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Cruisin' Canines

When taking your dog to the park, it’s important for both you and your canine pal to have fun, but safety is of equal importance. Here are some safety tips to help ensure you and your dog have an enjoyable experience during your next visit to the local park.

1. Find the Right Park for Your Pet

There are several dog-friendly parks in Chicago for dog owners, but only a few will likely be best suited to them. You can find the right park by taking your dog to different ones and figuring out which ones have the best amenities and shape the best experience for your pet.

2. Do Your Research

Performing some research on local parks can help you learn which ones are ideal for your dog before you even visit. Check out local reviews and mentions on social media, which can give you a good idea which to check out and which to avoid.

3. Stay Aware of Your Surroundings

While you may want to spend some time getting to know the other dog owners in the area and let the dogs play freely, you still need to maintain a level of awareness of the environment, including your dog’s behavior. Pay attention to their posture and reactions to other dogs or other animals nearby.

4. Follow the Local Guidelines

Dogs that are over the age of four months will need to have a city dog license. Also, Chicago dog parks require all pets to wear a $5 dog-friendly area tag upon visiting. Dog owners need to follow both the guidelines for their dogs and maintain awareness of other dogs in the area to avoid any strays that could potentially cause harm.

5. Get Contact Information for Animal Control

Before paying a visit to the park, get some contact information for both the local Animal Care and Control center and the local police. This could prove invaluable if an animal is present that’s out of control or posing a threat to others.

6. Expect Fights to Break Out

Even if your dog is extremely docile, your pet could cause inadvertently provoke a violent reaction in another dog that could result in a fight. As a result, dog owners should always be protective with their dog and be prepared to defend them and remove them from a fight.


7. Break Up Fights as Safely as Possible

While you may believe you’re adequately prepared to handle a fight should one occur, it’s important to make sure you break up a fight safely and calmly. Animal deterrent sprays and small air horns are good to have to break up fights without risking your own safety in the process.

8. Cautiously Introduce Your Dog to Others

In many cases, dogs will be unavoidable near the entrance to the park. If you want to avoid conflict, it’s best to slowly introduce your dog by the fence or entrance, which will allow you to keep a close eye on the reaction of both your dog and others’.

9. Consider the Environment

Another crucial consideration is the environment of the dog park, including the intensity of the sun and other factors that could require you to bring certain protective measures along with you, including sunscreen or life jackets. Areas with hot pavement may also require protection for your dog’s feet in the form of booties or ointments.

10. Prepare Your Dog Beforehand

This will entail more than simply grabbing your leash and taking off. Consider your pet’s temperament and overall familiarity with other dogs and wild animals. Based on this, you should prepare your pet beforehand with training or other measures that help keep both you and your dog content.

Taking all of these steps into account, you and your canine companion can enjoy a weekly or daily visit to the park without any stress or risk of unexpected and unpleasant surprises.

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Cruisin' Canines logo of a white dog with an orange background