By Kelley Stenberg, GalTime Associate Producer
Finding a place where your pooch can run free and get a good exercise can be difficult in urban areas. Strict leash laws and angry neighbors can make this even more difficult. Even though it may seem hard to find, there are usually many off-leash dog parks in urban areas just for this reason. You may be nervous as a first timer, but don’t worry. The dog owners at these parks are just like you, looking for the best for their dogs!
When navigating a dog park for the first time, you need to be aware of some basic rules. Here are some tips to avoid looking like a newbie!
Dog Park Tips
1. Be prepared. Make sure you bring your leash, some poop bags, and lots of water. Not picking up after your pooch is the biggest no-no of dog parks. Don’t bring any food either, whether for you or your dog, unless you want to be a magnet for every dog in the park!
2. In an off-leash park, make sure you always have your dog in view. Not paying attention to your dog can result in unwanted attention and altercations. Make sure you know your dog’s character and disposition before you walk into the dog park. Recognizing if your dog is shy, outgoing, aggressive, or just really friendly will make you more alert to your pooch and their surroundings. Nothing says newbie more than not paying attention to your dog!
3. Keep an eye out for kids. Kids love any kind of dog, but that doesn’t mean your dog loves them. Make sure you are there when a child approaches your dog so you can control the interaction.
4. Watch your step! Just because you followed the cardinal rule of picking up after your pooch doesn’t mean that others have. Wear shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty and keep your eyes out, owners!
Here are some links to local dog parks in the Seattle area. Enjoy!