Dog parks are a favorite among many dog owners. Not only does your pup get to run around off-leash with other four-legged friends, they also get some serious exercise and learn socialization skills. But, are dog parks all they’re cracked up to be? Here is a look at the pros and cons of taking your pup to the dog park.
One of the biggest pros for dog parks is the exercise factor. Have you ever seen a sad pup running around a dog park? Dog parks offer more rigorous exercise than a walk and gives your dog the opportunity to let out some pent-up energy. This is especially helpful if you live in a city and/or apartment and don’t always have the opportunity to provide your pup with a lot of exercise. It is also helpful for larger dogs who require more exercise in general.
Another important pro of dog parks is the socialization aspect. Dogs are pack animals and (generally) like to be around other dogs. Dog parks provide a place for dogs to gather and socialize. This is great for puppies – who are healthy and old enough – to learn how to act around other dogs. It’s also great for only dogs as they are able to get some much-needed face time with other four-legged friends.
Quite possibly the biggest con of dog parks is the amount of different dog personalities. Though many owners are cognizant of whether their dog will be polite at the dog park, some are not. This can lead to certain dogs not getting along and tension around the park. If some dogs really don’t get along, it could lead to a dog fight. And, although some areas have different parks for large and small dogs, some owners don’t always abide by those rules.
The risk of sickness
Dog parks don’t have someone that checks dog’s health records before they enter, so it is very possible that a sick dog enters the dog park. This usually isn’t a problem if your own dog is up to date on their shots, but sometimes that isn’t always the case. One dog may be suffering from something more serious than a common cold and transmit it to your dog. Many veterinarians will recommend certain shots if you bring your pup to the dog park often.
So, there are both pros and cons to taking your dog to the dog park. On the one hand, it provides your dog with exercise and socialization. But on the other hand, you don’t always know other dog’s histories – including their personality and health. Whether you take your dog to a dog park is a personal preference, but keep these pros and cons in mind before making your decision.
If you’re considering trying one out, try taking your pup to the dog park when it isn’t busy (usually during the day) to see how they like it. Then, work your way up to a busier time, such as weeknights or weekends, until they become comfortable. Some dogs will love it right off the bat while others may take a bit more time. With enough time and patience, your pup will learn to love their playtime at the dog park!
If you decide the dog park is for your pup, consider giving them a midday treat by hiring a dog walker. A dog walker can provide some daytime relief and bring your pup to their favorite dog park. It will give you peace of mind and your dog some much needed exercise and socialization!
For all your dog walking needs, check our For Your Spot here.