AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – A dog park can be a wonderful place to take your pet to socialize and have some fun, but there are rules you and your dog need to follow.
Pet parents want what’s best for their four-legged friends, and a trip to the dog park offers pets a great opportunity to bond with your pet and let them run off some pent-up energy, but with all of this fun comes responsibility.
Before heading out to the dog park, you want to make sure your dog can follow basic commands like coming over to you when you ask. Each dog park has its own rules and regulations that are important to follow to have a “pawsitive” experience.
Watch them. The key is to make sure they are socializing well with the other dogs and make sure there’s no animosity whatever between them, so you know basically that just keep an eye out for them,” said Peter Ferry of Agawam.
Just like people, all dogs don’t get along with all dogs. If you notice any signs of discomfort like pulled-back ears, a tucked tail, excessive lip-licking, or yawning, be prepared to remove your dog from the situation.
“I keep in mind that she is very energetic and she might need a little bit of a walk before we go in. So that way she’s not approaching people with too much excitement. If there is a dog in there’s that not being safe, we just immediately leave and take her out of the equation because the most important thing is her health and well-being,” said Grace Taylor of Westfield.
As tempting as it may be do not bring treats and toys to reward your dog, leave them at home.
“We shouldn’t have treats in here at any point in time or things like toys. The dogs will fight over them and treats are a really exciting item for just about anybody,” said Taylor.
Instead, reward your dog with praise and petting. Leave your pets at home if they are feeling sick or if they aren’t spayed and neutered. Dogs that aren’t fixed may receive unwanted attention from other dogs, and the biggest dog park rule is to always clean up after your dog. Carry a waste bag dispenser or spare bags with you at all times to keep the park clean for everyone to enjoy with their furry friends.
“Well just enjoy your pet and let them go socialize and have fun because later in the day, it’ll pay off, they’ll be sleeping and not bothering you,” said Ferry.