Dog Parks Do’s and Don’ts 

by Ellen Rassiger

Here are some simple recommendations to make everyone’s visit to the dog park safe and enjoyable!

DO keep a regular collar WITH ID TAGS on your dog at all times, even at the park.

DO carry a leash with you at all times.

DO watch your dog at all times for defecation, inappropriate bullying/overly rough play, and digging.

DO bring poop bags, EVERY time!

DO pick up poop if you see it, even if it’s not from your dog.

DO bring fresh water for your dog if there is none available (and be willing to share).

DO keep a canine first aid kit in your car, as well as your vet’s phone number and the number of the closest emergency clinic, in case any dog suffers an injury while playing.

DO educate your fellow dog owners, politely and discreetly, if you see that their dog is wearing an inappropriate collar, or if they haven’t picked up after their dog.

DO make sure your dog is fully vaccinated and licensed before bringing her to the park.

DO keep your dog on leash until you reach the off-leash area.

DO spay or neuter your dog. Spayed/neutered dogs make better play companions!

DON’T bring your dog to an unfenced dog park if he/she must be kept on a leash for fear of running away.

DON’T let your dog run in the dog park while wearing a choke chain OR prong collar. It is easy for other dogs’ paws or mouths to get caught in these collars during play, and possible for your dog to get injured by a tightening collar.

DON’T bring small children to a dog park. They can easily be knocked down or injured by running dogs. Children of ANY age must be closely supervised at all times.

DON’T throw sticks for dogs to play with. If the stick lodges in the ground as the dog is going to “catch” it, it can cause serious injury. Balls or Frisbees make much safer toys!

DON’T bring a dog to the dog park that has aggression issues toward other animals OR people. This is NOT the place to work on it!

DON’T bring drinks in glass containers – they could easily be knocked down or out of your hand by a playing dog and break.

DON’T leave your dog unattended at the dog park – EVER!

DON’T bring a dog to the dog park that barks persistently.

DON’T bring pups younger than 4 months to the dog park.

DON’T bring a female dog that is in season (“in heat”).

DON’T bring bones or food to the dog park, as this may trigger dogfights.

DON’T allow your dog to stand and bark at the double-gate area when a new dog is coming in – it is polite to call your dog away so the new dog can enter with ease.

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