Visiting an off leash dog park can be an entertaining way to spend a lazy summer afternoon, but you do need to be prepared for keeping both your kids and your dog entertained while you are out. Making your kids feel like they are an important part of your dog’s life can teach them responsibility and improve their self esteem, but you need to make sure that such inclusions take place in a careful manner. TIP: You can use our app to find the best pet and child friendly parks in your local area.
When visiting places where dogs off leash are allowed, you must be aware that toys are not permitted. Here at Take Your Pet, we can’t stress this fact enough. Toys of any sort, whether intended for human or canine use, should not be taken to the dog park. Other dogs may easily mistake your daughter’s favourite doll as one of their own chew toys. In order to prevent possible misunderstandings or even fights between other dogs, your pets, and your children, leave all toys of all kinds at home or in the car.
Here at Take Your Pet, we understand that an off leash dog park is the perfect place to let your dogs get some exercise and we want to encourage you to get your children involved in exercise as well. Have your kids run around with your dog once you enter the off leash area. Get the kids to take turns running to a fixed point and back while encouraging your dog to run along with them. Teach your children how to command their pet, show them how to play on obstacles that are provided as well. Also guide them on how to reward your dog for good behaviour. Don’t forget to reward your kids too, give them a little treat for playing well on the way home.
In order to prepare your kids for the dog park, you should brief them in advance. Remind them not to approach strange dogs at any time. While your family pet is used to having children around, other dogs may not be. The concept of “small human” frightens most dogs, and may upset them to the point that they snap at your children. We want your kids to understand this fact, so tell them early and remind them often: never approach a dog they aren’t familiar with.
You need to make sure that your kids know the rules of the off leash dog park as well. Read any posted rules to your children, or have them read the rules out loud. Discuss the confusing parts with them, and make sure that your kids know that all rules have to be followed, or you will have to leave the park. Having dogs off leash is a big responsibility, made even more so by having children present. Always be alert, and keep an eye not only on your pet, but on your children as well, while you are at the dog park.