It’s just about that time of year, where every weekend is spent making trips to the dog park to get our furry friends socialized and a good run! After all, a tired dog is a good dog. Below we’ve outlined some tips for dog park safety:

1 – Up to date on shots

Just like at daycares, dog parks can be where sickness and disease spread easily. Be sure to have your rabies vaccination up to date at the very least. Bordetella (kennel cough vaccine) is another vaccination that is good to consider for dogs in close contact with others.

2 – Come prepared

Even though dog waste bags are usually provided, don’t rely on them, bring your own so you’re not caught without one…and please, pick up after your pet! Other necessary supplies to always have: leash, cell phone, drinking water.

3 – Be courteous to other dogs

When arriving, don’t rush the gate if there are other dogs standing there – wait until they wander off or are called by their owners to let your dog in.

4 – Watch for dogs’ behavior

Always keep an eye on your own dog(s) and be mindful of other dogs around – especially if they appear overly excited or aggressive. Watch for any negative interactions and if concerned, it’s always best to remove yourself and dog from the situation before anything can happen.

5 – Be mindful of smaller dogs

It’s always wise to scout out the dog park before visiting, but if the dog park doesn’t have a separate small dog play area, keep an eye out for smaller dogs and be extremely cautious of smaller dogs as they can easily get hurt while playing. And if you have a large dog, keep a close eye on them around smaller dogs as you don’t need any accidents to happen!