Dangers of Dog Parks
Dog parks in theory sound like a great idea, we all want to socialize our dogs, and let them have fun. We assume if someone is going to the dog park that they are a responsible dog owner that vaccinates their dogs, has them on a preventative, and that their dog is social and safe with other dogs.
Unfortunately, there is no requirement for dog parks. They do not ask or require prior to bringing a dog in, that it is up to date on all vaccines, Bordetella and negative for Giardia, Coccidia, worms/parasites and especially hookworms. There is no one enforcing a standard to make sure the dog is well behaved in public, has a recall (if off leash playing) and is safe to be around other dogs.
However, a good doggy daycare has all of the above requirements. It is a safer option than dog parks. Another alternative to dog parks is meeting like minded owners that have dogs that you trust with your own dog. Nothing like booking a safe play date!
It is our job to be an advocate for our dog. A lot of people bring dogs that have no business being in dog parks, or around other dogs. Once a young puppy is attacked, this affects the dog the rest of its life. You will have to work the puppy through the trauma that can cause your puppy to have dog reactivity and aggression.
There are dogs at dog parks of different sizes and ages. Big dogs should be paired with big dogs and small dogs with small dogs. A German Shepherd can unintentionally injure a yorkie just by its size and cost you $$ in vet bills.
There are diseases at dog parks, due to any dog allowed entry. At boarding facilities and doggy daycares they spray the ground, and require negative fecal test and current vaccines, which prevent diseases going into the ground and staying there. Parvo goes into the ground and stays there, continuing to be a threat to dogs entering.
In the dog parks, there are community water bowls, that are dangerous for the same reasons. You do not know what diseases or parasites that maybe lurking in the water bowls.
It’s time to ask for stricter requirements from dog parks. There should be screening, and an evaluation done of each dog to prevent disease and dog fights.
This also applies to boarding and daycare facilities. YOU as the dog owner should be asking more for your pet. You should set the standard and be the voice your dog cannot be. Once you bring home hookworms or parvo, it will never leave the ground of your backyard and every dog that comes after will be at risk of exposure. Make sure boarding and daycare facilities have good cleaning practices and policies in place to protect your pet.
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