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Going to the Dog Park During COVID-19

Life has not been the same for pets and their parents since March of 2020. Many of us have been working from home, and our dogs have enjoyed having us there. Isolating at home has left much to be desired, so it can be good for us and our furry friend’s mental and physical health to get outside, take walks and as dog parks are reopening, visit those too.

How can people and their pets safely enjoy dog parks?

Social distancing at dog parks continues to be critical for both you and your dog. We’ve listed some points based on information from the  plus some common-sense approaches that are always good to apply

  • Make sure your dog’s vaccinations are up to date
  • Make sure your dog is not sick before you go to the park
  • If you feel sick or have a fever, don’t go to the dog park
  • Your dog should avoid interacting with people outside your household
  • You need to wear a mask and keep a 6 ft. distance between you and your dog park friends
  • Dog-to-dog transmission of SARS-CoV-2 has not been reported, so dogs are free to interact while their owners watch at a distance
  • Teach your dog basic commands like “stay” and “come” to help him avoid dodgy situations and better safeguard him. There are a variety of  and  that can help teach your dog commands
  • Always keep handy to clean-up after your pup

How To Prepare Your Dog for Returning to the Dog Park

Anyone who’s ever taken their buddy to a dog park knows that their pup may get a little excited or even timid when you arrive. In either case, you’ll want to observe your dog’s behavior to ensure that your dog is not overwhelmed and that he is behaving appropriately.

Getting to the dog park can be a more enjoyable experience for you and your dog with a secure and harness. Some dog harnesses come with a  that can be used as a car restraint to keep your best friend secure on trips to the dog park or wherever you may be heading. A will also come in handy if, like a lot of dogs, your buddy gets excited and starts pulling at the leash when you arrive at the dog park.

Why are visits to the dog park so beneficial during challenging times?

Have you felt antsy or a little stir-crazy since we all started practicing social distancing and quarantining? If you’ve had a dog, they help reduce occurrences of stress, depression and grief. Since many of us relate to our pets as friends, companions and family, it also makes sense that we benefit from visits to the dog park too. After all, it’s an opportunity for both dogs and people to get outside and socialize. And don’t forget, always keep 6 feet of distance.

As leash laws become more common, many communities are embracing the benefit of dog parks. At PetSafe®, we try to encourage that by offering grants for communities through our . These are some of the benefits dog parks can provide for your dog:

  • Dog parks let dogs run free and get ample exercise
  • Dog parks provide an off-leash environment for dogs safe from traffic and private property
  • Dog parks offer stress outlets through physical activity, which leads to better behavior at home
  • Dog parks help with socializing your dog with a variety of breeds
  • Dog parks are a safe place for adolescent dogs to run and play off some energy

How can dog park visits help our pets deal with potential separation anxiety as people head back to work?

Now that your dog is used to having you around the house, it should come as no surprise if he suffers anxiety when you head back to work. It’s not his fault; he just misses you. Remember that dogs are pack animals and being separated from the pack leader (the dog parent) can make them feel anxious.

What does that have to do with the dog park? There’s a saying that goes like this: “A tired dog is a good dog.” Just like people, when your dog gets a healthy balance of exercise and mental stimulation, he is more likely to be happy, well-adjusted and less prone to anxiety. So if your dog likes to run, time at the local dog park can be an excellent outlet to burn off some energy. Since you can’t take your dog to the park when you’re away from home, you can keep him preoccupied with a challenging . Treat toys can help curb anxiety and help prevent destructive behavior like chewing on furniture, digging through trash or digging up that new grass you just put in your yard.

With a bit of planning and precaution, you can start enjoying the benefits of returning to the dog park again. Not only will you and your pup enjoy more exercise and socializing, you’ll also be taking a preemptive step to help your dog cope with separation anxiety for when you head back to the office.

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