The dos and don’ts of the dog park

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Scattered throughout various suburbs in Penrith, lies a haven for our four-legged companions – the dog park.

A place where open spaces meet wagging tails, and where dogs can romp and play to their heart’s content. However, with this communal space comes responsibility, both for the owners and their furry friends, to ensure a safe and enjoyable environment for all.

Ground rules: Before unleashing your pup into the playground of fur and fun, it’s essential to understand the rules of engagement. Not every dog is suited to the dog park environment, and there’s no screening process in place. Therefore, it falls upon the owners to assess whether their furry friend will thrive amidst the hustle and bustle of the park.

The DOs of Dog Park Etiquette:

1. Be realistic about your dog: It’s crucial to be honest with yourself about your dog’s temperament. Even the most well-behaved pet can find the excitement of the park overwhelming. Ensure your dog is well-socialised and comfortable interacting with other dogs.

2. Keep vaccinations up-to-date: Health is paramount in a communal setting. Ensure your dog is vaccinated, up-to-date with preventative care, and in good health to minimise the risk of disease transmission.

3. Keep your dog on-leash until the designated area: Good manners start at the gate. Keep your dog on a leash until you’re within the fenced-off area to control introductions and prevent any unwanted confrontations.

4. Respect size restrictions: If the park segregates by size, adhere to it. Large dogs can unintentionally harm smaller ones during play, and a smaller dog may feel threatened in a space dominated by larger breeds.

5. Clean up after your pup: It goes without saying – scoop the poop. Maintaining cleanliness is essential for the enjoyment of all park-goers.

The DON’Ts of Dog Park Etiquette:

1. Don’t get distracted: Stay vigilant. Your dog’s safety and behaviour are your responsibility, so keep your focus on them at all times.

2. Avoid taking puppies: Until your puppy is at least 16-weeks-old and fully vaccinated, steer clear of dog park visits. Discuss alternative socialisation options with your

3. No place for behavioural rehabilitation: Dog parks are not a substitute for professional training, especially for dogs with behavioural issues. If your pet is showing signs of stress or anxiety, it’s time to exit the park and seek expert guidance.

As the popularity of dog parks continues to grow, it’s crucial for owners to uphold these etiquette guidelines to ensure a harmonious experience for all park visitors. Remember, a well-behaved dog makes for a happy outing. So, leash up, scoop the poop, and let the tails wag freely in Penrith’s beloved dog parks!

For more information, phone the friendly team at Orchard Hills Veterinary Hospital on 4736 2027.

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