How to Keep Your Puppy Safe This Summer: The Dog Park

Categorised in:

photo of two puppies running joyfully toward the camera

One of the most exciting moments with your puppy is heading to the dog park. You’ve trained them well and they follow commands. They’re great on their leash and keep pace with you. You can’t wait to get out there and watch your pup frolic with the other dogs. Maybe they’ll make a new friend to have dog play dates with. It’s all so exciting!

While heading to the dog park can be a really great experience and a way for your puppy to let out some energy, it’s also important as their human to keep them safe. Here are some ways to do just that.

Get to Know Your Pup

Sometimes with a new pup, we only see their adorable side and may not consider their whole personality or temperament, especially how they are around strangers or other dogs. Here are a few questions to consider before heading to the dog park for the first time:

  • Is your puppy shy around strangers and other dogs?
  • Have they even had experience or training with other dogs, especially rambunctious fellow puppies?
  • Are they territorial over their favorite toys or treats?

It’s important to keep these questions in mind and also learn the body language of your puppy in different situations. What may seem normal to you, could be a sign of danger to another dog in the vicinity. While we can’t control every possibility, being aware of your pet could make the difference between a peaceful day in the park and an unfortunate incident between pups.

Water, Water, Water

The dog days of summer are here and as the weather heats up, we might not realize our pup is struggling in the heat. While hydration is important for us too, it can be a lot harder to identify dehydration in our furry friends. We sweat to regulate our temperatures, but our furry friends actually pant instead. According to Spruce Pets, “​​dogs cool their bodies using the evaporation of moisture from the mouth and tongue, and by exchanging the hot air of their lungs with cooler external air.”

One major sign to watch out for— if your pup has an increase in panting on a hotter day. While some dog parks might have a communal water bowl for all the dogs, it’s best to bring your own. Provide your puppy with some shade and a cool drink of water, maybe from this Messy Mutts dog travel water bottle.

Keep a Lookout

As our puppies race across the dog park, and investigate with every sniff, it’s important to keep a close eye on them because you never know what they might discover. Usually, it’s just a dandelion they’re curious about, but other times they could be chewing on stuff they definitely shouldn’t eat… like poop. Which is why it’s always courteous to pick up after your dog and hopefully others will continue to do the same.

In addition to this, veterinarians recommend having your puppies fully vaccinated before being around unfamiliar dogs. Since puppies are young, they don’t have a robust immune system yet and could be susceptible to an illness that an older, vaccinated dog would not.

One of the best parts of being a pet parent is growing with our pups. Seeing their curiosity and watching them run along the grass is so thrilling, but it can be easy to forget just how curious they can be. That’s why it’s so important to keep an eye on them and keep them safe to the best of your ability.