Dog parks are basically the canine equivalent to happy hour: a place to gather and socialize; to get a little rowdy and even flirt a bit with the newcomer (though she is definitely a dog). But, also much like happy hour, a trip to the dog park can quickly get out of hand if behavior and safety are not kept top of mind. As pet owners, the health and safety of our furry companions are our responsibility, especially at the dog park. Though it is intended to let your dog roam happily and safely in a controlled environment, there are those times that ill-behaved dogs and unseen risks can ruin a pup’s good time. As the preferred veterinarian in Panama City Beach, we have seen far too many examples of dogs who had problems at the dog park and suffer the consequences. Follow these helpful tips for keeping your dogs safe at the dog park every time you go:
- Bring your dog up to date with his immunizations.
- Understand the signs of aggression and play. Though they can sometimes be confused for each other, signs of fighting including growling and the showing of teeth. Separate those involved before things get out of hand.
- Keep a vigilant eye on your dog. Make sure that yours in not the dog engaging in aggressive behaviors, eating foreign objects or escaping from the fenced areas of the park.
- Keep to the appropriate area of the park. If your dog is small, stay where he will be more comfortable – in the small dog area. If your dog is large do your part by keeping him where he should be.
- Train your dog to come, sit, stay and leave it before you ever visit the dog park.
- Keep your dog well-hydrated. Dehydration can put your dog at risk for serious health problems.
- Limit the time spent at the dog park. Even though your dog may seem like they can go forever, allowing them to can leave them exhausted and dehydrated.