The 1998 romantic comedy Dog Park is centered around the love lives of a group of people who frequent a dog park, some with the express purpose of picking up women. It’s a candid, silly, fairly weak film from former Kid In The Hall Bruce McCulloch, but its point is valid. There are plenty of creeps at the local dog park, and there’s no shortage of articles online about that very subject.
You’ll be out there one morning, walking your mini goldendoodle, and a gentleman approaches you with less than gentlemanly conduct. That’s already an unpleasant situation, but it’s made much worse when you realize that he or his dog may well be carrying a deadly virus.
You don’t know where he’s been, and you don’t know where his dog has been. While the dog park can be a lot of fun, there are almost too many dangers both hidden and unhidden to you and your animal that may keep you out of it next time. That might not be entirely necessary, but some precaution is certainly worth taking.
How to Take Your Dog To The Park Safely
Some diseases that are infectious to humans, such as rabies, are of course equally infectious to animals. You’ll want to pay close attention to the other animals near you, make certain they’re not acting erratically or showing any other symptoms of this lethal virus.
In general, you want to know the owner of the other pet a little before allowing your animal to engage in play with them. You don’t know if the other animal has been properly vaccinated or if the owner and animal have traveled anywhere recently.
Don’t let your animal near any standing water. While it may look like a good source to cool off and it’s important that your animal be hydrated, standing, communal water is a gathering place for leptospirosis, bacteria, intestinal parasites such as ringworm and giardia.
For safety, bring your dog their own private source of water.
The other problem for small dogs, such as poodles, mini goldendoodles, toy poodles, and chihuahuas, is the danger of playing with larger animals. It can be a matter of not knowing their own strength, but larger animals are always threatening to smaller breeds.
Dog parks aren’t just a risk for your dogs, but your children as well. Children should never be barefoot at a dog park, which can often happen due to its proximity to the local water park. The parasitic eggs in the soil of a dog park are far higher than in regular soil.
For the most part, dog parks are a great place for animals, and people, to socialize and bond while also expelling energy they would otherwise have no place for. But there are dangers to both you and your animal that make it a hazardous ground. The most important thing is that you and your dog feel perfectly safe and enjoy your time together.