what to prepare before visiting a dog park

Dog park visits can be an exciting time for your Fidos.

The minute you mention those magic words, they’ll quickly bolt right in front of you with those pleading eyes and happy-wagging tails.

How can you resist that?

While this calls for another hooman outdoor outfit, you might as well consider your dog’s essentials.

I promise you’re gonna need this stuff.

So before you head out, here’s a list of dog supplies and what to prepare before visiting a dog park with your Fidos.

what supplies to prepare before visiting a dog park

What to Prepare Before Visiting a Dog Park: 9 Vital Pup Supplies

1. Leash

While there are off-leash dog parks to spend a day’s playtime, putting Fido on a leash going to and fro is a must. 

This is to prevent your pups from bumping into an aggressive pooch or getting into accidents while heading to or coming home.

And especially for large dog breeds, you’ll need a good quality leash for your dog.

That said, here’s what you need to know before choosing your dog’s leash:

4 Basic Materials Used for Dog Leashes


Pros: Durable and classy, leather materials are undeniably elegant-looking.

Cons: Besides being pricey, leather dog leashes can be attractive, especially for heavy chewers. 

It can also be tricky to clean a leather material while keeping its quality or appearance.


Pros: Nylon materials are considered to be one of the strongest materials used for dog leashes. 

They are less expensive, and nylon dog leashes are easy to clean and do not shrink.

Cons: Nylon dog leashes can be a little rough on your dog’s skin, especially if the collar has the same material.

However, nylon-made dog leashes wear out in the long run, especially when used and cleaned constantly.


Pros: Fabric dog leashes can be easily customized and can come in various attractive designs. Plus, they’re easy to clean.

Cons: Like nylon material, fabric dog leashes can also wear out quickly.


Pros: Suitable to control large dog breeds, especially while outdoors.

Cons: Too heavy for small dog breeds

4 Types of Dog Leashes

Standard Dog Leash


  • 4-8 feet long
  • Looped at one end for gripping
  • Connects to the collar using hooks
Retractable Dog Leash


  • Up to 20 feet long
  • More space for dogs to roam
Martingale Dog Leash


  • Popularly used in dog shows
  • Has two small loops around a big loop that also helps in dog training
Training Dog Leash


  • Easy on, easy off
  • Has a small metal ring at the end*
  • Comes in various lengths depending on the training

*Note: Pull the leash through the metal ring to make a larger loop that slips around the dog's neck for easy use.

2. Water

Keep your Fidos hydrated, especially when out in the sun.

And at high temperatures, your dogs are prone to heat stress

With sufficient water in your pet supply bag, you can help regulate your pup’s body temperature while at the dog park.

Best Collapsible Dog Bowl to bring at the dog park

3. Dog Bowl and Water Bottle

Since many dogs and hoomans flock to dog parks, keeping your pawed buddies safe is better than sorry.

To ensure your dogs don’t drink contaminated water outdoors, be sure to bring their water bowl or bottle.

Of course, you don’t need to bring that fancy water fountain your spoiled pooch has at home.

A collapsible dog bowl or a water bottle will do just fine.

Collapsible Dog Bowl Features

Not just a cheaper alternative, but collapsible dog bowls have awesome features, including the following:

  • Expandable
  • Super handy
  • Perfect for outdoor activities
  • Can be used for both food and water
  • Doesn’t take too much space in your bag

Note: Bringing dog food and treats at dog parks is strictly discouraged to prevent aggression among canines.

Water Bottle Features

Besides hydrating your dogs, one of the most important features most pet owners look for is quality and spill-proof features.

To help you get started, here are our top dog water bottle recommendations:

Kalimdor Dog Water Bottle

Get it here.


  • 19-oz capacity
  • 2.8 inches drinking cup
  • Has a water-release and lock button
  • Durable and sturdy plastic container
Tuff Pupper Pupflask Large Dog Water Bottle

Get it here.


  • 27 and 40-oz capacity
  • Has a water-release button
  • Spill-proof and water drain feature
  • Has a leaf-shaped cover that’s also used for drinking
Highwave AutoDogMug

Get it here.


  • Spill-proof
  • USA-made
  • 20-oz capacity
  • Squeeze to release water
  • Made from a durable, BPA-free plastic

4. Dog Wipes

Though some pup owners don’t feel the need for one, dog wipes are another important supplies to bring to the park.


Pet wipes have various uses while at the dog park, such as the following:

  • Clean and disinfect minor wounds
  • Wipe off the dirt from their paws or bum
  • Clean them when bathing stations are not available

Related Read: 5 Best Antiseptic Wipes for Dogs

5. Waste Bags

As part of the dog park etiquette and rules, be sure to bring dog poop bags and help maintain the premises clean.

Not only is this an act of responsibility, but it’s also hygienic for your dogs when outdoors.

You might want to bring a pooper scooper, too.

Interesting Read: Check Out These Flushable Dog Waste Bags

6. Dog Carrier

You can skip this one if your house is just around the corner.

But if you and your pup need to take the subway to and fro, then we recommend putting your Fidos in a dog carrier.

Besides the comfort and convenience, dog carriers or backpacks protect your pet from accidents.

Plus, some states in the US or countries in the world impose on pet owners the use of dog carriers for general safety while taking public transportation.

Relevant Read: The Best Dog Carriers Review

7. Dog Boots

Besides the fancy look dog boots give our pooch, another vital purpose of these booties is to protect their paw from extreme heat and cold.

Apart from that, the following factors also pose a danger to your dog’s paws:

  • Ice
  • Snow
  • Chemicals
  • Rough terrain
  • De-icing salts

To address these hazards, some dog boots now have the following features:

Relevant Read: Top 6 Best Dog Booties That Stay On

8. Insect Repellents

When it’s that time of the year again — especially in spring — insects like mosquitoes can wreak havoc on you and your pets.

So, carry a safe and effective mosquito repellent to protect your dogs while outdoors.

And while we’re at it, we might as well bring a fly repellent.

what to bring at the dog park

9. Cooling Mat

While this is optional, you can also bring with you your dog’s cooling mat to beat the heat outdoors.

This is perfect while your pups take breaks in between or enjoy a nice shade from a tree.

So, you might want to check out the following dog cooling mats, pads, and beds:

Arf Pets Self Cooling Pad for Kennels, Crates, and Beds

Get it here.

Type: Gel / Automatic (no electricity required)

Refrigeration: Not required

Cooling period: Up to 3 hours

Size (LxW): 11.5″ x 15.5″ / 15.5” x 19.5” / 23″ x 35″ / 27″ x 43″ / 35″ x 55″



No water, electricity, or refrigeration needed Not suitable for puppies or adult dogs that like to chew
Cooling effects last up to 3 hours, and this good cooling dog mat “recharges” in under 20 minutes
It can be used indoors or outside

Green Pet Shop Self-Cooling Pet Pad 

Get it here.

Type: Gel / Pressure-activated (self-recharge)

Refrigeration: Not required

Cooling period: Up to 3 hours

Size (LxW): 15.7’’ x 11.8’’ / 19.7’’ x 15.7’’ / 30’’ x 20’’ / 35’’ x 23.6’’ / 43.3’’ x 27.5’’



Requires no electricity, refrigeration, or water to provide a cooling effect for your dog The gel pad inside the mat can shrink over time
Works for up to 3 hours of continuous use Not suitable for chewers
Self-recharges in 15-20 minutes
Folds up for easy transport
Vinyl cover makes for easy cleaning

K&H Cool Bed III Cooling Dog Bed

Get it here.

Type: Water-filled

Refrigeration: Required

Cooling period: n/a

Size (LxW): 17″ x 24″ / 22″ x 32″ / 32″ x 44″



No refrigeration or electricity is required for the cooling effect Requires water for the cooling process
Has a nylon/vinyl exterior that is durable and can be used both indoors and outside

Many other pet owners also confirmed that this one lasts for many years

Becomes very heavy when full of water, making it extra difficult to transport.

Not suitable for chewers

Coleman Comfort Cooling Gel Pet Pad Mat

Get it here.

Type: Gel

Refrigeration: Not required

Cooling period: Continuous

Size (LxW): 24″ x 30″ / 20’’ x 36’’



Stays 5-10 degrees cooler than room temperature The pad looks smaller than expected, so be sure to pay attention to the size.
Does not require refrigeration or electricity
The gel filling is non-toxic
Easy to use

Hugs Pet Products Chilly Comfort Cooling Gel Mat 

Get it here.

Type: Gel

Refrigeration: Not required

Cooling period: Continuous

Size (LxW): 15.7’’ x 19.5’’ / 20’’ x 36’’ / 31.5’’ x 37’’



Contains a pressure-activated cooling gel that is non-toxic Might not stay cool as long as expected
No refrigeration, water, or electricity needed Not suitable for heavy chewers
Lightweight and easily portable – great for indoor or outdoor use
Made with puncture-resistant material


What not to bring at the dog park

What Not to Bring to a Dog Park

If you’re a newbie dog parent or getting your pups out for the first time, the following is a list of what not to bring to a dog park:

1. Toys

Of course, dog toys make playtime fun.

But when you and your pups are at a dog park, bringing their toys can only do more harm than good.

That’s because toys can trigger possessive aggression in some dogs, especially if they lack early training and socialization.

So, be sure to leave your dog’s favorite toys at home before heading out to the park.

2. Dog Food and Treats

And yes, the same goes for dog food and treats.

Especially since dogs can get exhausted and hungry after hours of play, handing that tiny piece of sweet treat can attract other pups, too.

What if my dog gets hungry at the park?

Feeding your Fidos at home before heading out to the park is better.

Plus, bring lots of water to at least quench their thirst.

3. Young Puppies

Puppies of a very young age are discouraged at dog parks.

That’s because their immune system isn’t ideal for the outside world yet.

And especially since Fidos from all walks of life flock in dog parks, you can’t be sure if you’ll encounter an aggressive one or not.

When can I take my puppy to the dog park?

Until they’re at least 17 weeks old, you must not bring your puppies to the dog park.

Your puppies have also gotten their vaccinations and obedience training by this age.

4. Kids

While most dog parks welcome young children, assessing if your kids are properly socialized around pets is at your discretion.

But for general safety, keep your children away from dog parks as much as possible.

It’s either some dogs will get aggressive towards kids, or stubborn ones trigger fight responses from other canines.

dog supplies to bring at the dog park

What to Prepare Before Visiting a Dog Park: Before You Go…

Knowing what to prepare before visiting a dog park with your Fidos is necessary.

You’ll never know what your pups will get into while outdoors, right?

So, better be ready and prepare your pooch’s essentials before heading out.

While it does not necessarily include all the fancy stuff you have at home, a few things like dog wipes, waste bags, insect repellents, and water are necessary.

If you have a temperature-sensitive pup, then consider bringing a cooling vest, mat, or pad to help regulate their temperature.

However, it’s also important to remember not to bring your dog’s toys, food, and treats to avoid any aggression from other dogs in the park.

And whenever you can, avoid bringing young puppies and children for general safety.

So, if you enjoyed reading today’s blog, you might love the following recommendations, too!


Compassion for pets is fuel to Lenin's lifelong mission. As a fur mom to a Havanese dog and 6 stray cats, Lenin sees the joy in rescuing and giving pets a chance at a forever home. Even in her career as a freelancer, Lenin focused on writing everything about pets — from breed profiles to nutrition down to some of their interesting facts.