With the warmer weather finally threatening to stick around in Central New York dog walkers from all over will flock to dog parks, dog friendly parks and the streets to get exercise for their furry friends and themselves. Although much of what is about to be written should be pretty obvious to all dog owners, some need the gentle reminder.

When taking your dog for a walk, out to play fetch or to just get out of the house to kick those winter blues and let them run around you need to remember a few basic courtesies that other dog owners will appreciate and enjoy.

1. Bring a Dang Poop Bag EVERYWHERE

Of all reminders to be given, this is likely the most crucial. There is nobody on earth that wants to pick up your dog's doo. Admit it, YOU don't even want to pick up what your dog leaves behind. You absolutely should be prepared to immediately scoop it up on a walk in a neighborhood to not leave a surprise for a neighbor, but if your dog goes in a dog park there is nobody there hired to clean it up. If there are dog parks, they're being mowed and that's about it. YOU have to clean up the mess. Most dog parks have baggies available for your use.

2. Use a Leash When Walking

Obviously you don't need to keep your dog on a leash if it's walking, running or playing in the confines of a dog park. But, if you're walking the dog through the neighborhood just put one on. You could have the most disciplined dog ever, but you never know what could spook them. It will also make other people feel comfortable.

3. Keep Your Dog's Shots Up to Date

Your dog while playing in a dog park will likely play and interact with other dogs. That's kind of the point. Well, much like humans not want to catch another human's illness. dogs don't want another dog's illness. There is no way to monitor that too closely, so this one is a literal honor system practice.

Those are really 3 basic rules to abide by when walking your dog or taking it out to enjoy the weather that we hopefully can look forward to for months to comes. If everyone follows these simple steps, then there will be plenty of happy dogs and happy humans.

For those in need of a place to take your dog, there are several dog parks and dog friendly parks you can bring them to. Each of the dog parks require your pet to be licensed and to have documentation.

  1. North Utica Dog Park - Off of Northrup Drive
  2. East Utica Dog Park - Off of Welsh Bush Road
  3. Sherill Brook Park - Within New Hartford Town Park (Members Only)
  4. Wiggins's Park - In Rome, NY off of W Thomas Street
  5. Higinbotham Park - In Oneida, NY off of Broad Street

Follow this guide and courteous dog walking will be just a walk in the park.

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