Know the fees and requirements before you go
Most dog parks require dogs to be licensed (with tags and a collar) and fully vaccinated, says Tabytha McConnell, general manager and trainer at Zoom Room in Redondo Beach, California. Depending on where you live, expect to pay anywhere from $10 to $20 a year for the license, although it can be more if your dog isn’t spayed or neutered. When you get to the park, make sure you avoid these 14 things you may be doing that your dog actually hates.
Don’t take a puppy
There are several reasons not to take your puppy to the dog park—the primary one being that the puppy isn’t fully vaccinated. It’s also a good idea to become familiar with your puppy’s level of social skills before you head to a park. “While young puppies should socialize with dogs of different sizes and ages, it’s safest to do this through one-on-one interactions or puppy socialization classes,” says Corinne Fritzell, behavior specialist with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in New York City. Wait until your puppy is at least nine months old, McConnell says. Until then, you should know how to keep your dog happily occupied at home.