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10 Safety Tips for Your Dog Park

10 Safety Tips for Your Dog Park

August 11, 2019

Now that you’ve built a dog park for your residents to enjoy, consider your safety plan and overall regulations to reduce incident and liability while dogs and their families are at play.

  1. Clearly post the rules for the dog park- Set the expectations for acceptable behavior and activity in your dog park before pets and their owners enter. It may also be helpful to include the local animal control phone number on your signage, so owners know how to handle and report aggressive dogs.
  2. Do not allow puppies at the dog park- Dogs should be at least four months before visiting dog parks. Puppies typically complete their vaccinations at or around 16 weeks of age, at which point it is safe for them to play with other dogs without the risk of contracting certain diseases.
  3. Provide separate areas for dogs of different sizes or temperaments- Avoid conflict and bullying between dogs of different sizes and temperament and provide both smaller breeds and older dogs a safe space to play in peace.
  4. Require that dogs are current on their vaccines- Prevent the spread of disease by only allowing dogs who are current on their vaccines to enter the dog park.
  5. Encourage dog owners to pick up their pet’s feces- Pet waste spreads disease and attracts flies, roaches and rats to the area. Provide pet waste stations and keep them stocked with bags so owners are more likely to use them consistently.
  6. Provide a water fountain or other water supply- For the safety of both the humans and animals, provide access to water to prevent overheating and exhaustion.
  7. Provide a shaded area- A shaded area such as tree cover, canopies, etc. will keep the park area cooler and help prevent exhaustion in both humans and animals.
  8. Do not allow dogs in heat to enter the dog park- Dogs in heat can cause fights between other dogs at the park. It also creates a stressful environment for male dogs who are intact.
  9. Encourage pet owners to avoid bringing young children to the dog park- Younger children may be tempted to play or wrestle with dogs they do not know, which is a safety hazard for the dog and child. Additionally, children making loud noises or running around in the park can provoke some dogs to attack.
  10. Encourage pet owners to avoid bringing toys and treats to the dog park- Dog become territorial when treats are introduced, and some do not want to share their toys. Avoid conflict altogether by leaving both at home.