Adopting an older dog is a wonderful experience. Not only can you choose a dog that is already house and obedience trained, but you also have the ability to select a dog with a known temperament that is already at his or her mature size.
Adopting a rescue dog during the COVID-19 pandemic does create a few obstacles that may not be present when there aren’t as many restrictions. Often those adopting a rescue pet for the first time may not realize the best ways to make the dog comfortable in your neighborhood, where to spend time with your dog in Rockville, and what specific laws are in place around dog ownership.
To help you ease the transition for an adopted dog, and to avoid any issues with the law, our team has created the following basic guide to dog adoption and ownership during COVID-19.
There are several dog-friendly parks in and around Rockville. With any adopted pet, be sure to keep the animal on a leash for all outings until they are fully trained and have mastered recall. It is also the owner’s responsibility to ensure the fur baby is socialized and non-aggressive, which can be difficult with an adopted pet. Start with socializing with one or two highly social animals before taking your new pet to an off-leash park.
Even if the animal is well-trained on recall, be sure to keep it on a leash when in public. Montgomery County Animal at Large law defines any pet being off the owner’s land or outside of a designated off-leash area as being at large. There is an exception in the law for special events or activities, but this only applies if you are participating in these sanctioned and approved events.
Animal parks in the area that offer a fenced location for your new pet to socialize with other animals include the Rockville Park on Piccard Drive. Outside of the city are the popular Cabin John Park and the King Farm Park, which both offer fenced off-leash play areas as well as hiking trails you and your four-legged friend can enjoy.
Walking in your neighborhood is a great way for the new animal to begin to feel at home. Walking the same route is not boring to your four-legged friend, and it helps him or her to become familiar with sights, sounds and smells in your vicinity. On the first few walks, be prepared to stop and let your fur baby sniff and look around. He or she is curious about the new surroundings and will quickly acclimatize if given the time. If you need help getting your dog to walk on a leash, we can help.
Laws to Know
In addition to being on the leash in public, dogs in Rockville must be licensed and vaccinated. This should be done before taking the pet off your property to avoid fines of $100 for not having a license and $500 for missing some or all of the required vaccinations.
Keep in mind, pet owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pet. Be sure to carry plastic bags or a “pooper scooper” to avoid fines of $100.