10 Dog Park Rules All Pet Parents Should Know About

dog park rules
There’s nothing a social dog loves more than going to the dog park. They get to burn off their energy, play with other dogs, and spend lots of time outside. And just like other parks, there are certain dog park rules that every pet parent should follow.
Most dog parks have a list of their rules on the outside of their entrance. Yet, a lot of dogs and pet parents often forget about these rules, causing a lot of trouble for humans and pets alike.

To keep your dog park a safe, fun environment for everyone, here are 10 dog park rules that all pet parents should know about.

1). Make Sure Your Dog Has All Their Vaccinations and Parasite Control

The number one concern of all good pet parents is health and well-being of their dog. At a dog park this concern is especially important. Your dog is getting in contact with lots of other dogs with all varying states of health.
A responsible pet parent will make sure that their dog is up-to-date on all their vaccinations and have received all their tick and flea protection before bringing their dog to the dog park.

This will not only protect your dog from any diseases or pests that the other dogs might have, but also protect the other dogs as well.
This is a very important dog park rule that protects the health and well-being of everyone in the entire park.

2). Keep Your Dog on Its Leash Until It Is in the Designated Off-Leash Areas

While your dog might be well-trained and come when you call them, it is still not a good idea to let them off their leash before you are in the designated off-leash area.
This dog park rule is mostly for good manners and safety. An unleashed dog might scare a leashed dog if they run up to say hello. Or you might have to push off an overexcited unleashed dog off your leashed dog.

Neither scenario is a fun one for anyone involved. So, be aware of where you can and cannot have your dog unleashed.

3). Remove Your Dog’s Leash Before You Let Them off to Go Play

When your dog wants to go play with the other dogs, make sure that you have removed their leash before letting them run off.
This dog park rule is in place to reduce aggressive behavior between the dogs.
A dog can easily show the proper body language to ward off unwanted interactions or move away from dogs they feel threatened by when they aren’t restricted by a leash.
It will also prevent your dog or another dog getting tangled in the leash and possibly injured from it while running around.

4). Pay Attention to Your Dog

At the dog park, you may be tempted to spend more time socializing with the other pet parents than watching your dog.

There’s nothing wrong with you and your dog making friends at the same time, but it’s important to not get distracted and forget to watch your dog.

Your dog can get into lots of trouble, from picking a fight with another dog to running out into traffic, so don’t forget this dog park rule and keep an eye on them!

5). Do Not Bring Small Children

Infants and toddlers should not be brought to a dog park.

Their small size and lack of experience with dogs can cause a dangerous situation for them and the dogs involved. An excited dog could knock a child over, or a dog could act aggressively at a child’s attempt to make friends.
For their safety, follow this dog park rule and leave the kids at home or take them to a playground.

6). Do Not Bring Food into the Dog Park

Not all the dogs at the dog park will behave like your dog when you are eating a meal.

Some will try to eat your food, or may act aggressively toward you as they catch the scent of what you are eating.

When going to the dog park, it is best to leave your picnic lunch at home or eat it before entering the park.

7). Teach Your Dog to Enter the Dog Park Calmly

This is another one of those dog park rules set in place to help decrease aggressive behavior.

An overexcited dog entering the dog park can cause other dogs to feel threatened. These dogs might then act aggressively toward your dog and start a fight with them.

For everyone’s safety, follow this dog park rule and take the time to teach your dog to enter the dog park in a calm, orderly manner.

8). Dogs of Similar Sizes Should Play Together

A good dog park will have designated areas for dogs to play in, one for larger dogs and the other for smaller dogs.

While your small dog might get along with bigger dogs and vice versa, a small dog can still get injured by a larger dog, even in friendly play.
There is also the chance that a larger dog might see a smaller dog as prey and can injure or even kill it.

To prevent anything like this, be a responsible pet parent and make sure your dog stays in their designated size area.

9). Do Not Bring a Puppy to the Dog Park

A dog younger than 12 – 16 weeks should not be brought to the dog park.

They most likely will not have received all their vaccinations yet, and are still too small to safely play with bigger dogs. It’s best to wait till your puppy is old enough to have had all their shots and are big enough for friendly play.

10).  Clean up After Your Dog

This is probably the most necessary dog park rule that pet parents forget about while in dog parks.
Cleaning up after your dog is not just polite but also keeps the park sanitary. Dog poop can have lots of harmful bacteria that could make other dogs sick if they get in contact with it. And besides, no pet parent likes stepping in another dog’s leavings.
Remember, it’s a park, not your dog’s giant public toilet. A good dog park will have plastic bags near trash cans available in case you forget your own.

Dog Park Rules Help Everyone Have a Good Time

Following these dog park rules will help ensure that everyone has the best experience possible at the dog park. Some might seem like a bit of a pain to follow, but in the long run they’ll be worth it.

Remember, the rules are there for everyone’s safety and wellbeing, not to hinder you and your dog’s fun!

Think Pet Parents Should Know About More Dog Park Rules?

Did we miss an important dog park rule? Let us and other pet parents hear about it in the comments section below!
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