Off-leash dog parks look like paradises for pups. They get to race around, make dog buddies, and burn off energy. Not to mention, pet parents get a chance to chat with other dog lovers, too. But without the proper precautions, dogs can get injuries or catch illnesses at dog parks.
Walnut Creek is a great place for dogs to play with other dogs. Unfortunately, not all dog parks are safe and welcoming – some don’t have fences or gates, which means that your dog can easily escape from the park. It’s important to find a dog park in Walnut Creek where there are enough people around so you can relax and know that your pet will be taken care of if anything happens. We’ll go over how to do this below!
HOW TO PREPARE FOR A DOG PARK VISIT
- Before you bring your dog to the off-leash park, it’s important that they are sufficiently prepared. Make sure their mental and physical health is in check before bringing them there because if not then they will likely have a less than pleasant experience. For dogs who tend to get aggressive with other pets, doggy day care or meeting up at on leash parks may be more suitable for comfort levels and avoiding potential altercations between animals of different temperaments.
- Try going during an off-peak hour. It can be very crowded on weekdays after work or weekends and your furry friend may feel intimidated by all of the activity around him! Give his first experience at a dog run some fun memories with these safety tips:
- Before you go to the dog park with your dog, check it out by yourself. Have a look at the park’s posted rules. Ask other dog owners about the vibe at the park – are the other dogs friendly? Are they mostly big or small dogs?
- Make sure that your dog is socialized to other dogs. Some dogs are afraid of or aggressive toward other dogs. If you have an anti-social pup, consult a behaviorist or trainer to help you socialize him before you become a regular at the dog park.
- When you first take your dog to the dog run, try to go during an off-peak hour. It can be very crowded after work or on weekends and your dog may be intimidated by all of the activity. Have his first experience at the park be fun!
- Make sure that your dog’s vaccinations are up to date before taking him to the park.
- Never take a female in heat to the park. Some parks have rules against intact males.
- Remove your dog’s leash as soon as you enter the park. Leash aggression is common when one dog is on a leash and the others aren’t.
- Keep a flat or rolled nylon or leather collar on your dog at all times. Remove a choke or prong collar if you use one.
- Find out about the rules at any potential parks before bringing your pup by going on their website or calling them directly. Some places require proof of vaccinations against rabies and distemper, while others may have restrictions on breeds allowed at their facility.
- Bring water and treats (especially if it’s hot out)! And bring poop bags too!
- Keep an eye on your pet at all times, especially if they are not typically social with other dogs.
Required vaccines and screenings
Anywhere dogs get together is a place where diseases have the chance to spread. Typically community dog parks run by cities require dogs to have a fecal screening to make sure they’re not transmitting parasites in their poop. They also need to be up to date on vaccinations of contagious illnesses, including:
Although sprinting around a fenced dog park may be natural for your pup, coming when called, sitting, and letting you put the leash back on is a whole other matter. It’s not unusual to see pet parents chasing their dogs around the park, desperately trying to grab their pooches when it’s time to go home.
Fortunately, there are plenty of websites and trainers that can help with basic training. But if you’re a bit shy about asking for advice or don’t have the time to make it to class on weekday evenings, living in Walnut Creek has its perks!
-Many dog parks offer private lessons so pet parents can work one-on-one with their trainer.
-The local cooperative extension offers Doggy Day Camp at select times throughout the summer where your pup will learn important skills like coming when called, walking nicely on leash, sitting politely while waiting for food or treats and more. They’ll also have playtime with other dogs and socialization is an added benefit!
Going to the dog park is a great time for you and your pup, but it’s important that they’re socialized first. You’ll need to know if there are any specific rules posted at the entrance so make sure you stop by in advance of going with them. Talk about other dogs’ experiences at this location before deciding whether or not it seems like a good fit for both of you (you don’t want an anti-social puppy taking over). If all goes well then go during off hours on weekdays when less people will be around!