A dog park is an excellent place to take your dog for socialization, some good old- fashioned exercise and a breath of fresh air. Arlington has many dog parks scattered about providing owners with many different options. One of Arlington’s dog parks even contains stream access for water-loving breeds!

Exercise is a key component to ensuring that your pet is physically and mentally healthy. Many Arlington dogs on weekdays have a dog walker come by and provide them with some much needed daily exercise. Why not mix things up on the weekends and take them to a dog park, a setting that is created just for them.

Owners need to first decide if the timing is right to take their pooch to participate in the dog park experience. All dogs who come to the park should be good canine citizens able to follow basic commands such as sit, stay and to come when called. Your pet should have up to date shots, be healthy and not currently being treated for an illness, and if your dog is an unsprayed female she should not be in a heat cycle.

The dog park experience can be very fun and rewarding for pets and their owners especially if certain dog park etiquette is followed.  First of all, please keep your dog leashed until he/she can be released into the open and properly secured dog play area. Leashing your pet in the parking lots and until he/she reaches the designated play area is crucial for the safety of your pet and for the peace of mind of all park participants. Make sure your dog has up to date licensing and is properly tagged and use only buckle style collars as a pinch collar may be hazardous to other pets.  Make sure to pick up and dispose of any dog waste in a proper and expedient manner.

A dog park is a great place for a dog to be a dog! Certain behaviors such as mounting, minor aggression, vocalizing and toy “borrowing” is to be expected. To avoid unnecessarily unpleasant circumstances owners must be proactive and engaged. Have a cell phone with you in case of an emergency but limit usage of electronic devices so that your attention can be focused on your pet. Take the opportunity to stay connected with your pet by talking with your pet or engaging in active play such as a chase or fetch. Your pet can be rewarded with treats or treats can be used to modify your pet’s behavior, but take care not to feed other dogs as you are not aware of their dietary restrictions. Encourage your pet to share his toys by allowing to others to play with them for a bit or by engaging your pet and another in a friendly game of tug of war. Games that allow dogs to use their natural hunting skills to find hidden objects such as balls, toys or Frisbees can be fun.

Visiting one of Arlington’s many dog parks is a rewarding experience for canine and owner alike if you take in to account the dos and don’ts of dog park etiquette.  Basic common sense and a proactive attitude toward preventing unfortunate circumstances will ensure a safe, fun times is had by all.

Source by Becky O’Neil