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Dog park tips for spring



Spring is (technically) here, and while some parts of the country are still dealing with winter conditions, the advent of warmer weather means dog park season is just around the corner!

Dog parks can be a fantastic place for dogs to burn off some excess energy, keep up good social skills and practice (or master) your off-leash commands. Dog parks, though, aren’t for every pet, and as a responsible pet owner, you need to take certain things into consideration to make sure the dog park is the best choice for you and your pet.

Here are some tips to make your dog park experience fun for everyone involved:

• Pick up after your dog. It’s not only an unsightly mess, but dog poop can be dangerous if it spreads bacteria and disease to other dogs.

• Keep your kids away from off-leash dog parks. No matter how much they love dogs, the chances of an accident are too high.

• Speaking of kids, watch your dog with same carefully eye you would a toddler, knowing where he is and what he’s doing at all times. This helps determine what mood he’s in, and tells you when it’s time to go.

• Make sure you bring water and a bowl to keep your dog hydrated as needed. Food, treats, and toys should be left at home as they can encourage dog fights.

• Be realistic about your dog. If your dog is anxious or a bully, the dog park can make these traits worse.

• The dog park isn’t just for pets: people are in dog parks too. You may be a responsible pet owner, but that’s not necessarily the case for others, so watch for arguments between people.

• Have some general knowledge of dog body language, so you know what’s considered safe ways to play and what isn’t.

• Always make sure your dog is healthy, vaccinated, and spayed or neutered for a fun, safe experience for everyone!

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