Dog Parks sound like an excellent place to take your favorite canines, let them loose, and watch them mingle with other companion pets in an enclosed environment. Benches are typically available for pet owners to sit, relax and socialize with other humans. Recent studies reveal that there could be hidden dangers affecting your four-legged furry pets as they interact with others in close proximity.

Warnings for pet owners about dog parks

Dog parks are viewed as a great and safe place for both humans and dogs to socialize and communicate with other pet companions and friends.

However, everyone in the veterinary business may not agree that dog parks are the safest and healthiest option when it comes to many dogs interacting together in one confined area. Some of the issues of concern include the animal’s health like Parvo, Distemper and parasites. The pet stomping ground may consist of grassy areas and warm, moist soil, where things like mange, ticks, and fleas love to dwell, looking for a warm body to attach to.

Even if your dog is vaccinated for protection, it is hard to know if all the other canines are as well. Not all animals entering the area are socialized and friendly, which can lead to confrontations and fights. These warnings are not meant to deter your decision to bring your furry companion to a dog park, but to ensure you are Aware of what to expect.

Maintain a regular vaccination regimen, protection from parasites, and socialization of your own dog, but whenever you visit an area with multiple pets, it is important to be an educated and observant pet owner.

Tips for a safe and happy visit to the dog park

If you are a pet owner who loves to let your dog be social in a community environment, there are some tips that you can follow to ensure a fun and safe outing for both you and your pet companion.

Some suggestions were given by Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, who is the VP and chief veterinary medical officer for Nationwide Insurance:

  • First and foremost, heed all rules and regulations posted at the park.
  • Visit the area of interest during busy day hours alone before bringing your dog along. Investigate to see if this would be a good fit for your own pet.
  • When at the play area, continuously monitor your dog to ensure friendly playtime. If it gets a little rough or aggressive, remove your dog immediately.
  • Follow protocol when it comes to the size of your pet. Most dog community areas have designated enclosures for small and large dogs.
  • Never bring a puppy under four months to such an area. This is not the time or place to teach your little one how to be social.
  • Always keep up-to-date with parasite prevention and vaccinations.
  • Visiting such an area with your dog during hot peak temperatures is hazardous to the health of your animal.
  • Keep your pet hydrated by providing water for your dog.
  • Ensure that your dog does not get overheated during his or her romping and play time. Be aware of excessive panting, drooling, lethargy, glassy eyes or any other signs of exhaustion. Take your pet home.

Most medical and behavior issues can be prevented if you take the necessary precautions, although some conditions may be out of your control.

Be observant, and, when in doubt, bring your pet companion home. If you fear a medical problem as a result of community playtime, seek veterinary assistance. Visits to the dog park should be safe and fun for you and your dog.