CLOSE ENCOUNTERS AT THE DOG PARK

Dog parks pose risks that can be avoided
Having fun at the dog park

I must admit that, generally speaking, I am not a big fan of dog parks. The only exception I will take a canine, or two, is when it is empty! And, apparently, I am not alone. Dog behavior professionals tend to agree. Why? Because…

1. many of the dogs have not been properly trained in social behavior
2. the owners do not pay attention to what is going on
3. owners do not correct their pets quickly enough to prevent an incident from occurring
4. when a dog feels overwhelmed and stressed it is less likely to obey commands

The unacceptable behaviors a dog may exhibit are…
* over excitement
* playing rough
* rudeness (intrusion)
* bullying
* overt aggression

So, what I remind all my pet parent readers is that when you visit a dog park, you do not know all the owners there and you cannot possibly know all the dogs there, either. It is a risk, one that I, personally, as an extremely safety-conscious pet caregiver, am not willing to take. If you feel the same way, you can always come up with alternatives for safe socializing and exercising.

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!