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For some dogs, there’s no greater joy than a trip to the dog park. Going to the dog park can be a great way to provide the physical, mental, and social stimulation your dog craves, leaving you with a tired and happy dog after a successful romp.
To ensure all dog park visitors enjoy a safe outing, it’s a good idea to brush up on proper dog park etiquette as well as being prepared with all the supplies you might need. Fortunately, all the essentials are things you likely already have around the house. Here’s a list of essentials to set yourself up for a successful dog park visit.
What to bring to the dog park
- Leash: Even if it’s just a short walk from the car to the park entrance, it’s vital to stay leashed outside of dog park boundaries to keep your dog safe from cars or potentially running away.
- Collar with ID tag: Make sure your dog is wearing an ID tag in case they escape from the dog park. Larger dog parks also pose the possibility of your dog becoming lost, so an ID tag is always smart.
- Poo bags: Always be prepared to scoop your dog’s poop! Some dog parks have pet waste bag stations, but they aren’t always fully stocked, so bring a few of your own bags.
- Water bottle and collapsible water bowl: Periodically offer your dog a drink to make sure they stay hydrated.
- Towel: Leave a towel in the car in case your dog gets muddy or wet.
There are also a few things that are not appropriate to bring to the dog park.
What not to bring
- Treats/food: Leave the snacks in the car or at home to avoid potential dog fights and being hounded by other dogs.
- Your dog’s favorite toy: There’s nothing wrong with bringing a tennis ball if your dog enjoys a good round of fetch, but bear in mind that any toys you bring to the dog park are subject to being taken away by another dog or get misplaced.
- Small children: Even the most well-intentioned dogs can topple a small child out of excitement or while chasing another dog and not paying attention to where they are going. It’s best to leave young kids at home to prevent an injury or frightening experience.
Most outdoor adventures are full of fun times, but the unexpected can occasionally happen. Consider protecting your dog with a pet insurance plan to help cover the veterinary care in case your dog gets an injury at the dog park. Start by getting a quote.