I wonder if you realize that when taking your pet to a dog park safety precautions are extremely important. It’s not enough for you to be an observant and responsible dog “owner.” Primarily it’s about what other pet parents do or do not do. And, what their dogs do or don’t do. 

From A Vet’s Perspective

Any veterinarian will tell you that canines frequently suffer injuries while off leash in an environment with dogs they’ve never met before. Surprisingly, most humans believe that dogs instinctively know what to do when sharing a common space. However, that’s just not so. Medical professionals also point out that dog park behavior awareness dramatically helps to avoid emotional and physical traumas that can range from relatively minor to very serious.

Dog park safety precautions and behavior awareness are vital in order to avoid injuries and emotional trauma to your pet
Dog park safety precautions and behavior awareness are vital in order to avoid injuries and emotional trauma to your pet

Not A Big Fan

No. I admit that, generally speaking, I am not a big fan of dog parks. As a pet sitter and dog walker myself, the only exception I will take a canine, or two, to a dog park is when it is empty! And, apparently, I am not alone. Dog behavior professionals tend to agree. Here’s why.

Dog Park Safety Precautions – The Dogs

The following two points are worth noting. The reason being they can apply to any canine that is allowed to roam free. Firstly, many of the dogs have not been properly trained in social behavior. And, secondly, when a dog feels overwhelmed and stressed it is much less likely to obey commands. 

Dog Park Safety Precautions – The “Owners”

Very often pet “owners” pass the time at the dog park talking to other humans or else reading and texting. They don’t really pay attention to what is going on.

This means that they are not properly supervising their dogs. And, if they are unable to correct their pets quickly enough, they won’t be able to prevent an incident from occurring in the first place.

Dog Park Behavior Awareness

This short list is a warning to each and every pet guardian at the dog park. These unacceptable behaviors that a dog may exhibit apply not only to everyone else’s dog, but to yours as well. If you are observant and prepared, you can avoid the escalation of a situation. Similarly, you may well be able to prevent an incident from starting in the first place.

over excitement

playing rough

rudeness (intrusion)


overt aggression

To Sum Up

Please remember that when you visit a dog park, you do not know all the owners there. And, logically, you cannot possibly know all the dogs there, either. As I’ve just mentioned, there are risks involved. That said, if you feel uncomfortable about taking your pet to the dog park, you can always come up with alternatives. Safe socializing and exercising can be done in a number of different ways.

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!  

More must-read articles in this category:

How to take your cat for a walk

Dog walking safely means being focused

Daily physical activity for good health

Defensive dog walking is like defensive driving

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