Okay guys, summers here and it’s time to get out and have some fun in the sun with our pooches! Popular places for outdoor activities in the summer are beaches and parks, but if your dogs social skills aren’t up to par, the whole experience can turn south quickly! Nothing to worry about, we’ve got a few tips to brush up your pup’s social skills so you guys can get out there and have fun!
First it is important to know whether your dog is accepting of big crowds and lots of other dogs. Often parks and beaches can be very busy and loud. This environment may be extremely stressful for a dog who is more quiet and fearful. Often when we have a dog who is shy and fearful we think we should socialize them and that big crowds will help the situation but many times the dog just becomes more fearful.
- For Fearful/Shy dogs- Try avoiding busy beaches and parks and try socializing your pet with just one or two other dogs. This will be a lot less stressful for your furry friend.
The other scenario brings us to pups who LOVE other dogs and are ready to interact with other pets at public areas like beaches or parks. Here are some helpful tips for your social butterfly to have the best experience possible this summer!
- Try and choose areas where there are separate areas for large and small dogs to interact. Safety is always number one when introducing your pooch to a lot of other dogs. Keeping them in separate areas will eliminate possible attacks or injuries to smaller dogs whether it was accidental or intentional from a larger dog.
- Another good tip is keeping your pet leashed and away from entrance and exit gates. Sometimes over excited dogs can rush over to newbies and fights can break out that way. As soon as you are inside the park or play area you can release your dog to greet freely.
- If your pet has a choke, shock/bark, or a prong collar we recommend not using them in public areas like beaches or parks. These collars are for training and behavior modification, this can cause a negative association with the parks and beach areas if reprimanded there. Collars like these are also dangerous during play as they can get caught/hooked and can cause injury.
- Avoid playing with your dogs favorite toys in these areas as fights can break out if another dogs tries to join in the fun.
- Beaches and parks are great places for pets to socialize, and is also a good way for pet owners to communicate. Stay alert and supervise your pet’s playtime. Don’t let your conversations distract too much from what your pets are doing. Scuffles can break out quickly, be sure to intervene before the situation escalates and discipline your pet when misbehaving.
- Dog parks and dog friendly beaches are not a safe area for children. Children who are playing there running and screaming could be a recipe for disaster in a large group of dogs. They can get knocked over and dog bites can occur.
- Know your dogs limit. Restrict exercise to short intervals. Too much time in the sun can cause difficulty breathing especially for our short nosed breeds like pugs and bulldogs.
- Monitor your pups water intake! Life threatening conditions like bloat come on very quickly after exercise when your dog laps up large amounts of water. Keeping your pet hydrated during times of high exercise will help reduce the likely-hood of bloat. If you notice your pet acting strange after play or a large bulge in your pets abdomen be sure to make a quick trip to your vet!
- Before taking your pet to public areas make sure your pet is FULLY vaccinated. Taking pets to areas where there are a lot of new dogs can also bring parasites, bacteria, and viruses. Making sure your pet it vaccinated will help their bodies fight off any bugs they may encounter.
- The best tip we can give when taking your dogs to beaches and parks is to be your pets advocate. If your pet becomes unruly, scared, fearful head home before the situation worsens.
We hope you all have a great summer. With your pets social skills now in check, it’s time to get outside and play. 🙂