Raise the ‘Woof’ at the Dog Park

Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2021

Sierra Vista has something for everyone — including a dog park for your furry Fido. Dog parks are great places to let your pup roam free and make friends. You might make a few, too. To get the most out of any dog park and to keep you from making a “faux-paw,” here are some tips.

There is an Etiquette

You wouldn’t work out in the gym without learning the rules, would you? Dog parks have written and unwritten rules. Written rules are usually posted on the gate or the park’s website. Unwritten rules include exercising your dog before going to the dog park to burn off excess energy, not bringing a sick or unvaccinated dog, not bringing human food and not giving treats to other dogs without their owners’ permission.

Bring Everything You Need

A park is just that, a park. It may have play equipment for your dog and even a watering station, but you will still need to bring a few things. Pack a bag and include a water dish, water in case you don’t want your dog sharing the water station, treats, toys and a towel if it rained the night before.

Pick a Side

Most dog park are divided into two sides — one for small dogs and one for medium and large dogs. Never unleash your dog on the wrong side, even if there are no dogs playing there. The potential for an accident or an altercation that could result in a smaller dog getting injured isn’t worth it.

Two Can Be a Crowd

If you have more than one dog, be aware that they may be protective of one another. This may not be a problem if your dogs are well socialized. It can be a problem if one of your dogs thinks the other is in danger. If that is the case, take your dogs to the park individually.

Yes, You Can Bring Toys

Bring balls and frisbees but not your dog’s favorite toys. He or she might not want to share. Bring extras so other dogs can join in the fun.

Don’t Worry if Fido Won’t Play

Some days your pup may not want to socialize. If it is your first time at the park your pup may be wary of the other dogs. That’s okay. Let them sniff the grass away from the others, chase butterflies or just have fun running off leash. If your dog suddenly stops playing, they may be saying they want to go home.

Supervise Your Pup

It’s tempting to just let your dog play while you do other things. Don’t. Make sure your dog is playing appropriately and is safe. If your pup poops, clean it up.

Dog Parks Should Be Fun

If your dogs enjoy the park, plan to take them at least once a week. It’s good for them and for you. Keep in mind that not all dogs enjoy it, so find another way to play if your pup prefers your backyard.

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