Three Tips for Off-Leash Freedom

Once your dog has all of their vaccinations, it may be time to take them out for an “off-leash” experience. Many areas today have parks designed to let your furry friend run and play without their leash. This is an opportunity to meet other dogs, run more freely, and enjoy group interactions.

Here are three things to remember when considering an off-leash experience.

  1. You want your dog to enjoy the freedom to run and explore. At the same time, you want it to be a safe experience for all involved. First, check for the temperament of your dog and others already there. If your dog or another pet seems to be aggressive or wants to fight, it may be good to wait until the right time. If you are nervous about the other dogs, your pet will often feel this anxiety and mirror your emotions.
  2. Second, before you let them off-leash, take time to check the fencing and boundaries. Sometimes park and recreation departments aren’t able to repair damage to fences as quickly as they’d like. Make sure you are aware that your pet is safe and secure.
  3. Third, consider the location of the dog park and the layout. Some are very owner friendly, while some are deep enough that pet parents can’t see the animals while they play. If the space doesn’t seem right for you or your dog, there’s no shame in that. Find a park that works for both you and your dog.

The APDT Conference has a great list of dog-park essentials for pet owners to consider when selecting a dog park (click here for a list of equipment you should look for). In the meantime, get out with your dog and enjoy some play time as the season unfolds!


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