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The Ultimate Guide to Las Vegas Dog Park Etiquette

May 24, 2018

Two small dogs playing with a ball and running around the dog park.

Las Vegas is a dog’s heaven. The perfect weather for playing outside, the pet-friendly Las Vegas restaurants, the ample space for running around, the populated, well-kept dog parks – what more could a pup want? Vegas is one of the most convenient places to live if you own a dog. While there are plenty of opportunities for walking, hiking, and jogging with your furry friend, there’s nothing like letting them off the leash to play with their pals at the dog park.

While watching the furry playdates commence, there are a few dog park etiquette guidelines that should be taken into consideration by the owners in order to facilitate an inclusive, positive experience.

1. If there are designated sections for small and big dogs, use them.

Las Vegas dog parks offer a good mix of separated and inclusive parks for dogs of all sizes. Even though your small dog may prefer playing with bigger dogs (or vice versa), it’s a good idea to abide by the dog park rules and keep them separate. The other owners at the park may not be familiar with your dog and may feel uneasy because of the size difference – especially if either dog likes to play rough.

2. Bring your own water bowl and use it outside of the park.

Although the park will probably have some kind of water receptacle available, try giving your dog water from your own portable bowl. This way, any contaminants in the communal water won’t affect your dog. Many dog parks may not allow personal containers (for the same reason), so try giving your dog water breaks outside of the park’s fences. Remember to give your dog plenty of water, especially at Las Vegas dog parks in the hotter months.

Older golden retriever puppy laying in the grass.

3. Don’t bring a puppy less than four months old.

If it’s not already part of the dog park rules, avoid bringing a small pup less than four months old. Although it may seem like a great way to socialize your dog, this kind of experience can negatively impact their development. During the first 16 weeks of life, puppies are collecting information that will shape who they are in adulthood.  While you may feel confident that they will be well-behaved at the dog park, you have little control over the other dogs. Instead of exposing them to strangers at such a young age, introduce them to one or two trusted dogs at a time and save the crowded dog park for when they’re a little older.

4. Keep an eye on your dog at all times.

No matter how well behaved your dog is, one of the most important rules of the dog park is always supervising your pup. This way, you can step in if playtime gets too rough and clean up after your dog when nature calls. Keeping an eye on your dog also helps ease the minds of the other dog owners. Walking into a dog park full of attentive owners is much more comforting than walking into a dog park full of people on their cell phones.

5. Don’t eat or give other dogs treats.

While it can be tempting to bring along a bag of treats for your dog and his buddies, treats should not be brought into the dog park. Other dogs may be allergic to certain ingredients in the treats or sticking to a strict diet for health reasons. Additionally, no human food should be brought into the park. This creates a distracting environment and could be a dangerous situation for the dogs if the food is dropped on the ground and consumed.

6. Obey leash areas.

Make sure to remove your dog’s leash as soon as you enter the off-leash area. This will make your dog feel more comfortable because being leashed around unleashed dogs tends to conjure feelings of fear and uneasiness. Make sure to promptly leash your dog when leaving the park and be mindful of shutting and securing the gate behind you so you don’t let any other dogs out.

Beagle drinking water from a water bowl in the park.

7. Keep your dog cool.

Especially during warmer months, it’s crucial to keep your dog hydrated and cool. While dogs may want to continue playing and running regardless of the heat, you need to keep an eye on their behavior and watch for signs of dehydration and overheating. Panting followed by fast, noisy breathing can indicate that the heat is taking a toll on your pup. Calm them down and take a break from the park to give them water.

Las Vegas dog parks offer the perfect opportunity to socialize and exercise your dog in one of the most dog-friendly cities in America. From public squares to large parks to luxury condo buildings, it seems like there’s a designated pooch play place on every corner. Making the most out of your experience starts with familiarizing yourself with the dog park etiquette and culture of your local dog park. From this etiquette blossoms beneficial dog park visits for you and your pooch!

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