The dog park is a great place for you and your dog to visit regularly. As excited as you and your new pup will be to start visiting the park, there are a few things you should do in order to ensure that your dog will have a safe and enjoyable time there.
Wait Until They Have Received Their Vaccinations
You should never take your puppy to the park until they have received all of their shots. There is no guarantee that the other dogs out there are up-to-date with their shots. The only way to truly guard against any potential diseases and keep your puppy safe is to make sure they have received all of their shots on time. You should also wait until your pup is at least four months old as explained at Dogtime.com. Even if they have received their full set of shots, they may still be susceptible to disease until they mature past four months old.
Train Your Dog to Come
Most dog parks have a big open area for the dogs to run around and play in. This means your dog will be able to roam far outside of reaching distance from you at times. If you are ready to leave and your pup isn’t quite there yet, chasing him around can be quite a chore. To avoid this, make sure your dog knows to come to you when you call him. This will make it easy to get ready to go and can help you keep your dog away from potentially dangerous situations they may get themselves into.
Introduce Your Pup Slowly
The dog park can be intimidating for a first timer. It is very likely that your puppy has never experienced such a place before. They will encounter all types of dogs, each with different temperaments and aggression levels. You shouldn’t throw your dog in the middle of the park right away. Instead, give them time to feel things out so they can get more comfortable.
To start, you should try a time where it won’t be as busy. Visit early in the morning or during work hours. You should start by walking your dog outside the fence so they can see what they are in for before they are let in. Once you are in, remove the leash but stay with your pup until they start to feel more comfortable. The first few visits should be kept short. You should try to make sure their experience at the park is a positive one and leave before they wear out. 20 to 30 minutes is a good amount of time to spend for your first few visits.
Understand Your Dog’s People Skills
Before you go to the park, your pup should have some experience dealing with strangers in a welcoming environment. They should feel comfortable around other people before they are let loose. If they are skittish around new people, you should work on that before you bring them to the park. The last thing you want to deal with is your dog biting someone because they are scared. If the reverse occurs and you happen to get bitten by a stranger’s dog, consider contacting an Austin dog bite attorney.
Don’t Throw Them in the Wrong Park
Most parks should have separate parks for small and large dogs. If you have a small dog, bringing them into a park with larger dogs could put them in danger. Likewise, you should be considerate of the other people there and keep your large dog in the large area. If you have a smaller puppy of a large breed, it is okay to let them in the small area until they outgrow it.
The dog park can be your dog’s new favorite place in the world. It is a great place for them to run loose, burn off their energy and socialize with new dogs and people every visit. As long as you follow these tips, you and your pup should have a great and safe time there.