Dog owners want to give their beloved companions the best lives possible. For some, this means taking them to the dog park as often as they can so their four-footed family member can get the exercise he needs to be healthy and happy. But, is a dog park the best place to be taking your dog? If you are unsure whether or not the dog park is right for you, this guide to the pros and cons of dog parks will help you make the right decision for your pet and for yourself. So before wearing your favorite dog-themed shirts and taking your dogs outside to the parks, know these facts.
Advantages of Dog Parks
- Exercise is essential for the physical health of a dog. But, what many owners don’t realize is that exercise is just as important for their dog’s mental health as well. Many dogs, when they don’t get the exercise they need to burn off energy, will act out in various ways, almost all of them destructive.
- Taking your dog to a dog park allows him to burn off all of his/her pent-up energy. After all, dogs are instinctivelydesigned to run, and chances are pretty good that the local dog park offers much more open space than your own back yard for your dog to run.
- Another positive reason to take your dog to the park is the social aspect of the setting. At the dog park, your dog gets to communicate with others of his/her kind through body language and other communication skills. Because your dog will routinely meet unfamiliar dogs at the park, the experience strengthens your pet’s ability to deal with issues of fear or aggression around other dogs.
- Dog parks are also good for dog owners, too. Dog owners get to enjoy the exercise and social benefits offered at these parks, and there is also plenty of opportunity for learning at dog parks. For instance, if you’re a first-time dog owner, going to a dog park will provide you with an excellent resource of experienced dog owners who you can gain valuable information from.
Disadvantages of Dog Parks
- Even though there are some significant advantages to taking your dog to a dog park, it does not mean that dog parks are good for all types of dogs. One of the most prominent disadvantages of dog parks is that it exposes your dog to a wide range of illnesses and infections. For instance, if your dog plays with another dog that has ear mites or a heavy flea infestation, then there are very good odds that your dog will contract the pests and bring them home with him.
- Remember, even though you’re a responsible dog owner and you take good care of your pet, this does not mean that everyone at the dog park is as diligent as you. There may be dogs in the park that aren’t vaccinated or that have Bordetella.
- If you have a small dog, then you need to be very careful taking him to the dog park because larger dogs could view him as prey, thus causing substantial or even fatal injuries. Or, if you have a dog that just doesn’t play well with others, then you should have your pet undergo behavioral training before you take him to the park or else he could suffer severe anxiety, which could result in him becoming overly aggressive or combative with the other dogs.
- In some cases, the dogs aren’t the only ones that can wind up at each other’s throats. Because pet owners tend to have very distinct handling and training styles, it is not beyond the scope of reality for people to get into heated arguments if one person thinks another is not handling their dog properly. And, since there is usually no person of authority in these environments, arguments can often be at risk of getting out of control if one or the other does not back away from the situation.
So these were some of the pros and cons of dog parks that should be kept in mind before taking your dogs out there. PupNPaws is eager to help you out with any other queries that you have related to dogs so stay in touch. Do not forget to take care of your dogs and train your dogs well. See you in the next article! Adios!