Dog Parks - Are They A Good Or
Everywhere you look, dog parks are becoming all the
On the surface, it
seems like a cool idea. You need some social time, so
you take your pampered pooch to the nearest dog park,
and visit with your human friends while he romps and
plays with his doggy friends.
But is that really such a
Before you decide to visit a dog park, consider these
Do you know every dog, and dog owner, who will be there?
Do you know whether every dog will be as friendly as
Can you be sure that there wonít be dominance issues,
because one dog is too big, or too playful, or too
Will everyone be paying attention to their dogs, just in
case thereís trouble--or will they all be sitting around
gossiping and enjoying their social moment?
Can you be sure that every dog there will be healthy?
Once you get right
down to it, thatís a lot of variables. And even though
you may be a responsible pet owner, not everyone else
Just because your dog is
sweet and lovable at home, donít automatically expect
that it will behave the same way around strangers, or
their equally strange pets. Your dog may bounce right
into the thick of things, and have the time of its life.
But itís equally possible that those other dogs might
frighten it. And if itís frightened, it may either cower
at your feet or decide to attack.
And donít think that only
big dogs are aggressive. Nothing is as aggressive as a
little dog defending its territory, especially if itís
already scared to start with. And unless all the dogs
are on leashes, and carefully separated (which defeats
the purpose of a dog park!) it only takes an instant for
a fight to break out, and one or more dogs to be
seriously injured or killed.
And what about disease?
When you visit the vetís office, the exam table is
sterilized after each dog leaves. The same cannot be
said of a dog park, where the dogs are free to lift
their leg, or squat, and possible disease is only a
sniff away. The better dog parks require each owner to
use poop sacks...but it only takes a moment for
parasites or worms to burrow out of one dogís poop and
infest the ground...and infect the next dog that sniffs
in that same area.
Most pet owners will
admit that their real motivation for visiting a dog park
is so they can visit with their friends who also drop by
to enjoy the lovely day. If they were only trying to
exercise their dog, theyíd take it for a brisk run
around the neighborhood, and then return home.
Thereís nothing wrong
with a little social time. But isnít it more sensible to
meet your friends at the mall, or a coffee shop, and
leave your dog safely at home? He isnít going whine if
he canít play with Flopsie and Fido and Butch today or
tomorrow or sometime next week...but heís definitely
going to whine if heís injured or infected with a
potentially deadly disease, just because someone else
isnít as good a pet-parent as you.