Dog Park Do’s and Don’ts

Are you planning to take your canine companion to the park this summer? Man’s Best Friend loves going on fun outings! Visiting a dog park is a great way to give Fido a change of scenery, and offer him a chance to sniff new patches of grass. There are some things you’ll want to keep in mind, however. Read on as a London, ON vet discusses taking your pup to the park.

Preventative Care

Before taking Fido to the park, make sure that he is microchipped, wearing proper ID tags, and up to date on his vaccinations and parasite control. Heartworm medication is especially important. Heartworms are transmitted from pooch to pooch by mosquitos that carry infected blood. As one can imagine, dog parks can be very risky environments for this. We also recommend keeping copies of your furry pal’s paperwork with you. One easy way to do this is to simply keep copies in your glove box.


Proper training isn’t just about petiquette: it’s also important for safety reasons. Make sure that Fido will Sit, Stay, Come, Heel, or Lay Down on command. If not, take your canine pal back to school before bringing him to the park.

Selecting Proper Playmates

Take a few moments to observe the dogs that are already in the park before letting your furry buddy loose. Look for female dogs in heat, as well as pooches that are bullying other dogs. If you notice either of these things, take Fido for a walk, and come back another day.


Fido will get thirsty very quickly after running and playing with his friends. Be sure to bring water along! You may also want to get some collapsible doggy dishes.


Always pick up after your four-legged buddy. While many dog parks offer free waste baggies, it’s a good idea to keep spares with you, just in case.


Many dog parks have picnic tables, so people can relax and eat while their pets play. There’s nothing wrong with bringing something along. However, it’s a good idea to be discreet. Choose something that won’t smell appealing to your canine friend and his buddies. Otherwise, you may find yourself surrounded by some very interested dogs! The same applies to treats.

As your London, ON pet clinic, we are dedicated to providing excellent veterinary care. Please feel free to contact us anytime.

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