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Dog parks offer a unique opportunity to let your dog socialize, run free, and get some exercise. If you want to start taking your pup to the dog park, there are a few safety measures to keep in mind to ensure everyone has a fun (and safe) experience. Here are Westarbor Animal Hospital’s top dog park safety tips:

Dog Park Safety Priority 1: Vaccines

Before you head over to the dog park, your pet must be fully updated on all necessary vaccines. Schedule a wellness visit with your veterinarian to make sure your pupper is caught up with all shots and able to play safely with other dogs. Dogs must also be at least 6 months old in order to go to the dog park. If your puppy is younger than that, he still needs to play alone for a few more months.

Master the Basic Commands

Your dog should also have learned the basic commands down pat before you attempt a trip to the dog park. Make sure your dog knows how to sit, stay, come, and leave it. These commands can be extremely important in an environment that could become unpredictable–like a park full of dogs off leash. If you need to, spend some time training your pup before you start exploring your local dog park.

Look Around Before Entering

Every time you enter the dog park can be a completely different situation. Each time you arrive, you should take a second to observe the other dogs that are already there. If you see a dog that looks like they he or she is aggressive, you might want to wait to enter until that dog leaves.

Keep an Eye on Your Dog (a Dog Park Safety Must)

You should always have an eye on your dog while you are in the park. Make sure your pup is interacting well with the other dogs that are already there. If your dog seems anxious or is not making an effort to socialize with the other dogs, it might be time to leave. When you watch your dog, you can also see if your pet uses the potty. It is important to clean up after your dog to make sure the park stays safe and clean for everyone.

Leave the Toys at Home

Although it might be tempting to bring your pup’s favorite toy with you to the park, it can trigger your dog to become unnecessarily territorial. As fun as it might be to stay close to your dog while he’s enjoying the park, that could also lead to problems with some of the other dogs. Let your dog run loose and spend time with his new friends, and you can have quality time together when you get back home.

We hope you found these dog park safety tips helpful. Check out these 11 dog park safety tips for more things to consider. Westarbor Animal Hospital is here to help you provide the best life for your pets. From wellness care to dental visits, our veterinary services are designed to provide you the medical care you need to keep your pets happy and healthy. For more information on our services or to schedule an appointment, please call (734) 769-5391.

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