Well, hello there summer weather! The sun is shining, the kids are outside playing and I just love how the warm weather brings us all outside. If you’ve got a dog in your family, I bet the two of you have been enjoying the sunshine as well. With the warmer weather brings the opening of the community dog parks. A place where you can let your dog run and play leash free and interact with other dogs.
While it’s a fun place for both of you to go, there are some safety precautions you should take to keep your dog safe and having fun. Also remember that by taking your dog to an unleashed dog park, you are responsible for your dog and you recognize and understand that there will always be some degree of risk to your dog at these places.
Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. shared in a press release that in 2012, their policyholders spent more than $8.8 million on medical conditions that are commonly associated with a visit to the dog park. The most common conditions according to the data pulled from Veterinary Pet Insurance Co include: insect bites, lacerations and bite wounds, sprains and soft tissue damage, head trauma, Kennel cough and, heat stroke.
Treating these conditions is not cheap to pet owners so of course, prevention is key. It’s important to follow some safety precautions when taking your dog to the dog park and following these tips can help reduce any accidents or injuries to your dog.
10 Dog Park Safety Tips 1 of 11
It's a fun place to play, but you've got to make sure your dog is safe too.
Understand The Rules 2 of 11
Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. recommends that before you take your dog to the park, make sure you understand the rules. A lot of the information can be found online or on a sign posted outside the park. Some may have different rules for different dog breeds and you will want to make sure you are prepared.
Follow the Rules 3 of 11
When you do take your dog to the park, it may sound obvious, but make sure you follow all those rules. They are there for a reason -- usually for safety -- and you do not want to be that guy not following them.
Stay Out of the Park During Peak Hours 4 of 11
You know how it is recommended not to play outside during peak sun hours, well the same is true for your dog. Make time to visit the park in the early mornings and late afternoons so you avoid the times where the sun is at it's hottest.
Do Not Bring Toys 5 of 11
Do not bring any of your dog's toys unless they are going to be willing to share with other dogs. You do not want to start any fights over property when it comes to dogs and it will happen if your dog will not want to share, suggests Animal Behavior Association.
Pay Attention to Your Dog 6 of 11
When you take your dog to the park, you are responsible for them. Do not just unleash and walk away doing your own thing. You will want to watch that your dog is playing well with the other dogs and is getting along well.
Pay Attention to Other Dogs 7 of 11
Not all dogs play well together and if you have come across an owner who is not following the previous tip (paying attention to your dog) you may have issues. Keep a close eye on what other dogs are doing so you know what is going on.
Make Sure The Vaccinations Are Up to date 8 of 11
Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. recommends that before you take your dog to the dog park, make sure your dog has updated vaccinations. You do not want your dog getting sick from another dog and that is one way to ensure they are safe.
Use A Collar With an Identification Tag 9 of 11
Your dog could get lost or get into trouble with another dog and when or if that happens, you will want to make sure he is easily brought back to you. It is important for your dog to wear their name tag any time they are outside and the dog park is no exception.
Make Sure Your Dog Knows What to Do 10 of 11
The Animal Behavior Association recommends that before you take your dog to the dog park, make sure they know how to behave around other dogs. If that is the case, do not feel bad about putting a muzzle on your dog to protect the people and other dog's around until your pup gets used to the crowd.
Watch For Signs 11 of 11
Since you are outdoors in the summer, make sure you watch for signs that your dog may be overheating, dehydrated, or suffering from heat stroke. PetMD lists the signs you should look for when the weather is hot and you think your dog may be suffering from it.
Photo credits: Photostock