Living in a large city it can be hard to socialize your dog and make sure they get the exercise they need. Walking your pet is only convenient if you live in a quiet neighborhood with lots of surfaces that don’t hurt their feet. Beyond that walking your dog in the same neighborhood day after day can get boring. Off leash dog parks are an alternative to this but are they really safe for you and your pet?
The answer is that a dog park is as safe as you make it. By this I mean that it is not a place where you can ignore your pet and assume that they are safe. You can only control the behavior of your dog. Keeping an eye on your pet can ensure that they do not get into trouble.
Often dog parks will have aggressive or scared dogs. These dogs will generally leave your pet alone if they are left alone. This is where you come in, make sure that any dogs your pet interacts with have their humans nearby. In addition make sure that you watch the body language of strange dogs as well as your own dog.
Make sure that no dogs are approached when they have their ears laid back or are baring their teeth. If a dog seems skittish but their owner wants to socialize them keep a firm hold on your dog. Be ready to move away if it looks like the other canine needs some space. Responsible treatment of both your pet and other dogs can make a world of difference.
Canines often act as if they are in packs. This can be seen within a dog park. If your pet is new to a park make sure that they are gradually introduced. Just because human laws say that your dog is welcome doesn’t mean that other dogs will accept your dog.
Do not force your pet into situations that it seems uncomfortable with. It is completely okay to go to the park and be off to the side with your pet. The goal is for your dog to get exercise and to enjoy itself. Slowly by being around the other dogs your dog should be accepted and you will begin to see them being friendly with each other.
One of the best ways to keep your pet safe in a dog park is to leave if things begin to escalate. If you feel another canine is being aggressive with your dog, remove your dog from the situation. Your pet cannot be harmed it is not in harms way. You can always come back another day and try again.
Dog parks can be a fun and rewarding experience if you make sure that your dog is watched well. Remember that you can only trust your own dog to behave and you can only control your own dog. Keep your pet comfortable and under control and you should have no problems in a dog park. As always being a responsible owner will go far to ensure the safety of yourself, your pet, and others around you.