No matter where you are in America right now, it's likely that the weather is optimal for outdoor play in June. Because of this, you might find yourself frequenting the dog park. To help you and your pup have the maximum amount of fun at the park, here are some tips to take with you.
One of the biggest things you can do to enjoy the dog park is to prepare beforehand. In your backyard or somewhere safe, practice basic commands with your dog. This will help you feel more in control once you're at the park. Practice calling their name and saying "come here" to ensure that your dog will listen to you even when they're off the leash.
Always Pick Up
Don't be that dog owner that doesn't clean up after their dog when they go potty. Always be aware and if you see your dog go potty, don't hesitate to pick it up. And of course, bring bags with you to clean it up in case the dog park doesn't have them.
Even if your dog loves other dogs, there is always a chance that they can get into a tiff or do something they shouldn't. Don't forget your assertive voice at home - be sure to use it. If your dog is making another dog uncomfortable, stealing their toy, or something else they shouldn't be doing, speak up and let them know it's wrong so that they don't repeat their actions.
Of course, socialize! Get to know the other dog-moms and dads, as well as their pups. It's always good to know the other dogs' names in the park as well as what they look like. If they become regulars, you will then know them and can even set up doggy playdates.
While it can be tempting to relax and read a book at the dog park, it's not exactly the best place to do it. As mentioned before, you never know what your pup can get into, and you'll want to be alert enough to be able to call for your dog if needed.
Bring Toys for Sharing
While some dog parks have communal toys, others don't. Bring toys for your dog that you know they're not possessive of - tennis balls are perfect, but maybe not their favorite stuffed animal. The idea here is that you would be okay with other dogs playing with these toys and handling them, and that your dog won't get upset if they're taken from him/her or destroyed.
After you've had your fun at the park, give your pup a nice, cool bath. Since dogs have so much fun with their friends, they can get dirty or muddy fairly easily. Giving them a bath after will not only wash all the dirt off, but also cool them down after lots of play.
The most important rule for the dog park? Have fun!
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