Dog Park Tips from the City of San Francisco
The San Francisco Recreation and Park Commission has dozens of designated off-leash dog parks throughout the city, and there are many “unofficial” dog areas to enjoy. The following tips will help you enjoy the park while keeping it clean for other pet owners.
1. Be aware of San Francisco health codes for dog parks. Before bringing your dog to the park, make sure your pet has current rabies vaccinations and a current license, if the dog is over 4 months old. You must also be present with your dog at all times.
2. Keep your dog from destructive behavior. Keep an eye on your pet and stop it if it tries to dig or destroy park property.
3. Bring a leash. While you may not need the leash in the park, you never know what can happen. It’s best to be prepared if you need to remove your dog quickly from a situation.
4. Bring treats with you. It will be easier to get your dog to leave when it’s time if you have treats. You can also ask other dog owners if you can share treats to make friends.
5. Stay in control of the situation. If you can’t maintain a reasonable amount of control of your dog while it’s off leash, think twice before setting your dog loose in a dog park.
6. Make sure your dog remains in your sight. Keep an eye on your pet to watch for destructive behavior, aggressive behavior, or problems with other animals or owners.
7. Don’t bring a puppy that has not had all of its shots to a dog park without checking with your vet. Your puppy could catch something from another dog and get sick.
8. If your dog is very energetic or sometimes tries to pick fights, try exercising the dog on the leash first before setting him to run with other animals. This can help your pet burn off nervous energy.
9. Always clean up after your dog! While many San Francisco dog parks have posts with plastic waste disposal bags, don’t assume there will be bags. Bring your own bags from home and leave your extras at the park for someone else.