Thinking of taking your dog to the dog park? You’ll want to make sure you’re prepared first. While your dog will almost certainly love the experience, there are many things you can do to help your trip go as smoothly as possible. Follow these four tips to give your fur kid a great first day at the dog park.
1. Invest in a Sturdy Leash
Most dog parks have leash-free areas, but that doesn’t mean you won’t need a leash during your visit. Carrying a strong leash with you gives you an easy way to restrain your dog in emergencies. Look for one that’s reinforced with leather if possible – these versions are the least likely to break under intense strain. If your dog is especially nervous, consider having him wear a harness too. Harnesses are much harder for a panicked dog to escape than a collar would be.
2. Take Him on Walks to Different Places
The dog park will confront your dog with many new sights, sounds, and experiences. While he’ll grow to love these new things in time, he’ll probably find them a bit overwhelming at first. You can make him more comfortable by slowly introducing him to new sights around your neighbourhood. Take a break from your usual walking route and take him someplace new. Don’t stray too far from what’s familiar to him, but try to show him that the unfamiliar isn’t necessarily scary.
3. Have Him Meet Other Dogs First
Part of the appeal of dog parks is that other dogs will likely be there as well. However, if you don’t know how well your dog handles company, he may put himself and other dogs at risk. Try introducing your dog to other dogs in more controlled settings to get a feel for how he reacts. Is he timid and frightened, or aggressive and boisterous? Does he play well with some dogs but not others? This information will help you keep everyone at the dog park safe.
4. Be Ready to Cut Your Visit Short
Your first dog park visit doesn’t have to last for hours. If your dog is having a great time, you can stick around until his energy wears off. If he’s a little nervous or territorial, however, it might be best to take him home early. Watch your dog’s reactions during your first visit and gauge how comfortable he is with the situation. You may need to build up his comfort over several short visits before he can relax and play safely during your outings.
The Good Times May Not Last
At the end of the day, even with all the preparation, there’s still a chance your pup isn’t quite ready for the dog park – that’s ok! Not all dogs are suited for a dog park situation. Also, just because your dog starts out enjoying the dog park, doesn’t mean that’ll always be the case. As dogs get older, their personality could change and they may suddenly decide, they aren’t interested in the dog park anymore – that’s ok too!
Shop for Dog Toys, Leashes, Treats, and More Online
Your first outing at the dog park probably won’t be your last, so invest in the equipment you’ll need to help your dog have a good time. For Your Fur Kids carries all of the toys and tools you could ever want for your dog park visits. From high-quality leashes to travel water bowls, we’ve got it all. Browse our online store or visit us in Windsor to stock up on supplies today.