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Fun For Everyone at the Cape May Dog Park

You are visiting Cape May with your dog and you want the vacation to be a great one for everyone. You can visit the dog friendly beaches, which are just a short drive away, but you can also visit the Cape May Dog Park, which is right in town!

Cape May dog park

Photo courtesy Debbie J Hudson

They say a tired dog is a happy dog, and I’m sure you feel like me – happy dog(s), happy me. And, everyone else we’re traveling with! At the beach you must keep your dog leashed. I use long leads so my two fur balls can go swimming in the bay without dragging me out, and it allows me to “reel them in” in case they get distracted by a bird or something and go out too far for me to retrieve them easily in the event of any trouble. At the dog park you can let your dog “off leash”!

The dog park is a great way for your dog to get much needed and enjoyed exercise and a great way for your dog to socialize with other dogs – just like we socialize at Yappy Hour at the Billmae Cottage.

Before you go with your dog(s), you may want to visit or drive by a few times just to check out the facility and to see how busy the park is at the time you’d be interested in going. Try to avoid the highest heat of the day, since your dog(s) will be running, playing, socializing, etc. and there is no shade except in the gazebo. There is running water so you can provide your dog(s) with fresh water, so you may want to bring bowls rather than sharing a bowl.

Be sure to familiarize yourself with the dog park rules. It’s important to follow all rules for the safety, health, and happiness of all dogs and their people, too. Passes to the Cape May Dog Park are available to City Hall during the week, and at Swain’s Hardware Store on weekends.

Here are a few suggestions to help insure that your dog(s), you, and everyone else be get the best and most enjoyable experience while at the Cape May Dog Park.

NEVER LEAVE YOUR DOG UNATTENDED. You always want to clean up after your dog, so you must be attentive to your dog in order to clean up right away and for the safety of your dog(s) and all others in the park. Cape May Dog Park has waste bag dispensers and trash cans for your convenience. And, running water to help in clean up if needed.

Make sure your dog is current on all shots. You will have to show proof of rabies vaccination and licensing when you go for a dog park pass. This is the case in all dog parks, again for the safety of all of the dogs and their people. Young puppies, younger than 4 months, should not be taken to any dog park since they would not have all of the necessary vaccinations due to their young age.

There are some toys and balls in the dog park left by others, but it’s not generally a good idea to bring toys with you since not all dogs “share” well. If you must bring a toy, make it a tennis ball for fetch which you can afford to lose, and be prepared to do just that!

Do not allow your dog to “hump” or otherwise dominate another dog. Dogs spayed or neutered are generally best in a dog park, but never bring a female in heat if not spayed!

Cape May Dog Park has a double gated entry, so keep your dog leashed until you are in the first enclosure and ALL gates are closed securely. You may then unleash your dog and enter for general park area. If you feel more comfortable, take your dog in to “say hello” before unleashing. This shows respect for the other dogs and their people, and it’s safer for your dog.

Please don’t smoke or eat while at the dog park. Cigarette butts, candy wrappers, etc. are enticing and dangerous for the 4-legged one.

If your dog gets over excited, play rough, and/or gets unruly – leash and leave right away. This is better for your dog, and better for all other dogs and their people. This shows that you are respecting the others, shows your dog that behavior counts, and will make others happier to see you on return.

As long as you follow the rules and respect others, you and your dog(s) will have a wonderful vacation which includes visits to the Cape May Dog Park. Have Fun!

The dog park is on Lafayette Street, near the corner of Broad. Passes are available at City Hall. Please call the city Clerk’s office at 609-884-9525 or visit them on the second floor!

IvanGood Read Recommendation of the Month

IVAN – A Pound Dog’s View on Life, Love, and Leashes by Tim McHugh.

Ivan is special and so is his story. Filled with humor, insight, philosophy, and spirituality, Ivan tells a wonderful story of life, love, learning, and understanding. More than worth the read and your purchase of this book contributes to assisting animal rescue associations to support their efforts in protecting and caring for animals. You’ll want to own it and share it!