There are several options to make sure your pup gets the proper amount of exercise and socialization they need each day. There are dog parks, doggie daycares and professional dog walkers that can assist with helping your dog achieve exercise and socialization bliss! Lets take a look at dog parks; the pros and cons.
Dog Parks are a great way to make sure your dog gets a proper amount of exercise and socialization in a fun and typically safe environment.
Dog Park Positives:
Dog parks typically are sectioned off according to size and can provide an amazing amount of space for your pup to really stretch there legs. It is also a great way to get out and meet new people, especially if you are new to an area. Most dog owners are social and looking to meet new friends. Not to mention on a beautiful day, it gives you the opportunity to catch up on some much needed time outside.
After an hour or two at the dog park, depending on the age and fitness level of your pup, they could be exhausted for the rest of the day. Giving you a happy, cuddly pup for you to enjoy!
Make sure to NEVER schedule dog park playtime in the heat of the day. Just at dawn or after the sun goes down completely are the safest summer times to play here in our climate. Some dogs, especially those with short faces (Bulldogs, Boxers, Pugs, etc.) overheat VERY quickly in the mid-day heat. Hot dirt, asphalt, or artifical turf can burn paw pads too!
Some draw backs of dog parks:
Who are the dogs at the park?
There is a true lack of predictability of the other dogs there. Some parents can be in denial that there dog does not play well with others, and is poorly trained. This could be dangerous for the other dogs playing, even the owners if a fight breaks out. Always make sure to keep your eye on your pup at all times. It only takes a second for things to get out of control. There are also no guarantees that dogs interacting with your pup have their proper vaccinations, which safely allows them to be interacting in a setting such as a dog park.
It is crucial that dogs be let OFF-LEASH in an enclosed, off-leash dog area. Leashes and confinement cause frustration and pent-up energy to sky-rocket in stressful situations. It may also make some dogs feel “trapped” and unable to escape incoming threats.
Are the grounds safe?
The safety of the grounds can sometimes be questionable. It only takes one irresponsible person to break a glass bottle on the grounds, which could cause major damage to your pups paw pads. You will also see areas in some dog parks where there are exposed rocks. If your dog slides on these surfaces, they could damage their paws as well.
Would you drink out of that?
Community water bowls can become a cesspool of germs and bacteria. Make sure to bring your own bowl and water to be safe. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your pups health. Some unwanted sicknesses that can all be spread through water are roundworms, hookworms, giardia, and coccidia.
Dog parks are a fun, great way to socialize and exercise your pup. There are many positives and negatives that we have covered. The most important thing you can do as an owner, is research your location and make sure to always keep a watchful eye on your pup.