The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Dog Parks - Some of the Hazards You May Encounter The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Dog Parks - Some of the Hazards You May Encounter

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Dog Parks - Some of the Hazards You May Encounter

You would think that dog parks are one of the best places for you and your pooch to be. They encourage you and your dog to get fresh air, explore, exercise, and bond with each other. With the blissful image of our four-legged companions playing and horsing around with their tails wagging, it’s hard to think of a flaw when it comes to visiting dog parks.

While it may be true that dog parks are a wonderful place to go to, aren’t always the best place for both you and your dog to stay safe. If you look closely, there are a number of dog park hazards that you need to watch out for to ensure that you both make it home in safely.

Dog Park Dangers 

Sick Dogs:
Bringing your pooch to the park can expose him to other pets which may not be in great health. Further, plenty of visitors neglect to pick-up after their pets, leaving little piles of germs strewn about. Because there’s no easy way for you to know which other animals are good for your dog to mingle with, protect your dog from possible health risks by updating all of his vaccinations. Deworm your dog on a regular basis and ensure that he receives shots that prevent kennel cough and canine flu. Spaying and neutering your pooch is recommended (sometimes required) before visiting an off-leash park.

Extreme Heat:
Because heat stroke is a life-threatening situation for dogs, it is crucial that as a responsible owner, you do your best to keep your dog from exceedingly high temperatures. Dogs do not sweat the way we do. In fact, their only way to cool down is panting. Because of this, it’s far more difficult for dogs to control their body temperatures once they are out in the open. To avoid putting your dog in this grave situation, don’t take him out during the hottest hours of the day. Always look for a shady spot where he can rest and don’t forget to provide him with plenty of fresh water to drink. If you think your dog is suffering from heat stroke, immediately seek out the nearest vet hospital.

Aggressive Dogs:
Not every dog owner is as thoughtful and responsible as you are. Many people bring their dogs to the park with the attitude that “the dogs will work it out.” If you suspect another dog at the park is aggressive, it may be in your best interest to leave and try again later, after they’re gone. Likewise, if your own dog doesn’t always play well with others, it’s best to bring him when the park is empty. It’s also important to note that many perfectly gentle, friendly dogs can become toy or leash aggressive. It’s best to leave the toys at home, and unleash your dog once inside the park to avoid any unnecessary conflict.

Small Children:
Although dogs and small kids are commonly a good combination, there are times when children are a hazard at dog parks. A child who runs up to an unfamiliar pooch to play with him can cause the dog to feel rather threatened which often never ends well. Also, a small child’s size can put them at the dog’s muzzle level; making them more vulnerable to injury. To prevent this from happening, always be alert about everything that’s going on around you.

Potential for Injuries:
Some of the typical activities at dog parks are playing fetch and running. Letting your dog run at maximum speed may be great as a form of exercise. However, it can result in mild to severe injuries if he accidentally steps into a hole or on anything sharp. To avoid this, always see to it that you know very well the condition of the area where your pooch is playing. Inspect for holes that other dogs have dug, and check the area for sharp objects that he could hurt himself on.

Remember, you are responsible for picking up after your dog; it is not another person’s responsibility.

For many of us, and our pets, a trip to the dog park is fun and rewarding. As long as you’re aware of your dog and his surroundings at all times, it can be a great place to wear off some energy and make new friends.

Take a look at the video below: