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Beware of These 4 Dog Park Dangers

dog park playing blogDog parks are a great way for many canines to get some exercise and make new friends. While social skills and regular activity are both important, the dog park poses some dangers. Below are four dog park risks for pet parents to be aware of:

1. Infectious disease: Since so many dogs congregate in dog parks in close proximity to each other, there is a higher probability of infectious disease spreading. Speak to a vet about vaccinations to protect your dog from these types of diseases (including canine influenza and kennel cough). Also, bring your own collapsible water dish so that your dog doesn’t have to share with the other canines.

2. Parasites: Dogs can pass parasites along to each other while playing. Make sure your canine companion is protected by committing to monthly flea control.

3. Heat Stroke: Running and playing outside when the weather is hot can put your pup in danger of heatstroke. Dogs have very few sweat glands compared to humans, which can make it difficult to cool down. Some canines can get so caught up in playtime that they don’t take appropriate breaks, so be sure to monitor your dog’s activity and encourage plenty of water breaks.

4. Aggressive behavior: The problem with dog parks is they’re not meant for all dogs. Some canines get fearful or uneasy around strange dogs, which can lead to a potentially dangerous situation. Keep a close eye on your dog’s behavior and be honest with yourself about whether or not the park is the best form of exercise for your canine companion. Also, if the behavior of another dog or an unobservant owner is making your nervous, it’s always best to remove your dog from the situation.

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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Diana Moore June 10, 2015, 7:14 am

    Glad to see someone finally talking about the inherent dangers of dog parks! Had to remove my Rottie girl from a dog park in Dallas b/c of the insistent advances from a much larger male Rottie, owner nowhere to be seen. Yes, my girl was spayed! First thing I do! I own a 501c3 canine rescue.

  • kathleen starks June 10, 2015, 10:22 am

    this should apply to dog beaches too!!!

  • JJ Ross June 10, 2015, 11:05 am

    Here’s another danger: If your dog is an escape risk (many are), you might well want to stand near the gate to make sure your dog doesn’t get out when some negligent person leaves the gate open. You don’t think many people are that negligent, that most people are more aware, that their awareness extends to dogs that aren’t their own? Hmmm….

  • Paul June 10, 2015, 12:27 pm

    Aggressive behavior is something that all dog owners need to be aware of, as I remember some years ago when my wife was walking her rottweiler when it was about a year old. Some pit bull puppy decided to go after my wife’s dog biting into her neck and would not let go. It took some effort to get the dog to finely release, and she got a couple of her fingers bit in the process. Needless to say the dog was running around loose with no tags.

    This same thing could easily also happen in a Bark Park, and if the dog that was attacked had been something more fragile such as a full grown chihuahua it would have likely ended up dead.

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