Should I take my pet to the dog park?

Many dogs live to run and play at the dog park. Of course, certain precautions should be considered while allowing your dog to mix with others.  Dogs can behave atypically when introduced to a new group. A dog that is normally friendly, can become stressed or even aggressive if another dog in the area is giving off aggressive signals. Fights can happen, and while these events are physically damaging (even sometimes deadly to small dogs), they can leave lasting mental damage to a dog. Additionally, even if your pet is well-behaved, there is no way to know the personalities of the other dogs at the park, as some owners will bring their dog even if it has displayed aggressive behaviors in the past.

Finally, diseases can spread quickly at the dog park, such as kennel cough, influenza, or intestinal parasites. Dog parks are a great source of fun for our pets, however, safety should always be stressed when attending. Be sure your pet is well-vaccinated against respiratory diseases and consider taking your pet to the park at less busy times, as smaller groups are generally safer. If you would like to discuss your pet’s behavior or vaccine status prior to taking him to the dog park, please come and see us at Hudson Veterinary Hospital.

Dr. Crane

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