There are a few things you should know as a first-time home buyer, but what about if you’re a first-time dog park attendee? Even this amenity comes with its own set of suggestions to better the community. Check it out from Ryan Homes at Brunswick Crossing:
- Ensure that your pup knows “come”. Of all the commands to teach your four-legged friend, “come” should be the first. It’s the most imperative to have down before you attend any off-leash area. If your pup doesn’t understand this command, you may be in trouble around other dogs and unfamiliar people.
Pick the right park. You should avoid dog parks that have overgrown weeds, mud pits, dog feces, broken toys, and overflowing trash cans. Once you find a clean park to visit, check with neighbors and friends to see if they recommend it.
- Go at the right time. It’s hard when you work every day, but the first few visits should be during off-peak hours. This means avoid evenings and weekends to start to avoid overcrowded areas.
- Find a park for small dogs. If your pup is small, visit a park that’s made specifically for small dogs first. Playing with dogs that are their size will ease their anxiety.
- Let them off their leash, especially if it has a prong collar or harness attached to it. The neck and shoulders are where most dogs play-bite, which could lead to injuries if you keep these metal contraptions on.
It’s also important to take off the leash if you’re in an off-leash area -- even if it’s retractable. Many dog owners believe it’ll be easier to control their four-legged friend if they’re on a leash, but it’s a huge tripping hazard. A panicked pup could mean a broken leg.
- Don’t bring food or treats. Other canines can smell it on you, which could create a furry riot toward your pockets.
Bring toys at your own risk. While basic etiquette says to teach your pup how to play well with others and their toys, you do run the risk of another dog stealing or destroying your toys.
- Dress for the occasion. This tip is all for you. Leave your nice clothes in your new home, and lace up your dirty tennis shoes for playtime in dog parks. You’re bound to get a few pawprints on your sweatpants.
- Be prepared to leave if your four-legged friend is feeling overwhelmed or triggered. While socialization is great for your dog, there’s no allotted amount of time you should spend there.
- Ensure your dog is healthy enough to play. Female dogs who are pregnant or in heat, puppies that are less than 12 weeks old, or dogs with incomplete vaccinations should avoid dog parks. This could lead to unwelcome pregnancy, injuries, or illnesses like distemper, worms, parvo, or Giardia.
- Pick up after your pet. This is the most basic tip when it comes to proper puppy park etiquette. Dog waste harbors a lot of disease and parasites that other pups can roll around in, sniff, or accidentally eat. Avoid the spread of sickness by picking up after your pet and disposing of it immediately.
- Take only dogs to the puppy park, and never take more than you can handle. It may seem obvious, but you should leave any non-dog pet at home when attending the puppy park.
Also, don’t bite off more than you can chew by bringing too many pups at once. If you want to bring more than one pup, ask a friend or family member to go with you and watch them.