While we all strive to keep dogs and humans safe and healthy, at times we end up in situations where we need to avert disaster. Here are some tips to help avoid issues before they happen, and what to do in case of emergency.
People need to be aware at all times. Pups are off leash in the park and are not always aware of what they are running towards when in groups, who they are jumping on, or knocking into. Collisions with dogs in parks can result in serious injury. Dogs jump, if you are not paying attention or have a latte in hand, collisions can occur and a steaming cup of java can end up on someone else or a dog. It is a good idea to remember to keep your knees loose while in the park just in case you inadvertently get knocked into by a dog.
Enter the park aware of your surroundings. Police presence is noted; however, it’s best to go to the park with another person and always have your cell phone available in case of emergency. Dial 911 in cases of emergency.
MOVE AWAY FROM ENTRANCE
Entrances to the dog park can be highly active. You want to remember not to loiter at the entrance and show courtesy to people with leashed dogs that are moving in and out of the park. Keep in mind that many dogs become protective while on leash and even if they play inside the park off leash, the entrance to the park can sometimes develop protective behavior in your dog.
WALK THE PERIMETER
Many people like to settle into the middle of the park. By walking or standing off to the perimeter, it is less likely for a dog to run into you. Keep some space behind you just in case your pup wants a place to get by.
This is a dog park and in the canyon it can be hot, cold, wet and very dirty for dogs and humans. If you decide to wear your tennis whites, don’t be upset if they are not white when you leave because dogs don’t do laundry.
RESPECT THE WILDLIFE
We are located in a canyon and while our park is fenced in, rattlesnakes, coyotes and bobcats have been spotted in the park or close by. Use caution in these situations.
Be responsible for your dog. No one likes an owner who acts as if their dog is not doing things they shouldn’t or avoiding picking up their dogs poop. This park is a wonderful place for dogs to play and sometimes people want to use it as if it is their own private back yard. Also, be conscientious when throwing the ball using plastic devices and that if the park is crowded, be courteous and stop.
BE KIND TO OTHERS
New people entering the park can be intimidated by groups of regulars- take the time to get to know our newcomers and their dogs or at least say hello. Even if you think you are an expert on dogs, don’t discipline someone else’s dogs or offer advice unless it’s asked for. Even if you think your dog is better trained, keep this to yourself and avoid confrontation with others at all possible times.
Small children should never be left unattended or without close supervision in the dog park. Many dogs do not have experience being around small children nor their quick movements. Do not believe that because your pet is fine with small children that other’s dogs will be. Always keep children away from water bowls, lying on blankets, playing in the dirt or trees, and entrance gates. This is a dog park and not conducive to child play. Strollers or toys of any type should never be brought into the park.
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY
It is impossible to predict every emergency scenario. However, most emergencies can be handled in a similar manner. Stay calm, assess the situation, and act promptly. In most cases, it is best to remove yourself, your dog, and any affected parties from the dog park to avoid further problems. If veterinarian attention is required, please see a list of local emergency contacts.