Dog parks – we love them right?
– by Jenna Drady
Who wouldn’t dive at the chance to take their beloved 4 legged friends to a place of what seems to be sheer paradise to them?
A place where dogs can meet, greet, play, sniff and do all the things dogs love to do!
But what really lies behind dog parks?
Are there dangers you should be aware of?
What are the benefits?
Stick with us today and I’ll do my best to answer all those dog park curiosities!
Dog Park Risks:
While dog parks are a great place for our fur babies to burn off some steam, they can also be a quick recipe for disaster.
Let me explain…
Dog parks have rules. Generally the rules consist of things like: Dogs must be up to date on their vaccines, Must be wearing their tags at all times, must be neutered or spayed, and things along those lines.
Sure, you may follow the rules, but does everyone else?
How can you be sure that each and every dog at the park is healthy?
How can you be sure each and every dog at the park is friendly?
Well, you can’t! It’s just that simple. The cold hard fact is that there are far too many people that come into dog parks ignoring rules that should be followed by every single one of us – thus resulting in injuries, illnesses passing, accidental pregnancies etc…of course you can always do a thorough check on each and every dog and human in the park, but not many people are willing to do that.
Dog Park Benefits:
Of course dog parks aren’t all bad. Some people/dogs can benefit greatly from spending time at the park. They can be a wonderful place to help socialize your dog with not just other canines, but humans as well. Socialization is hugely important in raising a happy “well rounded” dog, and parks specifically created for dogs are a great place to start.
Dog parks are a fabulous choice when your pup needs to burn off excess energy – both physically and mentally. They can be a great social setting to get out there and meet like minded pet lovers, possibly set up a doggie play date, and your dog may just meet their new BFFF! (Best Fur Friend Fur-ever!)
Off leash dog parks are especially beneficial to those who do not have a fenced in yard. In that situation, sometimes the owners only choice is to go to a park weekly, or even daily to let their dogs run and get well needed exercise. A tired dog is a happy dog, and the exercise your dog will get while at the park will help ensure you have a happy, tired pup upon your return home.
To Sum It Up:
Whether or not you bring your pup to the dog park, is completely your call.
Knowing the dangers as well as the benefits should help you decide if a dog park is right for you and your pup.
My personal opinion?
Let me first say that I do bring my huskies to the local off leash dog park. They have a blast. That being said – the keywords there were “local dog park.” My dogs and I know each and every person who comes there. With that in mind, it can be a lot easier to make the decision to go. I know my dogs will get along with the others there, I know the people that go there are decent, and I know that it will be a fun experience for them. However, I have had some negative experiences when we traveled to a park we had never been before. Koda had a traumatizing experience when one of the dogs wouldn’t stop humping him, as the owner sat there and laughed! Let’s be real…that’s just no fun for anyone, especially Koda who felt, well, violated! Needless to say, we left in a quick hurry.
I am neither for dog parks, nor am I against them. I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. My suggestion is to feel out your local dog park for a while. See what kind of people go there. Check out different dogs behavior. Try and note if it’s always the same people going, and what time of day might be best to bring your dog along with you, then you can make your final decision.