- Sprains and soft tissue injuries, $225
- Lacerations or bites, $361
- Kennel cough or Upper Respiratory Infections, $174
- Insect bites, $143
- Hyperthermia or heat stroke, $579
As a dog trainer, I don't really like dog parks. In fact, I often discourage most of my clients from taking their dog to a dog park.
Dog parks can be scary encounters and even dangerous for some dogs, but if your dog enjoys the dog park (note that says if your DOG really enjoys the park, not if YOU really enjoy taking your dog to the dog park), there are some things you can do to keep your dog safe and healthy.
- Research the dog park, check reviews, ask your veterinarian if there are known health issues at the park you want to take Fido to. Diseases frequently run rampant at dog parks.
- Not all dogs enjoy the dog park! Just like some people don’t do well at cocktail parties, some dogs are just not dog park dogs.
- Make sure the park you choose is safe, for you and your dog, and has your dog’s welfare in mind. These parks should have double gated entires, tall and complete fencing, poop bags and trash cans and owners using them, ample room for dogs to run in both small and big dog segregated areas, sheltered areas with shade for dogs to cool down, and water fountains with clean, flowing water.
- Get to know the other dog owners who frequent the park and strike up a conversation about the health and wellness of their dogs.
- Make sure to keep puppies by healthy by keeping them out of the dog park until they are at least 4 months old and have completed their puppy vaccinations. Most parks won’t accept titers. If there is a law for rabies, make sure your dog has it to prevent unpleasant consequences for you both!
- Avoid the heat of the day that will be taxing on your dog and possibly lead to heat exhaustion.
- Dogs should be responsive to basic commands to be called off of any scuffles or fights that occur.
- Bring your dog’s supplies - leash, collar, poop bags, contact information for any emergencies, tools to break up fights - noisemakers and animal deterrent sprays.
- Learn canine behavior and body language and monitor your dog’s play level. Know when to remove them from play situations that may cause physical or mental harm to them before interactions escalate to fights or aggressive behaviors.
- If your dog does not like the dog park don’t force him to be in that environment, it can cause more harm than good. Instead, start more slowly by introducing him to a dog or two in a more controlled situation, helping increase him comfort by just existing around other dogs, until he gets more comfortable with doggie engagement. Consider getting your doggie friends together and rotating in everyone’s fenced in yards for your own doggie get togethers. Consider one-on-one play with your dog - fetch, frisbees, flirt pole, tug - you can build in obedience and manners training into fun play that will also build a better relationship with your dog.