Dogs love time to play and socialize. A trip to the local dog park could be just the thing your dog needs. Before you grab your dog and venture to the four legged version of happy hour, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Know Your Dog:
You know your dog’s temperament and behavior better than anyone. You know if he or she is intimated by larger dogs or likes to bark at others. Consider these things when visiting the park.

Be a Pooper Scooper:
Be a responsible pet owner and always pick up after your pooch. Carry plastic bags and pick up after your animal every time.

Spay or Neuter:
Don’t take your pet to the park if they are not spayed or neutered. Fixing your pet will not only help with pet overpopulation, but will make for a more enjoyable park experience. Male dogs that have neutered will be friendlier and play together and spayed females will be able to play without a feeding frenzy taking place.

No puppies:
While you may want to take your new puppy everywhere, the dog park is not appropriate for puppies. Puppies that are younger than 4 months old do not have the proper vaccinations yet and will be susceptible to be illness.

Bring water:
Remember to bring a water bottle and bowl for your dog. However, avoid bringing treats or food with you, as it could provoke conflict.

Leave the distractions at home:
Trips to the park should be time for you and your pet to bond. Leave the distraction of cell phones and children at home. Meeting other pet parents at the park can be a treat for you too, but don’t become so engrossed in your conversation that you are no longer supervising your dog.

Grab your pooch and head down the local dog park for the doggie version of happy hour! Follow our tips and you both can enjoy socializing.