5 Tips to Stay Safe at the Dog Park

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Your playful pup is no doubt eager to get some more outdoor time. For many dogs, that means a fun trip to the dog park. Dog parks are terrific places to help your dog learn how to socialize and for you to meet other dog-owned humans, too. But there are a few rules that you should follow to ensure a safe and happy experience for everyone.

1. Leave the Treats at Home

Every dog loves a treat, but make sure to keep them out of sight at the park. Treats can trigger food-related aggression in other dogs, and sharing the treats with other dogs doesn’t always go over well with other owners. However, do bring along a jug of water and a bowl to keep your dog hydrated.

2. Don’t let your Dog Play too Aggressively with Others

You probably know your dog well enough to know how he gets along with other animals. Barking and growling are considered normal social interactions, but it’s your responsibility to decide when playful rough-housing starts to escalate to a fight. If that happens, remove your dog from the socialsetting.

3. Clean up After your Dog 

Just like everywhere else, you’re responsible for cleaning up after your pet at the park. Some parks have plastic bags available near the waste cans, but you should always carry a few extras. Additionally, don’t leave your own food wrappers or other trash on the ground. This may pose a choking or poison hazard for other dogs.

4. Don’t Unleash your Dog Unless she Responds to Commands

It seems obvious, but sometimes you get distracted while talking to other dog owners. Make sure you know where your dog is at all times to avoid problems like fights. As with a child, you never know what your dog might get into.

5. Don’t Bring Unvaccinated Puppies, Unneutered males, or Females in Heat

While it may be tempting to bring your little ball of energy to the park, it’s a good idea to wait until your puppy is at least four months old and has had all the necessary vaccinations. Unneutered males have higher testosterone, meaning more aggressive behavior, and unspayed females in heat may end up presenting you with 6-8 new grandpuppies in a few months.

Anything can happen in the blink of an eye. Following these simple tips will help ensure a positive dog park experience for everyone.

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.