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First Visit to a San Diego Dog Park? Be Prepared!

Posted by Awesome Doggies

San Diego has a number of dog parks that provide city-dwellers the chance to romp off leash with their fur friends. Roughly stated, a dog park is a fenced-in area where dogs are allowed to run around off leash just for fun. Owners socialize, while fur friends frolic. Sounds like fun, right? Generally it is, but it’s best to be prepared. If you’ve never been to a dog park before, give it a little thought before going the first time. Safety and good manners are the name of the game. Here are a few things to consider:

Preparation for a Dog Park Visit

First get your dog up to date on all vaccinations and be sure they are in good health and can physically withstand rough and rowdy doggie play. If you have a small dog and are worried about their fragility, look for parks that have separate play areas for small and large dogs. It’s a good idea to have your dog on preventive treatment for parasites. All that social interaction you are hoping for? Fleas and more may be shared!

Is Your Dog Ready For A Dog Park Visit?

Honestly evaluate your pet’s personality and training to be sure they are ready for a situation that involves lots up up-close interaction with other dogs and people – all of whom are probably total strangers. Just because you are ready to visit a dog park doesn’t mean your dog is!

Be sure your dog is well enough trained to come when called despite distractions (of which there will be many). This is a valuable tool to keep your pet out of trouble  -- you can call them to you when a confrontational situation starts to develop.


Practice A Speedy Exit

Be prepared to leave immediately – and preferably at the first sign of trouble. Dog fights can happen at dog parks, and you don’t want your pet involved. Not every visitor to the dog park is a good canine citizen, and not all owners are responsible and attentive. If you see a dog threatening the other animals, remove your dog from the area immediately until somebody corrals the beast causing problems. Keep your leash draped around your neck at all times.

Practice grabbing your dog suddenly for no apparent reason, attaching their leash quickly, and leading them urgently to another place. If you aren’t practiced in these moves, it will be harder to do in an emergency. If your leash and collar are difficult to attach, get ones that work more easily so that you can get your dog out of trouble and under control quickly.

Consider Pet Health Insurance

If you will be going to dog parks on a regular basis, it may be a good idea to get some kind of emergency health insurance for your pet – just like parents who have kids in sports have special insurance for those injuries. If your dog is injured by somebody else’s dog, it’s not safe to assume you can get them to pay for any needed treatment.


Expect To Have Fun

Don’t be put off by thoughts of what could go wrong. Dog parks are a fantastic resource for the community, and most visits are pure fun. If you are properly prepared, and stay alert and aware of what the dogs are doing, you can help your pet stay away from any potential trouble. Mind your manners, pick up after your dog, and keep the dog park an excellent experience for everybody, pooches and people alike.

San Diego Dog Parks

Ready to give it a try? Grab a leash and a couple of poop bags, and head for the park!  And don't forget, here in San Diego, some of the best parks are at the beach! (Keep in mind that beaches will not be fenced in.)  Here are some links to dog parks  around San Diego:

San Diego Dog Beaches and Off Leash Dog Parks

Dog Parks – City of San Diego Parks Dept

Dog Parks – at Balboa Park

Dog Parks – Encinitas (Rancho Coastal Humane Society)

Torrey Pines Dog Park – Carmel Valley

Leashless in San Diego (places your dog can go off leash)



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