How to Take a Safe Trip to the Dog Park

First, make sure your dog is up-to-date on all vaccinations and that he enjoys social interaction. Here are other ways to ensure your dog’s safety in the dog park:

1. Choose a location that has separate play areas for small and large dogs. It eliminates the possibility of a small dog being injured by a larger dog.

2. Your dog might love playing with toys, Frisbees or balls while outside, but don’t use these in enclosed spaces like dog parks. Fights break out when a dog becomes protective over a valued object.

3. Don’t take food into dog parks, as squabbles can happen between dogs who desire first access to a tasty morsel. It also stops you from giving treats to other dogs — their owners might not appreciate it.

4. Don’t let your conversations with other dog parents take your attention away. Disagreements can kick off quickly between dogs, and there is nothing worse than a pet parent who does not actively supervise their dog.

5. If your dog shows aggressive behaviors or seems fearful, uncomfortable or agitated, head home before anything escalates and seek alternative environments to exercise in or activities to do.

Top photograph: felixmizioznikov/Getty Images

Read Next: Where to Find a Great Dog Park Near You

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