Per DC law, all dogs using the park must be vaccinated against rabies and distemper viruses. These vaccines are given every 1-3 years depending on the dog's age and vaccine formulation. We request that all dogs also be vaccinated against parvovirus and bordatella and be kept on year-round preventative medications for fleas, heartworms, and other parasites (as recommended by your veterinarian). Depending on your dog's lifestyle, she/he may also benefit from being vaccinated against leptospirosis and Lyme disease.
Due to periodic spread of canine influenza in Washington, DC, we strongly encourage neighbors to speak with their veterinarians about the bivalent canine influenza vaccine, which can reduce your dog's risk of infection and/or serious illness. If you notice any signs of illness - excessive sneezing, coughing, nasal/eye discharge, lethargy, or otherwise - please isolate your pet and contact your vet! This means taking a break from the dog park and not letting your pup say hi to other dogs on walks. Whether or not your pup uses the dog park, annual health checks, vaccines, and other preventative medications are important for all our canine community members!
We ask that dog park users abide by the following rules to help keep our pups safe and park clean. Please see our FAQ page for additional information on dog park maintenance and mishaps. Use of the dog park is at your own risk.
Monitor your dog
at all times
For safety AND so you can immediately clean up that poop!
No toys or balls smaller than a tennis ball
Emergency surgery on someone else’s dog is $400 to $4,000
Health and Veterinary Resources - All dog park users must minimally have their dogs vaccinated per DC code. Additional vaccination, anti-parasitic treatments, and neutering/spaying are additionally recommended to maximize the health and safety of all our pups.
Humane Rescue Alliance - Offers affordable health exams, vaccinations, microchipping, and spaying/neutering.
Pet Care, American Veterinary Medical Association - Discusses important aspects of pet care, including preventative medical care (e.g., vaccines, heartworm preventatives) and responsible pet ownership.
Behavioral Resources - The first step in ensuring your own pup has a safe and happy dog park experience is learning a bit about dog behavior, socialization, and body language. Just like people, not all dogs get along with each other, nor do they always speak the same language. An over-crowded dog park can worsen a tense situation between pups. And even dogs that mean no harm can miscommunicate or cause unintentional injury or stress due to differences in body size or roughness in play. We recommend minimally looking through the following resources to help make your dog park visit safe and enjoyable!
Dog Parks: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly - Published by the Association of Dog Trainers in its Chronicle of the Dog, this article provides an overview of those aspects of training and behavior important for dog park users.
How To Behave So Your Dog Behaves - Written by world-renowned veterinary behaviorist Dr. Sophia Yin, DVM, MS, this behavioral book uses drawings to illustrate important concepts, and has something to teach even the most experienced dog owner. If you have a puppy, you might also consider reading Perfect Puppy in 7 Days to ensure you're off to a great start!
Urban Wildlife Resources
City Wildlife - Provides advice and rehabilitation for injured and sick wildlife found in in the city.