- June
Posted By : PawBoost
Tips on Taking Your Newly Fostered Dog to the Park

This article is contributed by guest author Alissa Cassidy (Freelance Writer).

Tips on Taking Your Newly Fostered Dog to the Park

Fostering a furry friend is one of the most generous and rewarding things you can do to help the homeless animal population. It’s also quite challenging and requires a lot of time, energy, and patience. After a couple of weeks of your dog decompressing and becoming comfortable in his new home, you can start thinking about going on adventures together.

Taking your dog to a dog park is convenient and can be the perfect way for your pup to meet new friends, but be cautious. You must be prepared for unexpected behaviors, and it’s best to introduce your foster dog to the world gradually. Here are some tips to consider when taking your newly fostered dog to the park.

Photo Credit: Pxfuel


Before you head to the park, start with walks around your neighborhood. Keep your pup at a distance from other people and dogs until you start to learn their disposition and discover whether or not they are friendly enough to get closer.

Walking a foster dog does them so much good. There’s a good chance they’ve been sheltered for a while, so getting out in the fresh air, moving their legs, and smelling all the new things is mentally and physically beneficial. It also lets them figure out their new surroundings and establishes who’s at which end of the leash. (Remember, you’re the boss!)


Once you’ve determined your dog is definitely friendly enough to be around other people and dogs, and shows no signs of aggression, it might be time to head to the dog park. Some experts suggest waiting a week for every week your dog has been in the shelter to be extra sure it’s safe to bring them. So, if your dog was in the shelter for two months, you should wait two months before you bring them to the park.

Photo Credit: DMCA via Pxfuel


Now that you’ve put in the work, waited the appropriate time, and feel confident your foster dog is ready for the dog park, you still need to be cautious! First of all, pick a smaller park and go at a time of day when the park isn’t busy, and then keep him on the leash. Let him walk the perimeter and smell all the other dogs’ scents and get a feel for what this new place is.

You absolutely should not show up the first time and just let Rover run free. Keep your dog close to you and distanced from others, similar to those first walks around your neighborhood.

It’s also important to adhere to the dog size guidelines. Don’t take a small dog into the large dog area or vice versa. And if your dog is a large breed, but a smaller dog is in the wrong place, watch your dog very carefully. Small dogs are often very triggering for larger, unsocialized dogs.


If your dog doesn’t know commands, controlling him at a park will be difficult, and potentially dangerous, so consult your fostering group for advice about whether you should take your dog or not. If your dog does know commands, practice them at the park off-leash when it’s not busy. Bring lots of treats to encourage him or her to come when called.

Photo Credit: Chepte Cormani via Pexels


If you’ve made it this far and you’re sure your foster pup has checked all the boxes, go for it! Do stay alert though. Taking your dog to the park is not a time for you to relax and kick back. You must be alert at all times, watching not only your dog but all the other dogs too. If you notice any sketchy behavior, get your dog out immediately.

If, after reading all this, you’re not sure if your dog is quite dog park-ready, stick to leashed walks on sidewalks, trails, and free play in fenced-in backyards. Dogs can still get plenty of safe socialization when you live in an area where dog walking is a common activity.

Remember: fostering a pup is a fun and love-filled experience, but it’s not always a walk in the park! Take it seriously, keep everyone safe, and enjoy your time together until he finds his forever home.

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