Dog Park Etiquette Part II
By: Chryssa Rich
For Pets Best Insurance
In last week’s pet insurance blog, we covered pet owners’ top 5 dog park pet peeves. Read it here. This week, we’ll round out the top 10 so dog owners everywhere can help keep their neighborhood parks great places to hang out.
6. Take Your New Dog During Off-Hours
If you’ve recently adopted a new dog, take her to the park at a non-peak time and let her explore it quietly on her own. This way it can become familiar territory so she isn’t dealing with too many new situations and smells when it’s full of doggie friends.
7. If Your Pet Seems Sick, See the Vet First
Most dog owners have experienced the humiliation of trying to clean up a diarrhea mess, and you won’t make many friends if it happens at the dog park where other people’s pets are running around. If your dog has an upset stomach, is coughing, or otherwise seems under the weather, avoid other animals until a veterinarian has given him a clean bill of health. Almost nothing transmits disease faster than the shared toys and communal water dishes often found at dog parks. Because your pet can become sick or injured whether you’re at the dog park or not, it’s a good idea to look into pet insurance, as it can help decrease the cost of vet bills.
8. Leave the Kids at Home or in a Supervised Area
Not all dogs are accustomed to playing with children. Bigger breeds could knock down little kids, and smaller breeds could be seriously injured if a child falls on them or plays too roughly. If your kids must accompany you to the dog park, keep them in a safe area separate from the dogs, and remind them not to pet any dog without first asking permission from the dog’s owner.
9. Leave the Human Food at Home
I’ve watched dogs devour a fast food meal (bag, straw and all) while the owner of said food cleaned up after his dog. I’ve also seen dogs jump up on picnic tables to grab grub, and some are even brazen enough to take it right out of a person’s hand. Considering all the common items that can cause serious problems in dogs – chocolate, grapes, onions, mushrooms, bones, dairy – it’s a better idea to eat at home.
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10. Keep an Open Mind About Other Dogs
Each dog will have its own personality and temperament, despite what you may have seen in pet food commercials or read in the headlines. Not all floppy-eared mutts are friendly, and not all Pit Bulls are fighters. Be cautiously optimistic and treat each new dog as an individual – you and your pup will both make more friends.