Dog parks are a great way to socialize your dog, as well as allow them to get out any and all of their pent up energy. There are usually strict rules and regulations put in place at each dog park to ensure the safety of each visitor, human or dog. Here are a set of universal dog park rules and facts you should follow to help keep you and your pet safe:

Each dog park will be set up differently, but most of them have the intent of your dog to be able to run and play as they choose. Safe dog parks will always include a fenced-in area, so if you don’t see that, this is the first sign that it isn’t the safest place to let your pup run. Additional amenities will often include a pooper scooper station, a dog-accessible water fountain, some form of shade for dogs to lie under, and benches for the pet parents to rest their legs. 

There may also be both off and on leash areas where you can choose how much free reign your dog gets on a given day. 

Simple dog park rules include picking up after your dog. It doesn’t matter which part you’re at, this is a given. Always be sure to come to the park prepared with some sort of plastic bag to pick up the poop with in case none are provided. Leaving poop is not only rude, but also unsanitary and can spread diseases among animals and people. 

Make sure your dog is vaccinated before coming to the park to prevent them from giving or receiving any nasty diseases. 

Female dogs in heat should be left at home, as they are more likely to act in rage and be harmful to other dogs, even if this is not their normal behavior at home. 

Don’t bring food into the dog park, as it can attract dogs that may not have the best manners, as well as distract them from listening to their pet parents. In some cases, a dog may act aggressively toward you if you have food, so it’s best to leave it at home or in the car for afterwards. 

We won’t recommend bringing little kids to a dog park, as some dogs simply feel unsafe around children and may attack them. Even if the dogs are friendly, little kids can easily be knocked over and hurt by rambunctious dogs running around, so it’s best if they don’t come until they’re older. 

Keep your dog’s leash with you at all times, and make sure you’re always supervising them. even in safe, off-leash parks, a dog could become upset at any time and express bad behavior, so it’s important to always be ready to pull them away from a bad scene if necessary. 

Always make sure that your dog is wearing a collar! Wearing a collar means that your dog has their up to date license and tags on them at all times in case of an emergency or if they for some reason got loose from the park. It is never safe to let an untagged dog off leash, as if something happen it would be harder to keep them safe / bring them back to you safety. 

As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local pet store if you have questions on this or any pet related topic.