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Rules and Etiquette at the Dog Park

As a pup parent, there is so much you can learn from other dog owners. One of the best places to meet others as enthusiastic about their dogs as you are about yours is the dog park!


We’re sure you hear over and over again how important it is to socialize your dog. And it’s true! Dogs that interact with other dogs and people develop unmatched confidence and have healthier lives. A social dog is a happy dog. Not only do dogs learn essential social skills at the park, but they also have tons of fun, which is why we host so many of our meet-ups at dog parks.

Whether you’re a dog park veteran or you’re a pup park newbie, Carly, our community coordinator, has some guidelines to help you and your dog get the most out of your next dog park adventure.



1. Make sure your dog is healthy and up-to-date on his or her vaccinations! If your dog feels under the weather, let him or her rest and recover. The excitement of the dog park can be too much for a dog that doesn’t feel well.


2. Do the right thing and pick up after your pup. Don’t be embarrassed if your dog uses the bathroom at the dog park—it’s normal! But make sure you’re prepared to scoop up after them and toss the mess where it belongs. As you return time and time again to a dog park, you’ll develop pride in how clean it’s kept and cut down on any unpleasant smells.


3. Pay attention to your pup. If your dog is playing rough or feeling nervous, you want to be able to step in just in case. Dogs that are learning to pick up on cues and play nicely can get themselves into situations that might not know how to deal with. Luckily, as a great owner, you’ll be there to rescue them!


4. Leave the treats and snacks in your car. One thing you may notice is that off-leash time at the dog park can result in some dogs forgetting their manners: some may jump up while others will want to share your lunch. Don’t give them the opportunity to get in trouble by leaving the tempting treats in your vehicle.


5. Most dog parks have a rule against unaltered female dogs in heat. They can cause fights at the park, so better safe than sorry!


6. Even though most dog parks let your pup run free, you still want to make sure your dog is wearing a well-fitted collar. This will keep your dog safe if you need to leash them up quickly.


7. Watch for signs of toy possession. Dogs love fetch. And who can blame them? If your dog is joining in on the fun of another dog’s toy or vice-versa keep an eye on how they’re behaving.


8. Be friendly. Always treat other dogs how you’d want your beloved pooch to be treated.

There’s no doubt that the dog park is dog-gone fun for everyone! We hope to see you at our next events and that you’ll check out PawSwap to meet other passionate dog owners.



Now that you know the rules and guidelines at the park, join us for our next PawSwap meet-up so you can...


✓ Meet your neighbours who are also dog owners (and potential sitters!)

✓ Let your pup have a blast while playing with other dogs!

✓ Receive a FREE PawSwap Bandana for your dog

✓ Meet some of the PawSwap team, they can answer any questions you have about the app!

Upcoming Meet-Ups:


Saturday, May 11, 1 PM @ Vic West Dog Park


Sunday, May 26, 2 PM @ Olympic Village Dog Park (215 W 1st Ave)


Saturday, June 8, 2 PM @ Port Moody Off-Leash Dog Park for Barks and Brews!