Dog Parks, a Place to Avoid and Why

dog park health risks

A Risk not Worth Taking

Wherever you live there’s sure to be a nearby dog park. However,  for a million different reasons they’re not the best place to take your dog. There are rules at dog parks, but that doesn’t mean people follow them. Everytime you go to a dog park you’re taking a big risk, and it could be an expensive one.

Vaccinations & the Spread of Disease

Are the dogs your pet is interactive with at a dog park vaccinated? You have absolutely no way of knowing for sure, and that’s only one example of a threat to your dogs health. For example, just because your dog is current on his/her Parvo, vaccine, doesn’t guarantee total immunity, especially in a young dog. 

Let’s not forget Bordetella (Kennel Cough), this is a huge threat and believe me it’s everywhere. Oh, you vaccinate for that? Well, let me clue you in on the facts. The vaccine is only good for a few months, and there are a ton of different strains of kennel cough. Your dog was vaccinated only for the most common. Same as us getting a flu shot, the vaccine is for only the most common strain, it doesn’t mean we won’t get the flu, just that it will be milder.
I don’t think we need to go any further with the diseases your dog can be exposed to, lets just say dog parks can be a breeding ground for various diseases.

Intestinal Parasites

Intestinal parasites can be transmitted if a dog inadvertently steps in another dog’s poop and then licks his paws later. What does that mean? Your dog could get an internal parasite such as roundworms or hookworms! I can’t think of a better place than a dog park to find an abundance of poop, can you? Learn More about Parasites.

Fleas & Ticks

Dogs playing together can also pass fleas and ticks. When you’re done at the park, do a tick check so your dog doesn’t bring any of the disease-spreading bugs home. It’s a good idea to protect your dog from fleas and ticks whether you go to dog parks or not. Learn More about flea & tick prevention.

Injuries from Aggressive Dogs

Allowing your dog to run free and play with other dogs can turn ugly fast, and there’s nothing you and do about it until it’s too late. Maybe your dog is friendly and willing to play nice with other dogs, but don’t think for a minute that all dogs are. They are NOT.  An aggressive dog can do a lot of damage in a very short time, and sadly enough your dog may suffer the serious consequences.

You on the other hand, will pay the price, literally, at the vet, and yes, it will probably be expensive. Of course these things usually happen on a Sunday or after hours, so that means you’ll be forced to visit an emergency clinic. My experience with that is simple, if you get out of there for less than $500 you’re very lucky. $700 to $1,000 is more like it.

The Alternative…

Your dog just wants to be with YOU, not a bunch of strangers or wild and crazy dogs. Go for a long walk or hike with your K-9 companion instead visiting a dog park. The quality time you spend together is worth more to your dog than any park can offer.

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