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Dog Park Preparation Tips - Slideshow

Dogs can have a great time playing at the dog park.

Dog Park Preparation Tips

A trip to the dog park with your canine companion can be a wonderful outing. Your dog can be mentally and physically invigorated, and you can enjoy the fresh air and company too. A little bit of preparation before you head out can make your time at the dog park even more fun and easy.

Your dog may need vaccines to go to the dog park.

Keep Your Dog Up-to-Date on Vaccines

Before you start visiting the dog park, take a trip to your veterinarian to ensure that all of your dog's necessary vaccinations are current. There are many illnesses that are passed from dog to dog that can be prevented with vaccines. Your veterinarian is best-equipped to decide which immunizations your dog should have based on the area in which you live and your dog's health status. Some dog parks also require that your dog be current on certain vaccines, so check into that before you go. Keep in mind that vaccines are not protective immediately; ask your veterinarian how long you should wait after the vaccine before going to the dog park.

Bring bags to clean up your dog's waste with.

Be Prepared to Clean Up after Your Dog

Make sure you are armed with poop scoop bags when you head out to the dog park. When people don't pick up after their dogs, the situation can rapidly transform from a pleasant outing into an irritating, messy trip. Intestinal parasites can also be spread easily from dog to dog if feces isn't picked up. Many dog parks have some waste bags available, but taking some of your own will ensure that you always have them even if the dog park supply is out of stock. These biodegradable bags are a great choice. Or you could choose a whole Poop Pouch for easy dispensing.

Don't bring fleas and ticks home from the dog park.

Protect Your Dog with Flea and Tick Preventative

Make sure you use flea and tick preventative monthly on your dog if you will be visiting the dog park. It's also a good idea to visually check your dog for ticks before you get back in the car if you live in an area that is known for these pests. Check with your veterinarian to determine the best flea and tick product for your dog's lifestyle and your area.

Always make sure you bring water for your dog.

Bring Water for Your Dog

Always be prepared with plenty of fresh, clean water for you and your dog when you are going to the dog park. Dogs can experience heat stroke from warm temperatures and exertion. This canteen is a great way to provide your dog with fresh water while you are out and about.

Provide socialization experiences to your dog.

Socialize Your Dog before Visiting the Dog Park

Before you begin taking your dog to the dog park, it's important to make sure that he is properly socialized and knows how to behave around other dogs. The best way to do this is to take him to puppy classes when he is young or training classes if you rescue an older dog. These types of classes provide important socialization in a controlled environment so that later, in the less-ordered dog park setting, your dog will know how to behave.

Always monitor your dog at the dog park.

Supervise Your Dog

While you are at the dog park, it is important that you keep an eye on your dog at all times. If you are distracted, your dog may get into trouble or become injured. Make sure that you're prepared to watch your dog constantly while he is off-leash at the dog park.

Your dog should come reliably when called.

Train Your Dog to Come Reliably

Make sure that your dog will reliably come to you when called before you visit the dog park. If your dog does happen to get into a fight, DO NOT try to physically break it up. You could easily get hurt. Instead, enthusiastically call your dog to you. A well-trained dog should come when called, even when something exciting is occurring. Learn how to teach your dog to come with this article.

Know what you'll do if your dog is injured.

Have an Emergency Plan

Even with the utmost of planning, accidents do sometimes happen. Make sure that you have an emergency plan in the event that your dog is injured at the dog park. Program your veterinarian's office number into your mobile phone, and make sure you have it with you when you go to the dog park. Know your veterinarian's office hours and whether they are available for calls outside of those hours. If not, have the local emergency animal clinic's number programmed into your phone as well.

Disclaimer: This website is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed veterinarian. If you require any veterinary related advice, contact your veterinarian promptly. Information at is exclusively of a general reference nature. Do not disregard veterinary advice or delay treatment as a result of accessing information at this site.