Taking your pet to a Houston dog park can be a great experience. However, a common misconception about going to a dog park is it’s automatically going to be a great time. The reason that’s not true is there are things that can happen which make this trip stressful or simply not enjoyable. Fortunately, you can minimize the likelihood of those types of things happening and maximize your chances of having a fun time with your dog. The key to making that happen is doing a little planning and knowing what to expect while you’re there.
So with those objectives in mind, we want to share five useful tips about going to a dog park:
1. Choose the Right Houston Dog Park
Because Houston is a city that’s home to plenty of dog lovers, there’s no shortage of dog parks to choose from. Since the experience at parks can vary quite a bit from one to another, it’s important to pick the best fit for you and your dog. Asking any friends or family members where they take their dog is a good starting point. You can also do some research online. And if you ever arrive at a dog park and get a bad feeling for any reason, there’s nothing wrong with bailing and trying again somewhere else.
2. Be Ready to Use the “Come” Command
Prior to heading to the dog park, make sure your dog is trained to respond to the “come” command. This will give you the confidence to navigate any situation that may arise from a lot of dogs or people being around.
3. Take Your Dog Off Its Leash
Once you enter the dog park, it’s time to let your dog off its leash. The reason we bring this up is some owners are hesitant to take this step. What they don’t realize is keeping their dog on its leash when other dogs are running around freely is much more likely to result in their pet getting stressed out.
4. Leave Treats and Food in the Car
Many dogs can become aggressive when food is introduced into a setting. They will try and guard it for themselves. To avoid dog fights and keep the peace, please leave treats in the car or your human food at home. Dogs have such an incredible sense of smell, they will know if it’s “hidden” in your pocket or purse.
5. Stay Alert But Focus on Having Fun
It’s important to pay attention to the body language of your dog and others when you’re at a dog park. But as long as you pay attention and use the “come” command if it ever seems like any play is starting to get too tense or aggressive, you’ll be able to have a fun time watching your dog have a blast playing with others.