By: Dr. Ryan Llera, B.Sc., DVM | Aug 10, 2018
Over the past several years, dog parks have sprung up in communities as a place for your canine companion to get some exercise and depending on rules, meet other dogs. Dog parks can be wonderful places, but they aren’t meant for everybody. Let’s look at why this is and also review some etiquette.
Everyone loves their own dog. Many people love other dogs. Visiting the dog park is a great place to get your dog socialized with other people and dogs to help acclimate them and hopefully avoid some unwanted behaviors. Dogs evolved as pack animals and the social aspect can be good for their mental stimulation. You also will get to meet new people, maybe even your future spouse or a new close friend. Rover will also get that much-needed exercise to help fight off obesity by staying active.
Remember what I said about dogs being pack animals? Well, that can work against them as dogs meet each other for the first time, the potential for dominance aggression behavior is always possible. Yes, dogs like children might fight on the playground. Fights should try to be broken up by calling your dog or making some noise to distract them which might make it easier to pull them apart. Another downside to these public places is that they can be a breeding ground for disease. Infectious viruses, bacterial infections, or parasites can all be picked up at the park. Also, dogs will be dogs…and if your dog is not spayed or neutered, then somebody could be expecting puppies in around 2 months.
A trip to the dog park can be a great bonding experience for you and your canine companion. Just be sure to be safe and courteous so that everyone has an enjoyable time!
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