Dogs are social creatures that thrive when allowed to be active, both physically and mentally. If you’ve ever come home from a long day at work to a raided trashcan or chewed-up shoes, it might be because your dog is bored and lacking stimulation.

Enter dog parks—places where our canine pals can prance around off-leash with their same-species buddies, where the tennis balls and games of fetch seem to never be in short supply, where excess doggie energy is expended at lighting-fast rates every single day. Sounds ideal, right? Well, it depends on your dog. Here, we’ll discuss the types of dogs that are suitable for the dog park, and others that may not be.

Let’s go play!
Dogs who are good candidates for the dog park include:
– Healthy dogs that are fully vaccinated with strong immune systems, free of chronic injuries or pain, and ready to run and wrestle with other pups
– Well-socialized dogs that love interacting with other dogs on a regular basis and aren’t scared, intimidated or irritated by other dogs regardless of size or breed
– Spayed/neutered dogs that won’t accidentally contribute to the ever-growing pet overpopulation problem
– Young dogs under the age of 2, who will be socialized and burn excess energy at the dog park

Let’s stay home!
Don’t let your pup play at the park if he or she is:
– Not spayed or neutered
– An unvaccinated puppy at high risk of contracting potentially deadly contagious diseases, like parvovirus
– Fearful, anxious, nervous, or undersocialized
– Aggressive toward other dogs

Think your dog is ready for the dog park? Call our office to be sure he’s up to date on all vaccinations and do your research to find the ideal park for your pup. The best dog parks are securely fenced, large enough for normal interaction, include cleanup stations with trashcans and pickup bags, include a water source and shaded area, and include a separate area for smaller dogs.