Most city-dwellers in their twenties don’t have a dog due to life barriers.
Caring for a dog is costly, time-consuming, and comes with increased responsibility.
Despite these, nothing compares to the soul-cleansing action of petting a dog, and where better to meet dogs than a dog park.
So, Is It Weird to Go to A Dog Park Without a Dog?
The answer to this question is not definite. While I don’t find it weird to go to a dog park without a dog, some people, especially the dog owners in the park, might find it weird. But assuming the public park is a public space, hanging dogless is not illegal or outright wrong. You can stay dogless even in the off-leash zones as long as you understand you are just a guest in the space and act appropriately. Dog parks are meant for dogs and their owners.
Therefore, you should just sit and wait for the dogs to come to you willingly.
You should also not expect any dogs to have any interest in you, although they most likely will.
Of course, you should avoid overstaying in the dog park. About thirty minutes is sufficient to get your dog fixed.
Five Rules To Live By When Going to A Dog Park Without a Dog
While going to a dog park is fun and an easy outing, even when you don’t have a dog, there are some rules you should consider to ensure you have a great time.
1. Make An Effort To Chat With A Few Of The Dog Owners
If you don’t have a dog at a dog park, the dog owners are most likely gossiping about you.
So, if you want to avoid the weird looks and be the topic of discussion, approach a few dog owners and try to talk with them.
This will probably help in disarming them.
It can be that you love dogs naturally and enjoy being close to them.
Whatever the reason, most dog owners will understand, and they love chatting about issues relating to dogs in general.
2. Consider The Size Of The Dog Park
Generally, the bigger the park, the more acceptable it is for you to visit there without a dog.
You will be more likely to draw attention and weird looks in small-sized dog areas than you will at larger parks.
Even more difficult to pull off is nosing around a small dog area within the dog park.
So, it is better to consider a larger dog park to spend time instead of a smaller one to draw a lot of attention to.
3. Consider The Dog:Visitor Ratio
Another thing to consider when going to a dog park without a dog is the dog to visitor ratio.
It is recommendable to avoid going to the park unless at least eight dogs are already in the park.
This will help ensure you won’t draw much attention to yourself. You can also bring a friend with you if you are about to go in as a loner.
4. Get Ready To Explain Yourself
Finally, you should be ready to explain yourself. The first question most people ask one another at the dog park is, ‘which dog is yours?’.
You should be able to look other dog owners in the eye and say that you don’t have a dog and you are just there to look at their dog, and you are fortunate, get to throw a slobber-covered tennis ball.
If you can’t confidently face the dog owners, you may not have what it takes to hang out at a dog park.
5. DON’T BRING ANY TREATS
Did you get that? You should never carry treats if you go to the park, particularly now that you don’t have your dog.
Treats will only make the dogs mob around you, and any dog with behavioral problems or loves treats might show some aggression to other dogs.
This will only increase the weird looks from the dog owners and make things unpleasant for you. So, leave any treats at home.
Additional Tips for Being in A Dog Park Without a Dog
1. Request Permission From Dog Owners
If you want to pet a dog in the park, always request permission from the dog owner and respect their answer.
2. Follow 3 Second Rule
When interacting with the dog, you should consider using the three-second rule; start to pet the dog, count to three, and step back.
If the dog comes back for more petting, give it to them, but you should not force it.
3. Be Careful
Be cautious. Keep in mind that you are going into the dog park at your own risk. Therefore, stay aware of the environment and keep a sturdy posture.
A dashing dog may not see you in between them and the ball they are chasing happily.
4. Leave The Dogs Alone
If the dogs have fun playing with other pups or their owners without you, leave them alone and just enjoy the view.
5. Keep The Kids Away
Don’t bring your kids, particularly those under twelve years. Some dogs, particularly in the off-leash zone, might never have socialized around children.
More so, an overly excited dog might unintentionally knock down or injure your child while playing or greeting.
On the other hand, dogs afraid of small children might react aggressively to the kid’s attempt to make friends. Regardless of the circumstances, the risks to the child can be substantial.
6. Be Respectful
You should not correct a dog belonging to someone else.
Instead, you should notify the owner if you notice any misbehavior. The Park will be ultimate fun if you don’t make any enemies.
Going to the dog park can be an incredible and relaxing outing for you, even without having your own dog. By following these simple rules, you can ensure you and everyone else at the dog park have fun courteously and safely.
Reasons Why Going to A Dog Park Is Good for You
Visiting a dog park comes with several benefits.
First, you enjoy fresh outdoor air, which is good for unwinding and destressing. You will also get to take a break from your daily activities.
While dogs go to the park to socialize with other dogs, you will also get a chance to meet other people.
This is great, particularly if you stay a potentially secluded life.
If you don’t or have never owned a dog before, going to the park will give you insight on the breed of dog you like, how to treat the dogs, and other helpful tips useful when you decide to own a dog in the future.
In the end, a dog park is similar to other public spaces such as the beach.
It is a community amenity, and you are complying with social rules by going to the park.
If you don’t have a dog, conduct yourself like a tourist in the dog park and engage like you would in an unfamiliar city or town.
Don’t occupy a lot of space; make it about you and only pet a dog when lovingly approached.