31 May 2015

Keeping Your Dog Safe At The Dog Park

Dog parks can be a fun place to socialize your pooch and enjoy some time outdoors together. However, if your dog isn’t used to being around other dogs, does not enjoy being around other dogs or if your park is always very busy, it can be overwhelming for your pet. Here are some tips to help keep your pet safe and happy at your local dog park.

Short visits when it’s not busy

If your dog isn’t familiar with the park, limit your first visit to twenty minutes or so during a time that the park isn’t filled with other dogs and where you can observe her body language to ensure she’s relaxed. This will help your pet become used to being around others without being overwhelmed with excitement or nerves and allow you to learn if your dog is comfortable being put in that situation.

Be careful in unleashed areas

Never have your dog restrained by a leash in an unleashed area. This can cause lots of stress in a leashed dog and he’ll feel worried have no other option but to act aggressively. If you feel your dog is able to handle the park situation, unleash him as soon as you enter an unleashed area, and keep a close eye on him at all times, especially around other dogs and children.

Don’t bring children or young puppies to the dog park

You can’t give your dog your full attention if you are also looking after you child, so don’t bring your children with you unless you have another adult that can look after them. Dog parks can be a dangerous place for small children who might be too friendly with strange dogs. Play it safe and leave them at home. If your pup is not fully immunized, she is at risk of picking up a disease at any dog park. A traumatic experience from an adult dog can create fears in a young pup that could last a life time. Keep your puppy safe and understand the risks of subjecting her to a dog park for socialising purposes. Use safe and trusted adult dogs that you know well for any socialising.

Watch for hidden dangers

Curious pups can find themselves in a sticky predicament if they lick or eat plants that have been treated with pesticides or fertilizers. Some plants are also toxic to dogs, and you need to watch out for trash that your dog may eat, and that could cause him harm.

Don’t overdo it

Know the signs that your dog has had enough, such as fatigue, anxiety that doesn’t go away, and if he is being bullied or is acting like a bully. If your dog has a bad experience, this could lead to a life-long association and future behaviour issues such as dog aggression. Don’t ruin the day by pushing your dog too far, and you’ll always be able to come back another time.

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