Taking Fido To The Park: Tips from a Veterinarian

Does your dog enjoy going to parks? If that’s the case, mark your calendar: March 30th is Take A Walk In The Park Day. Many of our canine friends love going to parks. This makes great sense. After all, Fido is quite energetic by nature. He also enjoys exploring new areas, hanging out with his friends, and going places with his favorite humans! However, there are certain things to consider. Continue reading for tips on taking your pooch to the park from a local Easley, SC veterinarian.

What is Take a Walk in the Park Day About?

The holiday was created to remind people of the health benefits of being outside. Sunlight, exercise, and fresh air are beneficial for all of us. Outdoor time is extremely beneficial to our bodies, minds, and spirits. In fact, one study found that individuals who could see trees from their apartments were less hostile than those who couldn’t. And, while the holiday was intended for humans, Fido is welcome to join!

Why Are Dog Parks Beneficial To Fido?

There’s a reason why dog parks have been popping up all across the country in recent decades. These are excellent for our canine companions!

For starters, parks provide Fido with an open space to run and play. This is especially beneficial for those who live in apartments. Allowing your pet to go loose in parking lots or along roadsides is simply not safe. An enclosed park, on the other hand, provides your pet with an excellent opportunity to exercise and play. That’s critical for both your pet’s physical and mental wellbeing. Dogs, like humans, require physical activity to maintain their health.

Fido will also gain from mental stimulation. Dogs learn a lot about the world through odors, so simply pausing to sniff the grass (as well as the bushes, trees, and flowers) may be highly educational for your furry friend.

Socialization is another consideration. Our furry friends are naturally friendly animals, and they frequently enjoy and benefit from the opportunity to mingle with others of their kind. This is especially important for puppy owners, since socializing must take place while the dog is still young. That window begins to close about the time your canine pal reaches 12 weeks of age. For further information, ask your veterinarian.

You might also benefit from visiting the park. Everyone benefits from time spent outdoors! Finally, it may deepen your bond with your canine partner. This is a great way to shake off a long workday!

What Are The Disadvantages of Parks?

There are a few disadvantages to consider. The most serious risk is that another dog would attack your pooch. While these incidents are rare, they do occur.

There is also a chance that your pup could pick up parasites or infections from other dogs visiting the park. Keeping Fido’s preventative care up to date can help him stay healthy. However, if you’ve recently acquired your pet, you’ll need to wait until your veterinarian gives the all-clear. Some immunizations must be administered in a series, so your canine buddy will not be protected until he has had all of his boosters.

Another possibility is that Fido will run away. This is particularly concerning in parks that are not adequately enclosed.

Not all our canine buddies enjoy parks. If your pup is afraid or uneasy around other dogs, the park could be frightening for him. This could lead to behavioral issues, which is not desirable.

How Can I Keep My Pet Safe At The Park?

First and foremost, make sure your canine friend is up to date on all vaccines and parasite prevention.

Fido should also be microchipped and wearing current ID tags. Make sure that your information is up to date! (Tip: Consider adding the word ‘Reward’ on your pup’s tags to encourage people to contact you if they find him.)

Choose A Good Park

Some parks are just better than others. Find one that has a lot of good feedback. You can also take use of this to review amenities like play fountains.

Consult Your Easley, SC Veterinarian

If you have a sociable, healthy adult dog, Fido may benefit greatly from a visit to a park. However, pups, seniors, and dogs with medical difficulties may not be up for park visits. If your dog is reactive, afraid, or violent, he also may not be a good fit for going to the park.

There’s another reason to check with your animal clinic. Your veterinarian may also be aware of something you are not, such as a new virus or an outbreak of something.

Vet Your Puppy’s Playmates

Before you allow your dog to play, take a moment to inspect the other canines. The main risk would be aggressive dogs. While it would seem common sense that individuals would know better than to bring dangerous dogs to parks, this is sadly not the case.

If you see any dogs being rowdy or bullying other dogs, be safe and take your cute pet for a stroll. Go back to the park another time.

Many parks separate big and little dogs. Keeping Fido with dogs of comparable size can help to even things out.

Take Water With You

Although many parks include fountains, it’s always a good idea to bring your own water. That way, if the facilities fail, you won’t have a thirsty dog on your hands.

Don’t Bring Lunch

It may be tempting to eat while your pet is playing. However, there are some risks to consider. Fido’s friends will undoubtedly notice any tasty snacks that you distribute. As you may expect, this can cause friction and even fights.

Many parks provide seats or picnic tables for visitors to sit on while their pets run and play. This is a perfect time to listen to a podcast or talk with a buddy. If you do listen to something or make a phone call, don’t turn up the volume too much. You need to be able to hear sounds like dogs barking and people shouting.

Read the Park Rules

Look for any postings or signs before heading into the park. These might contain vital information. For example, if there are hazardous plants or a large number of ticks in the region, the park may post a warning.

Explore Your Area

Think about downloading a pet-friendly app like Bring Fido. These can be very useful for discovering new areas. You might be amazed at how many wonderful places there are within an hour or two. Here in South Carolina, we get to enjoy parks almost all year long!

Make the Best of It

Dogs aren’t the only ones who benefit from having the opportunity to reconnect with their pals and spend time outside. This is also an excellent place to meet up with friends or family members who have canine pals of their own!

Make An Appointment With Your Animal Hospital

Are you interested in finding out more about our dog park? Is it time for your dog to have a checkup, vaccinations, or parasite treatment? Please contact us, your Easley, SC pet clinic, today!

Comments are closed.