dog parkFor many pet owners, the dog park is basically the perfect place. Our dogs can socialize and burn off energy while enjoying some freedom, while we chat with other owners and enjoy some outdoor time. It’s a win-win.

Before you grab the leash and head out the door, take a moment to review basic dog park etiquette!

Dog Park Etiquette 101

Besides familiarizing yourself with the rules at a specific dog park, practicing good dog park etiquette will help to ensure the safety of all the dogs at the park and keep the park enjoyable for all:

  • Scoop the poop! Although most parks have plastic bags and waste receptacles available, always bring your own just in case. No one wants to step in a pile of dog poop!
  • Make sure your pet is physically prepared for the dog park before you bring him or her. Dogs should be fully vaccinated and on parasite preventative medication for their own safety and the safety of the other dogs. Puppies under 6 months old and females in heat should not be taken to a dog park.
  • Keep your eyes on your pet at all times! The dog park is not the place to check your emails or become engrossed in a discussion with another dog owner about which Star Wars movie was the best one. The safety of your dog and other dogs in the park depends on your supervision.
  • Leave your pet’s creature comforts at home. Bringing food, treats, and toys can be a dangerous habit, especially since many dogs are food aggressive or may not want to share a ball or other toy. The same goes for people food; leave your lunch or snack at home.
  • Keep your dog off his or her leash while inside the park. Leash aggression is real, and your pup may feel threatened by free-roaming dogs. Unleash your dog before you reach the second gate that opens to the park.
  • Aggressive or fearful dogs need not apply. This one probably goes without saying. If your pooch is prone to fighting or is extremely shy or scared around other dogs, the best place for him or her is at home.

Can We Go, Now?

We are fortunate to have a variety of beautiful, safe spaces for dogs to freely play and socialize here in Arlington! Enjoy a shady afternoon at the beautiful Shirlington Dog Park, or for a more urban feel try Clarendon Dog Park located in James Hunter Park. If you have a little more time, head out to Benjamin Banneker Park with the whole family for a day of fun in the sun, and some off-leash time for your dog!

Is your pup dog park ready? Arlington Animal Hospital can help! Give us a call any time with questions or to set up an appointment for your pet.