Dogs In Group Settings

As a responsible and loving pet owner, it is your job to ensure your dog is in a safe environment at all times and you aren’t putting your pet in a risky or unsafe position.  Tour facilities and parks before deciding to take your dog there – look at the cleanliness of the facilities.

  1. Do not let your dog(s) play in areas that have pet waste and don’t let your dog eat feces “poop” or play in areas that smell of urine. Do not expose your dog to areas where poop is not being picked up Promptly & Completely. This would include dog parks, doggie daycare, veterinary clinics and other boarding or play type facilities. It is nice to play in areas that are dry and clean.
    • If you are boarding your pet, ask to tour the facility before leaving your dog there and ask what their protocol is for picking up feces and what type of learning program, they have for dogs that show an interest in feces, so the dog is taught by the facility not to eat feces. Make sure the facility has a cleaning protocol and the facility looks clean. Some of the most dangerous fungus, bacteria and other infectious diseases are contracted thru urine or feces transmission. It is recommended that the facility has a separate area for potty and a separate area for play. Dogs learn from other dogs when in group settings, so if one dog starts a bad habit, it can be learned by others. Facilities have the responsibility of protecting dogs from learning these bad behaviors and you should tour the facility and ask what their protocols are before leaving your dog there. 
  2. Try not to share water bowls with other dogs and do not let your dog drink stagnate un-fresh, un-clean water. It is best that your pet has fresh clean drinking water that is unique to them. Try not share certain types of toys that hold saliva, such as tennis balls and ropes which could easily hold bacteria and transmit to other dogs. 
  3. When you take your dog to a dog park, it is very important to watch them at all times and keep focus on them. It is best to refrain from being on your cell phone and avoid talking with people to the point it is distracting you from your watching your dog intently. For your dog’s safety, you need to stay focused and in-tune with your pet at all times. 
  4. Keep pace with your dogs’ behavior to make sure they are not picking up any bad habits from other dogs, barking at people, growling, aggressive behavior, eating things off the ground, chasing people outside of fences, possessive actions and other types of unwanted behaviors. When your dog is in a group setting you need to still keep them from unwanted behavior of other dogs, so your dog knows what you are ok with and what is not acceptable. If you drop your dog off at a doggie daycare, please let them know any habits you need them to help you reinforce, many daycares keep track of all of the little needs of each dog and their staff can help you keep your dog in tune. Your daycare should be able to help you stay on track with your direction for your dog. 
  5. Get to know the other dogs and how your dog interacts with them and keep your dogs with the dogs that they seem to like and play well with and won’t pick up any bad behavior. Keep an eye on your dogs’ physical elements like tail between the legs ‘scared’ or hair up on their back ‘aggressive or protective mode’. Know the typical behavior body signs or signals. If your dog becomes aggressive or a dog becomes aggressive against them, it is best to leash them up and leave the park or relocate to a different area of the park.  Remember things like toys create curiosity, which can lead to competitiveness which can lead to aggressive behavior. Try to recognize when things start to become competitive before it leads to aggressive behavior, so you can monitor the dog’s behavior and so it doesn’t lead to aggressive competitiveness. 
  6. If your dog does not meet doggie daycares shot requirements because your pet is immune compromised or on a holistic veterinary schedule (limited vaccines) and you need to board your dog at a doggie daycare, then discuss with the facility your options. Thay may have options for private play or stay pets, so your pet is in a more private setting. If you cannot find a facility to work with you then it may be best to hire a pet-sitter to come to your home. Many dogs are more comfortable at home, and this may alleviate any anxiety. Your veterinarian may be able to provide you with a health certificate with conditional circumstances listed.
  7. It is your responsibility to control the environment your dog plays and stays in, so make sure the play areas re: Clean and not near any standing bodies of water such as creeks or streams where some of the more dangerous bacteria and other elements can linger. It is also important to not play or stay near areas where insects can thrive such as near ponds and other bodies of water. If mosquitos or flies are biting you then they are biting your dog, so find another place and relocate to a different area. Spray yourself and your dog with a safe natural anti-insect topical spray. It is also important to try to stay away from areas that are prone to harbor insects, such as ponds, wet areas and areas with long grass.