Destination dog park: What to know before you go

Published: Dec. 15, 2022 at 11:22 PM EST
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SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - In the short time it’s been open, the Wheeler Dog Park in South Burlington has become a popular spot for pet owners.

Dog parks are a great way for pups to get some time off-leash, socialize, and let their zoomies out. But just like people, experts say they have their own personalities and may not be up for making new furry friends. Emily Lewis, a certified dog behavior consultant, says there are a few ways you can tell if a dog park would be a good fit. “If your dog is young, small, scared, or rather old or disabled in some way, those are some big considerations,” she explained. The body language of your dog and other dogs at play is also a big indicator of whether they’re enjoying themselves. “We want floppy arms, mid-line tail wags, open mouths, tongues out, and you want to be able to see the dogs stop and interrupt their own play,”

Lewis said owners should also have total control of their dog at all times. She says the dog park is not a good place for reactive dogs or puppies, who are still developing physically and mentally. Even if the dog park doesn’t suit the needs of you or your pup, there are still alternative ways for your furry friend to get exercise and socialization. you can actually rent enclosed spaces to use for your dog and some of their friends,” Lewis said “There’s always things like tug, fetch, and playing with a toy called a flirt pole.” While all dog parks are different, most people are having a positive experience at Wheeler.

As always, be sure to clean up after your dog.

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