Category Archives: Pet Health

Keeping your Hound Safe and Sound

Any responsible pet owner should know that dogs need to go on walks and have ample playtime. This gives a dog a positive way to release energy, bond with their pack leader, and learn acceptable behavior. Keep the following safety tips in mind to get the most out of playtime.

Consider your environment
If you are taking your dog on a walk, or traveling to the dog (or regular) park, leash him up and look for signs with rules about leashing. Ask yourself if the environment is a safe one for your dog in particular. Is your dog good with other dogs? How about good around children?
Safety Play timeFence ‘em in
A busy person like me may want to let their dogs play outside, but if you aren’t in a dog park, it’s best to do it in a fenced area. Whether you are letting your dog play outside with his best buddy or you are teaching your dog to fetch, you’ll want to make sure the dog won’t bolt for the woods for whatever reason (or jump over the fence as mine would when I left him unattended for even a second in our yard). One of the good options out there is a wireless dog fence for a customizable boundary zone and collar that corrects your dog when he reaches the boundary of the roaming zone.

Establish and enforce rules of play
While playing with your dog, you need to consistently make it clear if your dog’s behavior is acceptable or not. While this is true for living with a dog in general, it is extra important during playtime to prevent any bad habits from beginning to form. Be sure to take breaks to keep a positive vibe and your dog’s attention during playtime.

Tug of war
This is a great game for two dogs, but as always, playtime is only fun until someone gets hurt. To make sure you don’t unintentionally encourage dog biting when playing tug of war with just the two of you, make the rules clear, such as when it’s okay to take the rope or toy and when they must drop it. Make use of commands such as “Take it” and “Drop it” and stop playing and take a break if your dog inadvertently touches his teeth to your hand. If your dog refuses to drop it on command, stop playing altogether.

Social isolation
Don’t leave your dog outside too often. You may be considering it as a quick fix for those behavioral problems that seem unsolvable, but you are only making things much worse. Your dog will soon replace his need to please his leader with a desire to occupy his time in any way he can find, which in turn makes training your dog even harder.

Cold weather cruelty
Cats and dogs are not actually any more resistant to cold weather due to their fur – even the Alaskan Husky sled dogs wear booties on their feet depending on the weather and type of snow conditions. Buy or make your pup some booties, and make sure their toenails and fur is trimmed to the proper length to avoid snow collecting around their toes. Like us, dogs run the risk of hypothermia and frost bite, so limit play and walks in extreme cold weather.

Keeping these considerations in the back of your mind will ensure playtime is always an enjoyable and fruitful use of time. Make sure you and your dog are in the right environment with a secured fence or dog park, with well-established rules, don’t leave your dog outside too often, and protect them from the cold. Keeping outdoor playtime safe for your dogs has never been easier.

Adam Holmes loves his two dogs Argos the husky and Lilly the Labradoodle more than life itself. When he isn’t writing for Havahart Wireless, he spends his time training his dogs for CGC certification and he is thinking about doing agility training with Argos.

Anthropawlogy: A look at Dog Breeding throughout the Ages

I’m Cindy Romero, an animal activist, blogger, and “mother” of two dogs, a cat and a bunny.

Do you know anything about the genetic history of your pet, other common dog breeds and part of what it means to breed a dog in the world today? Before getting a dog, most people wonder what kind of breed best fits their lifestyle and personality, but not many consider the cultural ramifications of a well preserved dog breed lineage, the shifts that can happen in a dog’s brain or the dangers of poor dog breeding.

Until recently, the melting pot of American dog breeds has been explained as originating from Asia along with humans as we brought our pets with us.  These original dogs were believed to have largely mixed with European breeds, most dying off from the introduction of European illnesses, leaving them unrecognizable from the Native American dogs before the days of Magellan and Christopher Columbus.

Chihuahuas: More native than you are!

According to a 2013 NPR article, some North American breeds have a purer pedigree than evolutionary geneticist formerly thought. North American dogs have actually not mixed so much with European dogs after all.  The modern Chihuahua actually still has the same DNA that it did 1000 years ago in Mexico meaning it is a breed untouched by European influences.

Aside from the Chihuahua there are other dogs that have remarkably little European genetic influence including the Greenland dog, the Mexican hairless dog, and the Peruvian hairless dog. This shows that most American breeds are the result of the native cultures that made them, mostly before Europeans arrived. For some Indian and Inuit cultures these dog breeds are an important signature of their ancestors and they must be preserved.

Dog breeding today

A 2010 study found that one of the dangers of dog breeding is that on top of altering a dog’s behavior, personality, and physical traits, dog breeding also can affect how a dog perceives its environment. Breeders can decide to select two dogs with different skull lengths, shifting the dog’s skull and rearranging the brain. Dogs with short skulls such as the pit bull have a brain much different than other dogs. The part of the brain for smelling is rotated forward making it near the base of the skull instead of at the front of the brain.

There are of course other dangers of dog breeding, so it’s best to do your research and find a humane breeder so that you don’t inadvertently support cruelty and ignorance. Adoption is always a great option too, and it happens that 1 out of every four dogs in the US is a purebred (if that is important to you). Adopting a dog also doesn’t mean anything about how the dog will behave or how easily they will be trained. I always advocate adoption first because it saves lives and a there is a huge over-population of pets needing homes.

Now that you know more about breeding, go fourth and choose the best dog for you. Readers, how did you decide on your current pet? Is there anything you regret about buying from a breeder?

Housebreaking A Dog: Litter Box Vs Outside

Housebreaking a dog means house training to urinate and defecate outside the house or any other designated area. It is often associated with potty training. Deciding on how you should house train your dog can be confusing to some dogs owners. Before you decide on what techniques to use, you need to consider the advantages and disadvantages for you and for your dog. Always consider your location and the most appropriate technique. Here are some facts that will help you decide whether you should use a dog litter box vs relying on going outside.

Dog Exercise

Dog litter box or the use of litter box is the perfect choice if you are:

  • Living in high apartment buildings or condo units.
  • No lawns or backyard.
  • Limited space outside.
  • Living in rural areas where dogs are not safe to go outside.
  • Over populated areas.
  • Dogs with old age owners or owners with impaired mobility.
  • Health condition of the dog that affects bladder incontinence.
  • Dogs with hip dysplasia and cataracts.

Advantages of training your dog to urinate and defecate outside:

  • The house is free from dogs mess.
  • Permanently placing your dog outside the house.
  • Saves you time and effort in cleaning the house for stains and odors.

Litter box or outside for potty training has the same process. It depends upon you to determine which best works for you depending on what is applicable. All you need to do is be consistent and have a lot of patience for it takes time to make the dog learn due to communication barrier. Obviously dogs do not speak english and communication is not always easy. You need to repeat the process for days or even weeks until they get it. Do not lose hope it’s just a matter of time until they get used to it. Potty Training is much easier if you try to watch for the signals for you to determine that they need to urinate and defecate at a certain time.

The Benefits of Exercising with Your Dog

As we all know, dogs make wonderful companions and are usually content to do whatever their owners are doing, from taking a ride in the car to lounging around on the sofa on a lazy Sunday afternoon. However, having a canine companion gives you a great excuse to get out and exercise! Whether that means taking a brisk walk around your neighborhood or running along a park trail, you and your dog can both benefit.

Exercise with dog

THE ADVANTAGES
Besides getting in better cardiovascular and physical shape, walking or running with your dog can also help:

  • Boost your mood
  • Lower your blood pressure
  • Strengthen your bond with your pet
  • Keep you motivated to exercise regularly (your dog will bug you to stay on your routine)

WHAT YOUR DOG GETS OUT OF THE DEAL
Running or walking with your dog isn’t just good for you; it’s also good for your dog. Exercising keeps his heart, lungs, joints, and digestive and circulatory systems healthy, and it helps him control weight and expend energy. If you’ve ever noticed your dog racing extra fast around your house or yard (sometimes referred to as zooming), you’ve witnessed him trying to burn up excess energy.

Regular exercise can also keep your dog’s not-so-fun behaviors under control. It can help prevent destructive chewing, biting, and digging and can calm hyperactivity and anxiety.

KEEP IN MIND
Dogs can run (or walk) farther and faster than people, but that doesn’t mean they should leap off the sofa and run for miles. If they’re just starting out, they need to build up distance gradually.

It’s also a good idea to keep puppies from exercising too strenuously or for too long to avoid damaging their developing bones and joints. In addition, dogs that are older or recovering from an injury or illness may need to take it a little easier or exercise for shorter periods. For instance, you can switch from a 30-minute run to two 15- minute walks. Especially for older or recovering pets, swimming can be a good alternative to running or walking.

To prevent your dog from getting heat stroke, avoid exercising during the hottest part of the day. Dawn, dusk, and after dark are often the best times to run or walk.

Visit your physician and veterinarian before you and your pet begin an exercise regimen. They can recommend what type of exercise is best for you and your dog and how long you should both spend exercising.

THE ULTIMATE REWARD
Running or walking with your dog can keep you motivated to stay on track and get healthy together. Plus, what could be better than spending quality time with your best friend?

TIPS FOR PROTECTING YOUR DOG’S PAWS

  • In hot weather, walk your dog in grassy areas as much as possible to avoid burning his paws.
  • In cold weather, consider having your dog wear booties to prevent paw contact with ice and de-icing chemicals.
  • Once inside, wipe off his paws.
  • Make sure you inspect his paws after every walk or run

**Article Courtesy of HealthyPet U**

Dogs Read Our Intent

Dogs pick up not only on the words we say but also on our intent to communicate with them, according to a report published online in the Cell Press journal Current Biology.Dogs Read Our IntentThe findings might help to explain why so many people treat their furry friends like their children; dogs’ receptivity to human communication is surprisingly similar to the receptivity of very young children, the researchers say.

“Increasing evidence supports the notion that humans and dogs share some social skills, with dogs’ social-cognitive functioning resembling that of a 6-month to 2-year-old child in many respects,” said József Topál of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. “The utilization of ostensive cues is one of these features: dogs, as well as human infants, are sensitive to cues that signal communicative intent.”

Those cues include verbal addressing and eye contact, he explained. Whether or not dogs rely on similar pathways in the brain for processing those cues isn’t yet clear.

Topál’s team presented dogs with video recordings of a person turning toward one of two identical plastic pots while an eye tracker captured information on the dogs’ reactions. In one condition, the person first looked straight at the dog, addressing it in a high-pitched voice with “Hi dog!” In the second condition, the person gave only a low-pitched “Hi dog” while avoiding eye contact.

The data show that the dogs were more likely to follow along and look at the pot when the person first expressed an intention to communicate.

“Our findings reveal that dogs are receptive to human communication in a manner that was previously attributed only to human infants,” Topál said.

As is often the case in research, the results will undoubtedly confirm what many dog owners and trainers already know, the researchers say. Notably, however, it is the first study to use eye-tracking techniques to study dogs’ social skills.

“By following the eye movements of dogs, we are able to get a firsthand look at how their minds are actually working,” Topál said. “We think that the use of this new eye-tracking technology has many potential surprises in store.”

**Article Courtesy of ScienceDaily.com**

How Do I Protect my Dog’s Paws in the Snow?

Walking the dogs in cold snowy weather is one of the hazards of dog ownership, unless you are lucky enough to live where snow doesn’t exist. Along with the hazards of having an enthusiastic dog on the end of the leash in icy conditions, ice and snow can cause damage to your dog’s paws as well. Snow and ice can get stuck in between the pads on your dog’s paws, causing cuts and uncomfortably cold toes. Even a small amount of build-up under your dog’s feet can pull the sensitive hairs underneath and cause a noticable loss of traction.

Protect Dog’s Paws in the Snow

You can help by keeping your dog’s nails cut short and the fur between his toes trimmed to a manageable level. Cut too short, the fur won’t offer protection from the snow anymore, but a neatly trimmed foot will attract less ice and snow to collect inside. To avoid trimming out too much hair, keep your scissors parrallel with your dogs pads and just shear off the fur that sticks out from in between the pads. Around the toes the fur should be cut just short enough to see the end of the toenail. Trim around the sides to keep that nice “paw” shape. If your dog isn’t a dog that grows between his toes (not all do), then you need trim nothing.

If you live in the land of constant snowfall and below freezing temperatures, maybe dog boots are in your future?

  • NeoPaws Boots and Shoes have a rubber sole, much like a tennis shoe, giving good traction and stability.
  • Muttluks are built for warmth and comfort, available in fleece-lined for extreme cold. Muttluks have treated leather soles though and may ort may not provide the traction needed for icescapades.
  • Ruff Wear Barkin’ Boots have a durable and flexible sole designed to allow your dog to “grip” with his paws, as though they were bare. Not built for warmth, however, but good protection nonetheless.

When you’re just coming in from a snowy walk and wonder how to free your dog’s feet from caked snow, the best bet is to simply let it melt off in the heat of your home. Pulling on the packed snowballs will be painful for your dog and he’ll be very reluctant to let you try a second time.

**Article Courtesy of About.com**

Thanksgiving Safety Tips for Dog Owners

There’s enough for people to worry about at Thanksgiving. “Oh no, not Aunt Edna’s greasy gravy.” “My brother’s bragging is going to drive me to drink.” “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing.” But we can’t just think of ourselves over this food-focused holiday: We have to look after our best friends, too.

Thanksgiving Safety Tips for Dog OwnersDogs enjoy the revelry at least as much as humans, with bits of this and that dropping on the floor, and delectable smells wafting around the house. But Thanksgiving mustn’t be a free-for-all. Just because we try to pack away all we can doesn’t mean our dogs should. And there are certain items your dog really needs to avoid.

“Veterinarians experience an increased number of office calls due to digestive problems after the holidays because humans invite their animals to celebrate with high fat meals (ham, gravy, turkey skin), chocolates, bones , etc.,” warns Casandria Smith, L.A. Animal Services Chief Veterinarian, in a PetFinder article.

Here are some tips that will help your dog get through Thanksgiving safely and with a smile on her snout.

Stuff Your Turkey, Not Your Dog
It’s easy to want to give your dog a big fat bowl of turkey, mashed potatoes, and whatever else you think she might enjoy. But that’s a bad idea. Overindulging in fatty foods can lead to an upset stomach, diarrhea, or a life-threatening condition called pancreatitis. A few strips of turkey on a dog’s normal food is fine, but don’t overdo it, no matter how she may plead with her “I’m STARVING” eyes. Keep in mind that turkey skin can wreak havoc with a dog’s digestive system, so make sure she gets skinless, boneless turkey.

Stuff Your Dog’s Kong, Not Your Dog
Here’s a great way to keep your dog busy and happy during your meal. Put a bit of your dog’s regular food in a Kong, and then stuff a little boneless turkey, sweet potatoes, gravy – just a tad, mind you – in the Kong. It’s not much food, but it will keep him occupied for a long time.

Get Her Pooped
A dog who has been on a big walk or fetched the ball a zillion times will be much more likely to run out of energy during the feast than a dog who’s been inside all day. A tired dog is a good dog on Thanksgiving. Make sure your pup gets plenty of exercise before the festivities begin.

Make No Bones About It
Cooked turkey bones can be a danger to your dog. They’re sharp, and potentially very dangerous. You may not know a dog has a turkey bone lodged in your dog’s digestive system for days. Don’t leave plates with bones lying around. Ditto for the turkey carcass. Hungry dogs have been known to run off with the remains of a carved turkey. It can happen in the blink of an eye. You notice the turkey is gone. You notice the dog is gone. With luck, you find their hiding place before anything happens. Put plates in an unreachable area if you can’t dispose of everything properly right away.

Know This Sage Wisdom
Sage and some other herbs have essential oils that can cause tummy upset and central nervous system depression if a dog eats them in large quantities. Most dogs aren’t going to nosh on a fistful of sage, but keep herbs out of reach just in case.

Don’t Cry Over Onions
Onions are toxic to dogs. They can lead to a dangerous form of anemia that may not be detected for days. Make sure your dog stays away from the pearly whites, and yellows, and reds.

Don’t Give Her the Raw Deal
Unless your dog is already on a raw diet, we wouldn’t recommend plopping a piece of raw turkey in her bowl (the change from her regular food might cause an upset stomach). But more importantly, keep your pup away from the uncooked dough for bread or rolls. What helps make dough rise? Heat. If a dog eats raw dough, what’s it like for the dough in the dog’s stomach? Warm. The dough rises in the dog’s stomach, and if the dog has eaten enough, the swollen dough can cause pain, vomiting, and bloating — conditions that can send you to the doggy ER on Thanksgiving.

Avoid Yappy Hour
Some dogs seem to enjoy alcoholic drinks. Walk away from your drink that’s set on the coffee table, and Lulu may get lit. Dogs and booze are a bad mix. Your dog may not do anything embarrassing she’ll regret in the morning, but she could become disoriented and quite ill. Too much alcohol can even lead to a coma, and death. Watch where you – and others – put their drinks, especially if you have a curious pup.

By following a few basic tips, your dog will enjoy a fun, safe Thanksgiving. Now if only you could avoid Aunt Edna’s gravy …

**Article Courtesy of Dogster.com**

The Importance of Exercise for your Dog

In addition to providing food and water, daily exercise is need that must be met for your dog’s health and well-being. Exercise needs and energy levels are some of the most important things to research when deciding to get a pet. When caring for dogs, not only is exercise important for your dog’s physical health, the amount of exercise your dog gets can affect behavior, aggression levels, trainability, mental health, and physical health.Dog ExerciseThe Importance of Exercise for Dogs: Exercise Affects Your Dog’s Physical Health
Outside walks are more than just a chance for your dog to go to the bathroom. Physical exercise affects your dog’s physical health, mental health, and behavior. Lack of exercise can lead to dog health problems such as obesity and heart problems. Adequate exercise has health benefits that can help increase your dog’s lifespan. Consult with your vet about your dog’s health and exercise routines.

The Importance of Exercise for Dogs: Exercise Affects Your Dog’s Mental Health
Exercise provides mental simulation for your dog. Outdoor experiences provide mental simulation for dogs with a change of scenery, sounds, and smells. Outside your dog experiences scents of other dogs, other people, and other animals. These experiences are important to help your dog develop socialization skills for interacting with people and other dogs. Lack of mental stimulation can lead to boredom and behavioral problems such as over excitement in dogs, fear, or aggression in dogs when seeing a new dog or person.

The Importance of Exercise for Dogs: Exercise Affects Your Dog’s Behavior and Aggression Levels
Exercise affects your dog’s behavior. Lack of exercise can have negative affects on your dog’s behavior. Adequate exercise can have positive affects on your dog’s behavior. While watching dog training shows like it’s Me or the Dog, time after time dog behavioral problems increase when dogs aren’t getting enough exercise. Also time after time, dog behavioral problems decrease when dogs are given enough exercise. If your dog is misbehaving, it could be due to not enough exercise.

The amount of exercise a dog gets affects his or her energy levels throughout the day which can have negative behavioral effects. Lack of exercise in dogs can lead to hyperactivity, irritability, aggression, destructiveness, excess barking, and even biting. A dog with energy to spare can be bored and have more time for chewing your things or their own feet and running around the house knocking things over. Pent up energy can lead to a dog who chases people or other pets inside. A dog who has received inadequate exercise may have problems with jumping and biting. A dog’s behavior problems could be due to lack of exercise. Your dog may be sending a signal by trying to get the exercise they need by exerting energy when not appropriate and in unacceptable ways. A dog who has received enough exercise can be a calmer and quieter pet dog.

The Importance of Exercise for Dogs: Exercise Affects Your Dog’s Trainability
Exercise affects your dog’s trainability. Mental simulation that appropriate dog exercise provides can lead to a smarter dog. Appropriate physical exercise increases your dog’s ability to focus. A lack of appropriate outlets for energy makes it harder to sit, stay, wait, or lie down. A dog who has not received enough exercise can be more easily distracted or bored by training. Providing enough exercise for your dog can help solve dog behavior problems and increase dog trainability. Getting enough exercise makes dog training easier.

The Importance of Exercise for Dogs: Providing Adequate Exercise
It’s important to provide enough exercise for your dog. Providing adequate exercise for your dog has many benefits. A well exercised dog can be calmer around the house. There are dog training benefits, mental health benefits, and physical health benefits for your dog. Providing adequate exercise for your dog can help solve dog behavior problems and increase your dog’s lifespan.

Training can be good exercise for dogs. Your dog can get exercise learning to come when you call. Play can be good dog exercise when your dog is playing fetch or learning to play fetch. Catching a Frisbee can be good exercise for your dog. Dog exercise can be fun. Toys can provide exercise for dogs. Appropriate chew toys for dogs’ size and strength will exercise mouths and give dogs an acceptable outlet for chewing.

The Importance of Exercise for Dogs: How Much Exercise Does a Dog Need?
Before getting a pet, it’s important to know what the pet’s needs are to be sure you can provide the care the pet needs. Dog care requires money, time, patience, and energy and dogs don’t fit everyone’s lifestyle. Dog care requires grooming, cleaning, vet care, food, water, and providing daily exercise. Dog exercise needs and energy level vary according to breed, size, age, and health. Some dogs need more aerobic exercise than others. Dog exercise requirements can vary according to the individual dog. A dog may need more exercise than you think.

Before you get a dog, or if you already have one, seek advice from animal shelter workers, animal shelter trainers, other trainers, and vets about the exercise needs of the dog you’re thinking of getting or already have. They can also offer free dog training tips for training your dog to walk on a leash or help solve dog behavior problems. Animal shelter workers, trainers, and vets can also offer free dog training tips for potty training your puppy or dog. The age of a dog, health, and diet affects the number of times the dog needs to go outside to use the bathroom. Animal shelter workers, animal shelter trainers, and rescue groups are often happy to provide free dog training tips and help solve dog behavior problems. Dog training shows like It’s Me or the Dog also offers free dog training tips.

While not all dog behavior problems are due to lack of exercise, many dog behavior problems are affected by the amount of exercise the dog is given. Talk to animal shelter workers for free dog training tips and ask about the importance of exercise for dogs. Provide enough exercise for your dog and help increase your dog’s lifespan along with increasing your dog’s trainability. Consult with your vet about your dog’s health and exercise routines. If your dog has problems with behavior or training, consider the amount of exercise he or she is getting.

**Article Courtesy of Yahoo! Voices**

How to Give Your Dog a Bath

As much as we all love for our furry friends to smell fresh and clean, getting to that point isn’t always easy. Dogs are rarely excited to jump into the bathtub for a good scrub. Bathing fearful dogs might be better handled by a professional groomer or your veterinary office. But if you decide to wade in, here are some helpful hints.Give Your Dog a BathGetting YOU Ready
Be sure you’re donning clothes that you’re okay with getting wet and dirty (and furry). Move all your grooming materials into the bathroom shampoo (ask your vet for suggestions specific to your dog), conditioner (a must for longer coats that need to be brushed out), brush, mineral oil (for eyes), cotton balls (for ears), at least two big, absorbent towels and, most importantly, TREATS. Lay a non-skid mat down in the tub to help the dog keep his footing. If you don’t have a detachable showerhead, a bowl or even a large cup is helpful in rinsing.

Getting (Fido) Ready
Trimming your pet’s nails prior to bath time will not only give your dog better footing, it will also help protect your skin in case he tries to make a break for it. Now, bring the dog into the bathroom and close the door behind you catching a wet, soapy dog running down your hallway is no easy task! Give praise and treats to make him comfortable in the bathroom before you try to get him into the tub. If you’re able to, gently putting a cotton ball in each ear can help keep water out — just be sure to remove them when you’re finished! Also, to help keep shampoo from irritating his eyes, you can put a drop of mineral oil in each one.

Bring on the Suds
Dogs are unlikely to get into the tub willingly. For bigger dogs, a second person to help you get Fido into the bath can help avoid straining your back. Make sure water isn’t too hot or too cold. Let your dog hear and then gently feel the water before going full-speed ahead with the bath. Start shampooing your dog’s shoulders and then move out from there. Be gentle around the face and any sensitive areas but be sure you get down to the undercoat. Read the directions on the shampoo bottle carefully to ensure proper usage. Rinse out all the shampoo, using your fingers to make sure you get through the undercoat to avoid subsequent irritation. This is where a detachable showerhead or bowl comes in handy to be sure bigger dogs get rinsed thoroughly.

No More Tangles
After the shampoo has been completely rinsed out, you can apply conditioner, if desired. Follow the directions on the bottle because some products need to sit on the coat for several minutes. If you have a particularly squirmy dog, you’ll want to find a fast-acting formula. Once you have finished the bath, it is time to dry your pooch. Towel dry as much as possible in the bathroom. For dogs with longer coats, you may want to use a blow dryer set on low. Before the dog leaves the bathroom, brush his coat out thoroughly because the bath will loosen up a lot of fur, which is better contained in the bathroom than all over the house. Many dogs get “after-bath-crazies,” so hold onto your hat and let ‘em run!

**Article Courtesy of Petfinder.com**

Dog Park Etiquette

Once you and your dog get to the dog park, it’s tempting to just stand back and watch all the activity. But everybody will have a much more rewarding time if you observe some basic etiquette for visiting a dog park. Many of the suggestions below are more common sense than anything, but they should be heeded. These may not be official dog park rules, but following this etiquette will make the dog park / dog run a better place for all who visit.Dog Park EtiquetteDog parks aren’t a right, they’re a privilege. – Please don’t let bad behavior ruin things for everyone else.

  • Never leave your dog unattended.
  • Always clean up after your dog. Most parks have poopbags or scoopers, so use them. This is a primary reason that dog parks get complaints, so pay attention and pick up the poop.
  • Make sure your dog is current on her shots and has a valid license.
  • Don’t bring dogs younger than 4 months to a dog park. They won’t have had all the necessary inoculations that allow them to play safely with other animals.
  • Don’t bring a female dog in season if not spayed.
  • Spayed/neutered animals are recommended.
  • Don’t bring more than two or maybe three dogs. It subjects parks to overuse, and if they’re not your dogs, you may not have full control over them. It’s hard enough for many people to watch one dog!
  • Keep your dog on-leash until you get to the off-leash area. This is not just respectful to other park users; it’s much safer for your dog.
  • Close all doors to the dog park or dog run after entering or exiting.
  • If your dog becomes unruly or plays rough, leash him and leave immediately.
  • If you must bring children to a dog park, supervise them closely.
  • Don’t smoke or eat while at the dog park. Cigarette butts and food wrappers are tempting treats to dogs, but bad for them.
  • Always observe all of the rules posted at your local dog park. Each town has its own set of regulations: please follow them.

**Article Courtesy of DogPark.com**