This post is part 2 of a 3-part series on dog park safety.
In the first post of this series we covered the essentials you need to know when planning a trip to the dog park.
In today's post we'll share our top tips for keeping your dog safe while he's at the park. Keep reading to make sure your day at the dog park goes as smoothly and safely as possible.
1) Let Your Dog off Leash in Unleashed Areas
Most dog parks have enclosed, unleashed areas so your dog can run around and interact with other dogs. After all, that's one of the biggest benefits of the dog park!
Just make sure to unclip your dog's leash as soon as you enter an unleashed area of the park. Good dog parks are completely fenced in and have double-gate entry to prevent your dog from running off.
Leashed dogs and their owners can appear hostile and threatening to unleashed dogs. Your dog may also feel vulnerable and become prone to defensive and aggressive behavior if you keep him leashed.
Letting your dog off leash may seem like an unsafe choice, but most dogs will be much calmer and better behaved if they're allowed to roam free with other unleashed dogs.
2) Stay Vigilant
Make sure to closely supervise your dog at all times when inside the dog park. Aggression between dogs can be often be avoided by paying careful attention to their body language.
Remember, you're at the dog park so your dog can have fun and socialize with other dogs, so do your best to make his visit as enjoyable as possible.
It's a good idea to put your cell phone away and avoid long conversations with other pet parents in the park. It's easy to lose track of your pup when your attention is not focused, and dangerous situations between unsupervised dogs can quickly develop.
3) Recognize Aggressive Behavior
It's important to recognize aggressive behavior so you know when to remove your dog from a potentially dangerous situation.
Signs of aggression in dogs include excessive barking, staring, growling, and snapping. An aggressive dog may also have a rigid body posture, flattened ears, and bared teeth.
If you feel your dog is being threatened or showing aggression towards other dogs, it's best to be cautious and leave the dog park right away to avoid a potential dog fight.
If your dog does become involved in a fight, make sure you know what to do. Check out the next post in this series for advice on safely breaking up a dog fight.
4) Pick up After Your Dog
As a pet parent, it's just good manners to pick up after your dog. Nobody wants to step in poop or have their dog roll around in it!
Most dog parks have plenty of trashcans to dispose of poop, just make sure to bring enough bags in case the park doesn't provide them.
Remember, you'll need to spend some time outside the park when pre-walking your dog and transporting him to and from the dog park, so don't forget your Fifth Paw hands-free dog poop holder to avoid stinking up your pockets and pouches.
That's a wrap. Thanks for reading, and don't forget to check back next week for the third post in this series, How to Safely Break up a Dog Fight.