Dog 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.