds, such as Labrador Retrievers, are prone to hip and joint problems as they age. Younger dogs may want to play rough, which could be too hard on an older dog’s body. Older dogs may be more likely to become injured running around a dog park.
You should also consider if the dog is spayed or neutered. A dog may try to mate with other dogs if he or she is still intact, so it is common courtesy not to bring these dogs to a dog park. Not only is it inappropriate behavior for a public dog park, but it can be uncomfortable to other dog owners.
If your dog has been sick for more than a few hours, it’s best not to visit a public dog run or park. The dog may be contagious, and that might make other dogs sick. While it’s encouraged to bring a dog to a veterinarian when sick, sometimes that’s not feasible, especially after just a day or two. Â If you suspect your dog might be ill, do not visit the dog park and risk the health of other dogs.
Lastly, you should consider the dog’s aggression and socialization levels. It is best to bring aggressive breeds, such as Rottweilers, to the park when they are young to encourage socialization. If you wait until the dog is older, he or she may become more aggressive towards other dogs. For safety reasons, you should not bring your adult dog to a dog park if he or she is a known aggressor.
Most of these things are likely to be common sense, but they are important to recognize for the safety of your dog and others.