The Advantages of Taking Your Dog to the Dog Park

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We all know that you meet great people and wonderful dogs at the dog park, but what are the reasons to take your best friend? Below are five advantages of taking your dog to the dog park.

  • Socialization: Dogs are social beings, they want to discover new things and be around other dogs just like you. These experiences also help guard against the development of fears and aggression against other dogs. 
  • Play time: Not just for them but for you. You know you enjoy watching dogs run and play!
  • Physical along with mental exercise: Not only does your dog get a grey workout getting their heartbeat up running, but all of the new smells and scenery work your dog’s brain. Dogs were born to lead active lives and this helps them be active.
  • Educational opportunities: It’s a good opportunity for you to learn about your dog through observation and to learn from others who have well behaved dogs and what they are doing.
  • Community: The dog park is a great place for you to meet your neighbors and get to know about what is going on in the community.
February 15, 2017 |

5 Things NOT to bring to the Dog Park

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5 Things NOT to bring to the Dog Park

A exclusive by Teresa Barker

Well, you know that before you jump into the car and head to the dog park you should pack a few key items to ensure a successful visit. But, did you know that there things you probably shouldn’t bring also? Here is a list of 5 things to consider leaving at home when headed to the dog park.

  1. Puppies (under 6 months):
    Puppies who are under 6 months have often not been fully vaccinated, and therefore, are vulnerable to getting sick. They are also fragile and prone to accidental injury by the rough play of larger dogs. Instead of taking a young puppy to the dog park, look up a puppy play group in your area. Give your young pup a chance to socialize in a much more controlled environment with other pups his/her own size.
  2. Treats:
    Unless you bring one for everyone (which could cause a stampede), leave the treats in the car. It’s great to train your dog in the park using treats as a reward, but do it outside the dog park. Food can cause dogs to behave in unusual ways, and if there’s a threat that there’s not enough to go around, full-blown panic can ensue. A great alternative reward system can be treating in the car after a successful muddy paw wipe-down.
  3. Toys:
    Again, save your dog’s favorite toy for before and after the dog park. Often, dogs don’t want to share toys and I’m not talking about your dog! If another dog gets your toy, he/she may not want to give it back. Other dogs may also ruin or soil the toy, so keep these kinds of situations to a minimum by avoiding them. Your dog can play with its favorite toy at home, so come to the dog park ready to socialize!
  4. Small Children:
    Have you ever seen a pack of dogs playing chase? There’s speed, strength, and no sense of manners. The rule of thumb for adults at the dog park is “loose knees,” to avoid being knocked over. Small children can be especially vulnerable to accidental injury by dogs having fun in open space, so try to avoid bringing small children inside the gated area.
  5. Cell Phone:
    Your dog is your responsibility at the dog park. Keep your dog safe, and monitor his/her behavior by constant supervision. Going to the dog park with your dog is like taking a child to a pool with no lifeguard. It’s up to you to make sure your dog is having fun and staying safe. In the time it takes you to update your facebook status to “dog-parking it,” a situation could happen that you might be responsible for.  Keep your cell phone with the treats and the dog toys (in the car) and let it be YOUR reward after a successful dog park trip!
February 14, 2017 |

Dog Park Etiquette

dog park etiquette

dog park etiquette - Find a dog park

Summer is here and and the dog parks are full. A lot of times when we go we get caught up in the moment watching all the other cute dogs and talking to their people. Remember these dog park etiquette/rules to make your visit better.

  • Obey the rules. Always obey the regulations posted at the dog park.
  • Be up-to-date of immunizations and flea/tick treatment. If there is a brawl, the last thing you want is the other pet not be immunized against rabies or for them to bring fleas.
  • Be present. Leave the lattes, long necks, lunch, smokes and smart phones at home, you can catch up later. This is your dog’s play time, let them have fun and watch their interactions.
  • Come prepared. Plastic bags, treats, water, etc…
  • Never discipline other people’s dogs. Even if you are a trainer, if they didn’t ask for help don’t get involved.
  • Always clean up after your dog. You don’t like stepping in other dog’s poo… neither do we. Be polite and clean up.
  • Don’t bring dogs younger than 4 months. They need to have all the necessary inoculations before they can play safely with other animals.
  • Spay/neutered dogs are recommended, but NEVER bring a female dog in season if not spayed.
  • Don’t bring more dogs than you can handle. A good rule of thumb is no more than 2 dogs per person.
  • Always keep your dog on leash until you reach the off leash area.
  • And remember, NEVER leave your dog unattended.

The dog park is the perfect place for your best friend to socialize and get a lot of energy out. Let them have fun, but be prepared and safe.

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March 6, 2014 |

5 Things to Bring to the Dog Park

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What to bring to a dog park

What to bring to a dog park

A exclusive by Teresa Barker

Going to the dog park can be a rewarding experience for both dog and owner. Watching your canine loved one play with other dogs, get exercise, and socialize is a fun and free activity for you and your pooch.
Before you jump in the car and head off, remember to bring the following items with you to ensure a positive experience at the dog park.

  1. Extra poop bags (to share and/or leave with others):
    Not every park supplies poop bags, or they may have run out just before you get there. My dogs always take the opportunity to poop as many times as they can on walks and on “new grass”. Don’t assume that they won’t go #2, just because they went at home earlier. Also, bring extras. It’s a great way to meet new people and we’ve all been in the embarrassing position when a kind stranger helped us out with a poop bag after an unforeseen emergency.
  • Water (and lots of it!):
    The same is true for water supplies at dog parks. Not every park supplies water, and you can’t count on the functionality of the water system, without being prepared with back up. I keep a gallon jug of water in the refrigerator with cold, filtered water in it, ready to pack. You can bet that if you pour a bowl of water at the park, your dog won’t be the only one interested in hydrating. So bring more! It’s another good way to make new people friends, too. Reuse the jug by rinsing it out,  refilling it with filtered water and putting it right back in the refrigerator when you get home. Don’t leave the jug in your car, where heat will make the plastic leach into the water and make the water unhealthy to drink.
  • You:
    Your presence might be the most important thing you bring to the dog park. Don’t plan on heading to the park and finally making that call to catch up with mom. You owe it to your dog, as well as the safety of all the other dogs, to monitor your dog’s behavior the entire time. Watch your dog’s body language to ensure that play with others doesn’t become too aggressive or that bullying doesn’t occur. You might also have eyes on dogs whose owners aren’t supervising their dogs. If you see that other owners aren’t paying attention, play is getting too aggressive, or that your dog simply doesn’t seem that interested, just leave! Try again another time, maybe at a different time of the day. People who take their dogs to the dog park regularly are often regular about the times they go, as well. Try an off-peak time when supervising your dog might be easier.
  • Leash:
    It’s important to keep your dog on a leash until you reach the double-gated entry area. Their excitement to get into the party and play will make them highly distractible and they may not respond to verbal cues. Keep your dog and other dogs safe by staying on leash until the double gates and immediately after exiting, again, leashing up in the double-gated area. Always leash and unleash before and after exiting the dog park, in the double-gated area, not inside the dog park.  Dogs on leashes tend to be more aggressive, and you don’t want to put your dog in a place of vulnerability right from the start.
  • Towels:
    Dog parks can be down-right dirty fun! Dirt, mud, grass, and lots of running and rolling around can make for dirty dogs after the party. Pack a few extra towels, in case you need to wipe down your own “paws” or protect the car seat.

Take the time to be prepared before heading to the dog park. It will save you embarrassment, hassle, and it will ensure the safety of your dog. Have fun, stay alert, and enjoy socializing with your pooch!

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January 2, 2014 |
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