Dog Parks

Dog Park Safety Tips

Before we begin to talk about Dog Parks, it is important to note that none of this applies to puppies who have not yet completed their third round of vaccinations for parvovirus.  It can be life threatening and ultimately very expensive to expose an unvaccinated puppy to public areas.

Dog parks are increasing in popularity and can be a fun avenue for your dog to release some excess energy.  Be cautious however.  They can be a place for your pet to potentially pick up an infectious disease and other pet owners may not have the same standards of care that you have for your pet, meaning their pets are not up to date on vaccinations or on parasite prevention.  Not all dogs are suited for Dog Parks.  To better understand if your pet is ready for the Dog Park World you might try a reliable Doggie Day Care first.  This gives you a professional’s opinion on your pet’s behavior and whether they respond well to a multi-dog environment.  You can also discuss with any of our staff members their impression of your pet and whether or not they are suited for the Dog Park.

Please remember these do’s and don’ts for a safe and enjoyable time for you and your furry friend.


  • Have a realistic expectation of your dog’s suitability for the dog park world.  Is he polite and friendly with other dogs? Does he enjoy meeting new dogs and people?  If not, you may consider some training and socialization BEFORE going to the dog park.  This is not the time or place to rehabilitate a fearful or an aggressive dog.
  • Before walking through the gate at the dog park, spend a few minutes watching the other dogs playing and interacting.  If they appear too rough or intimidating, come back another time.
  • Supervise your dog.  This is not the time or place to be distracted by talking to other dog owners or reading a book.  This is your special time with your dog.
  • Pick up after your dog!
  • If your dog is being bullied or threatened by another dog(s), it’s time to leave.
  • Know how to safely break up a dog fight.
  • Bring your own water bowl for your pet so they are not sharing with “strangers”.
  • Recognize that by taking your dog to a dog park, you are accepting a degree of risk that your dog may be injured or may injure another dog.


  • Take treats or food with you.  You want to avoid any food aggression issues.
  • Take any toys that you or your dog is not willing to share.
  • Take small children or babies in strollers.  Many dogs are not accustomed to small children and may be easily frightened or agitated by them.  Also children are not as efficient at reading an animal’s body language as adults are and may not know if they are in a dangerous situation.
  • Keep your dog on a tight leash or grab his collar while interacting with a group of dogs.  Your pet can feel your tension.  A relaxed hand leads to a relaxed pet.
  • Do NOT hesitate to leave if your dog is being threatened or if another dog owner fails to control his/her dog.

Please always remember to talk to your veterinarian or staff member if you have any questions or concerns.

For more information about local Dog Parks, click here.