A Trip to the Dog Park
Page 2 of 2
If you think that your dog will do well in the dog park environment, there are still some things you need to know. First, make sure your dog is vaccinated and that he does not have any contagious diseases before you bring him to the park. Second, make sure your dog has a flat collar – not a prong, spiked, pinch or martingale collar – to wear while he is playing off-leash. Prong, spiked, pinch or martingale collars can get snagged on other dogs or objects in the park causing injuries to either your dog or his new friends. Third, don’t bring any dog toys to the park. Toys can lead to fights with other dogs, and most dog parks ban people from bringing in dog toys anyway. Fourth, bring some water for your dog and baggies for picking up poop. Many parks provide water for dogs and poop bags, but you should be prepared.
Now, before you set off for some fun in the dog park there is one final caution. Just because you are being a responsible dog park visitor – your dog plays well, is vaccinated and healthy, has an appropriate collar, etc. – does not mean that your fellow dog park visitors will be as conscientious. There is always a risk that your dog will get injured after a run-in with an overly aggressive dog who shouldn’t be in the park, or that your dog will contract a disease such as kennel cough, giardiasis or another parasite from a dog who has been brought to run despite being sick. While there is nothing that you can do ensure complete safety for your dog in the dog park, you can minimize risks by asking your vet or other dog owners in the neighborhood for their opinions of your local dog park. Does the park have a reputation for being generally clean and well-maintained? Have they heard of many dogs getting injured or sick in the dog park? You can also go by the park on your own one day and take a look at the dog population there. Do they seem well-behaved or overly rough? Are the owners paying attention to their dogs to make sure things remain in control? Ultimately it is up to you to use your best judgment to decide whether – even if your dog is a dog park dog – you feel the dog park is right for your dog.
For more information on exercising your dog’s body and mind click here.
To donate to Betsy's charity of choice, Infinite Love Animal Sanctuary, click here.