1. Make sure your dog is vaccinated.
This should be a no-brainer. While dog parks are fun and all, they are a breeding ground for germs and diseases. It's kind of an unspoken code, but every pet owner has the responsibility of keeping their pups up to date on all of their vaccinations. Of course, not everyone plays by the rules, so if you feel the need, don't be afraid to ask other pet parents if their dogs are fully vaccinated.
2. Have your cellphone on hand.
It's important to have a fully charged, working cell phone with you at all times during your visit to the park. It's also important to have the phone number of the nearest veterinary hospital on your phone. An emergency can happen in seconds, so it's important to always be prepared.
3. Know the difference between dogs playing and dogs fighting.
Dogs will be dogs, and their methods of playing vary across all breeds and types. While playing sometimes looks like play fighting, it's important to recognize when things are getting out of hand. If any of the dogs show signs of aggression, including showing their teeth or growling, this is a good time for you to call your dog and separate the two.
This is yet another reason to keep an eye on your pup at the park. Although overly aggressive dogs are technically unwelcome at dog parks, no one can really enforce it. For this reason, it's important to recognize what dogs are being aggressive and to make sure your dog, and other dogs, stay away from him. Don't be afraid to say something to the aggressive dog's owner. You're doing it for the good of the park and its visitors.
5. Keep an eye on your dog at all times.
You should never, ever take your eyes off your dog at the park. There are several reasons why it's important to follow his every move, from making sure he's not eating something he's not supposed to (i.e. poop, dropped food) to being sure he hasn't run out of the park.
6. Separate small and large dogs.
Some parks (but not all) provide separate play areas for dogs of different size. Not all small dogs can hang with the big dogs. Separating them can help prevent possible injuries to the smaller dogs, including getting trampled on.
7. Train your dog.
Sure, your dog has the freedom to do whatever he pleases while he's at the dog park, but having a trained canine will come in handy more than you know. It's also crucial that they are fully socialized with other dogs and know how to play. The most important training lessons include the following: name recognition, come, stay, sit and leave it. To
8. Keep your dog hydrated.
This tip is important no matter what season it is, but it's especially crucial during the summer. Dogs need access to clean water throughout the day, especially when they're exerting all their energy running around the park and playing with other dogs. Be sure your dog has access to water the entire time you are at the park. Buying one of these dog water bottles is definitely a good idea.
9. Make sure your pup is well-rested and energized.
When dogs are having fun, it's rare that they want to stop, even if they really need to. Making sure your dog is well-rested before going to the park. It's a great way to ensure that he'll have enough energy to run around for a couple of hours. If your dog is the type that doesn't have an off button, then you should know when to pull him aside so he can catch his breath, and perhaps even call it a day.
10. Keep an eye on the temperature outside.
This is especially important during those hot summer days. Be aware of the temperatures and how much heat your dog can take. It's important to provide a cool area for him to rest, whether its a puppy tent or a nice, shady spot under a tree.