Dr Zito says you should not take your dog to an off-leash park if…
- They are not fully vaccinated
- Are not desexed
- When your dog is unwell
- Your dog is fearful or uncomfortable in a dog park – as not all dogs love dog parks
- Your dog is aggressive towards other dogs or humans
- Your dog is not trained to come back when called
- Your pup has recently had an infectious disease, or is still potentially infectious
Dr Zito’s top 5 tips for a fun and successful dog park visit
- Make sure that your dog is healthy, vaccinated, up to date with parasite control treatments, microchipped, is registered and has identifying details (including your phone number and address) attached to their collar.
- Ensure your dog is well socialised and has good basic training, it’s very important that they come back to you when called. Ensure that your dog is polite, respectful and this will help them have good relationships with other dogs and people, and help keep your relationship with other dog owners positive.
- Ensure you abide my any dog park rules and pick up your dog’s waste and dispose of this in bins. This is an important part of being respectful of others using the space.
- Don’t just stand in a huddle with all of the other people in the dog park. Pay attention to your dog and what may be happening in the park. Move around the dog park and engage with your dog by practicing recall (making sure you reward your dog and then allow them to go back to play as long as everything is OK).
- Bring a leash and monitor your dog continually. Keep an eye out for any potential problem situations or dogs that seem aggressive or overly rough. If you see any problems developing, act early to avoid problem situations by recalling your dog and moving both of you away. It’s also important to always closely supervise any children in your care and do not visit off-leash dog parks with more dogs than you can safely manage (preferably 2 small dogs or 1 large dog at a maximum).
Looking for a dog park?
Struggling to find a dog park near you? Check out Aussie Dog Friendly, an online resource with more than 4000 listings for dog-friendly parks, plus listings for dog friendly businesses, restaurants, accommodation and more.
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Watch the video below to learn how to make a first aid kit for dogs.