As I write this I’m looking out the window at this absurdly nice January we’re having in Reno and throughout Northern Nevada. It’s too bad for skiers, but those of us who like to hike outdoors with our canine friends are really enjoying it. As we all know, the weather around here can change overnight, but right now it’s gorgeous! Plus, we all know a great, sunny spring season is just around the corner, which has a lot of us out and about running, hiking, walking and playing with our dogs at our favorite dog parks. Therefore, I wanted to share some dog safety tips when having a fun afternoon at the dog park.
Dog parks can be a great fresh-air environment to let our dogs get out some energy, socialize with other dogs and have an all-around fun time. Getting out of the backyard and out of the common neighborhood sidewalks and walking paths they know makes for a nice change of environment for our pals. Here are some quick tips to have you making the most of your favorite dogs parks safely.
- First of all, make sure your dog is comfortable around other dogs before letting them run wild (off-leash) at the dog park. Try having them around a couple other dogs before taking them to a dog park that could have 10 or 20 other dogs they’ve never met.
- As all of us dog owners know, it’s imperative to keep our dogs’ vaccinations current, especially when they are allowed to play around other dogs and other people. You certainly never plan on other dogs biting or scratching your dog, but having all of their vaccinations current gives you some nice peace of mind.
- Just like a child, always keep a watchful eye on your dog when out in public. They can get excited being around all the others and forget their “come” training from time to time if they’re tempted to run around with other dogs. Watch for them to stay within the park parameters and play nicely. This might mean keeping them on a leash the first time or two at new parks. Let them explore, but keep them close.
- If you have a small dog, remember they can think they’re a bit bigger and want to run and play with the big dogs, who play a bit rougher sometimes. In most parks you’ll likely notice that small-dog owners stay in certain areas of the park to keep their dogs safe.
- Bring the proper necessities, as you likely always do when out walking, hiking and playing with your dog. Bring along appropriate amounts of water, leashes and collars (make sure your dogs tags are current). Also, don’t forget the poop bags (just look at the ones we’ve created recently … we think they’re pretty cool!).
- When you get home, give your dog a quick paw cleaning. You want to keep anything they tracked into at the dog park out of your home.
- Give a quick read to the dog park rules. You certainly don’t want to risk getting a fine at a park that has different rules than you’re used to.
- Lastly, have a good time! Soak up some of these sun rays that January is giving us! Be safe, and have lots of laughs while your dog jumps and plays around others!