By Robin Rhea, PetSafe Senior Brand Manager
During these wonderful spring and summer months the dog park makes for a great destination with your dog. But with water, heat, and other dogs, your time at the park can quickly turn into an inconvenience unless you are prepared with a few handy items. Through trial and error and the advice of other park goers, we’ve developed the perfect dog park pack. This pack makes it easier than you may think to make a day at the dog park convenient and fun.
1. Water for you and your dogs – Many parks have drinking fountains for people and dogs. But many parks turn water off to avoid freezing in the winter months. Just in case, it’s a great idea to always bring 1-2 bottles of water for every member of your crew for a half-day adventure and more if you plan to stay longer. A collapsible bowl or dog canteen is also helpful to give your dog’s easy access to the water, or you can poke a hole in the top of a water bottle lid to squeeze the water out for your pet.
2. Towel for messes or impromptu bathing – On muddy days, your dog can make a mess of themselves and your car in no time. Many parks provide a water source for self-bathing and clean up. Having a towel and shampoo will ensure you can leave the park with a clean dog and a clean car – two things that will go a long way in making you want to make a repeat visit.
3. Extra collar or leash – If you dog’s get dirty or wet, their leashes and collars may also. Having a few extras that are clean and dry that you can change out is a great nice to have.
4. Current ID tags for your dog – While on the subject of collars, make sure your dog’s collars include a current ID tag. You are taking your dogs out into the world, and even though you are keeping a close eye on them, it’s important to have proper ID in case you get separated.
5. Extra waste bags – It’s a wonderful convenience when waste bags are provided but in the event no bags are available, it’s helpful to have bags on hand. Cleaning up your dog is the number 1 in dog park etiquette.
6. Hand sanitizer-The previous item implies you may want to have hand sanitizer, well, on hand. It’s always a good idea to use hand sanitizer as you leave the park so you don’t carry any germs or dirt in to your car.
7. Previously-loved toys or balls – Toys, balls, and frisbees are great to have at the dog park especially if you have a dog that loves to fetch and play. Remember not to take anything you are too attached to. Toys are likely to used or taken by other dogs and possibly destroyed.
8. Patience – Your own dogs need time to act like dogs, give it to them. In addition, when dealing with people and dogs in a group, it’s important to be kind and patient with everyone else that is visiting a dog park. Even extend some patience to yourself as you learn the in-and-outs of visiting the dog park and making it a successful venture.
Do you have other items that you have found make your trips to the dog park even better? Post your recommendation below. And if you don’t have a dog park, remember to visit petsafe.net/barkforyourpark to nominate you city to win one of your very own.