Are dog parks safe?

What you need to know before you go

Are dog parks safe?

What you need to know before you go


When it gets hot, be on the lookout for signs of heatstroke.

Dealing with dog parks

If it’s your first time heading out to a dog park, you might be surprised to learn they’re a bit of a contentious issue. But if you think about all those dogs dashing around in one place, it’s easy to see where the problems can start.

You might’ve picked out a pet health insurance program to help if something goes wrong, that doesn’t mean you want to be making claims for things going wrong.

So, are dog parks safe? Well, if you’re careful – yes. Here are the key things you need to know.

First things first – vaccinations

Does your dog have all the protection they need? A dog park is the ideal place for viruses to spread. You need to be prepared.

As a puppy, your pet will need vaccinations against common – but dangerous – diseases like parvovirus, canine distemper, and leptospirosis.

And as they grow up, you’ll also need to keep an eye on the news. If there’s been an outbreak of dog viruses in your area, for example, talk to your vet about getting a shot and the other steps you can take to protect your pet.

Training

Your dog should respond to certain basic commands before you take them to the park. Calling them to come back – and having them listen – is probably the most important.

You need to know that they’ll listen every time before you think about letting them off the leash in the park.

Is the park well-maintained?

If your local dog park sees heavy use and doesn’t get a lot of attention from clean-up crews, garbage will build up, and hazards like holes in the ground and waterlogging will only get worse over time. Avoid it. We know you’d rather be teaching your dog new tricks, not turning to pet insurance for help with an injury.

Owners need to pitch in too. If the park is filled with dog droppings, it’s not just gross, it’s potentially harmful to the health of dogs and humans.

Take a walk by the fence first to see if you’re looking into a doggy wonderland or a forgotten-about field. Then think about a few other things.

Little and large

Who’s about? If your dog’s a small breed (or a puppy), it’s not the best place for them if there are full-grown Labradors and boxers charging around. Big dogs don’t always know their own strength!

If the place is really crowded, too, it’s hard to chill out. To make sure the dog park is safe for your pet, it’s worth heading there at a slightly quieter time of day, at least until they feel more settled in that environment.

Are the others well-behaved?

We’ll admit it. When all the excitement gets to us, we take things too far. When dogs in the park get really boisterous, they might unintentionally hurt each other by playing rough, or sprinting too fast in an off-leash dog park.

If owners are distracted, too, their pet can get out of control quite quickly. Please put your phone away and keep an eye on us. We always try our best to behave, but we do get carried away sometimes.

Meeting new friends

When you’re socializing your dog (particularly in their early months), keep them on a leash to start with. You’ll have more control over them, and they’ll have a sense of security knowing you’re nearby.

Chances are, your dog will hit it o" with everyone else in the park. They’re perfect, after all.

But not all dogs are so easygoing. That might be because they’re rescue pets, or they could be seniors who enjoy having their own space. Read their body language. Don’t insist on an introduction if it doesn’t feel right, and if you’re unsure, chat to their owner first.

Ticks and fleas

Uh-oh. Tick treatments are definitely not on our to-do list, but with lots of animals playing in the same space, there’s increased risk that we’ll come into contact with them. That’s particularly true if you live in a rural area near natural tick habitats like fields with long grass and forests.

And fleas are an irritating pest which can crop up almost anywhere – that’s why it’s so important you help your pet stay protected with their routine tick prevention measures

Hot day? Don’t overdo it

We don’t always know our own limits when it comes to exercise. So, when it gets really hot, you need to be on the lookout for signs of heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

If your dog is panting heavily, drooling, and breathing rapidly, they might be feeling a bit too much of the heat. They might also be slow to respond, and want to lie down a lot.

Take them to a shady spot to recover. And make sure you always bring plenty of drinking water for your dog (and yourself) when you go out to the park.

Are dog parks free?

Mostly, yes. Some charge a membership fee to help keep things in order, but they’re generally a pretty good deal, running to around $10 a year. These tend to be the ones kept nice and clean by volunteers, and some even have a stock of toys and treats ready for your dog to enjoy.

But there’s nothing wrong with a free dog park. All we need for a good time is a safe fenced-off space with some grass and our humans. Sounds brilliant to us.

Looking for a pet insurance program?

Even if you’re as prepared and safe as you can be for a trip to the dog park, accidents happen.

Our dog health insurance plans are there for canines big, small, fast, slow, and anyone in between. There’s no need to get a medical exam to take out (or keep) a plan with our program – and not all dog medical insurance companies can say that!

Get a quote for the best pet insurance for dogs in just a few minutes. Once you’re covered, why not see which parks are in your neighborhood?

 

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Dealing with dog parks

If it’s your first time heading out to a dog park, you might be surprised to learn they’re a bit of a contentious issue. But if you think about all those dogs dashing around in one place, it’s easy to see where the problems can start.

You might’ve picked out a pet health insurance program to help if something goes wrong, that doesn’t mean you want to be making claims for things going wrong.

So, are dog parks safe? Well, if you’re careful – yes. Here are the key things you need to know.


When it gets hot, be on the lookout for signs of heatstroke.

First things first – vaccinations

Does your dog have all the protection they need? A dog park is the ideal place for viruses to spread. You need to be prepared.

As a puppy, your pet will need vaccinations against common – but dangerous – diseases like parvovirus, canine distemper, and leptospirosis.

And as they grow up, you’ll also need to keep an eye on the news. If there’s been an outbreak of dog viruses in your area, for example, talk to your vet about getting a shot and the other steps you can take to protect your pet.

Training

Your dog should respond to certain basic commands before you take them to the park. Calling them to come back – and having them listen – is probably the most important.

You need to know that they’ll listen every time before you think about letting them off the leash in the park.

Is the park well-maintained?

If your local dog park sees heavy use and doesn’t get a lot of attention from clean-up crews, garbage will build up, and hazards like holes in the ground and waterlogging will only get worse over time. Avoid it. We know you’d rather be teaching your dog new tricks, not turning to pet insurance for help with an injury.

Owners need to pitch in too. If the park is filled with dog droppings, it’s not just gross, it’s potentially harmful to the health of dogs and humans.

Take a walk by the fence first to see if you’re looking into a doggy wonderland or a forgotten-about field. Then think about a few other things.

Little and large

Who’s about? If your dog’s a small breed (or a puppy), it’s not the best place for them if there are full-grown Labradors and boxers charging around. Big dogs don’t always know their own strength!

If the place is really crowded, too, it’s hard to chill out. To make sure the dog park is safe for your pet, it’s worth heading there at a slightly quieter time of day, at least until they feel more settled in that environment.

Are the others well-behaved?

We’ll admit it. When all the excitement gets to us, we take things too far. When dogs in the park get really boisterous, they might unintentionally hurt each other by playing rough, or sprinting too fast in an off-leash dog park.

If owners are distracted, too, their pet can get out of control quite quickly. Please put your phone away and keep an eye on us. We always try our best to behave, but we do get carried away sometimes.

Meeting new friends

When you’re socializing your dog (particularly in their early months), keep them on a leash to start with. You’ll have more control over them, and they’ll have a sense of security knowing you’re nearby.

Chances are, your dog will hit it o" with everyone else in the park. They’re perfect, after all.

But not all dogs are so easygoing. That might be because they’re rescue pets, or they could be seniors who enjoy having their own space. Read their body language. Don’t insist on an introduction if it doesn’t feel right, and if you’re unsure, chat to their owner first.

Ticks and fleas

Uh-oh. Tick treatments are definitely not on our to-do list, but with lots of animals playing in the same space, there’s increased risk that we’ll come into contact with them. That’s particularly true if you live in a rural area near natural tick habitats like fields with long grass and forests.

And fleas are an irritating pest which can crop up almost anywhere – that’s why it’s so important you help your pet stay protected with their routine tick prevention measures

Hot day? Don’t overdo it

We don’t always know our own limits when it comes to exercise. So, when it gets really hot, you need to be on the lookout for signs of heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

If your dog is panting heavily, drooling, and breathing rapidly, they might be feeling a bit too much of the heat. They might also be slow to respond, and want to lie down a lot.

Take them to a shady spot to recover. And make sure you always bring plenty of drinking water for your dog (and yourself) when you go out to the park.

Are dog parks free?

Mostly, yes. Some charge a membership fee to help keep things in order, but they’re generally a pretty good deal, running to around $10 a year. These tend to be the ones kept nice and clean by volunteers, and some even have a stock of toys and treats ready for your dog to enjoy.

But there’s nothing wrong with a free dog park. All we need for a good time is a safe fenced-off space with some grass and our humans. Sounds brilliant to us.

Looking for a pet insurance program?

Even if you’re as prepared and safe as you can be for a trip to the dog park, accidents happen.

Our dog health insurance plans are there for canines big, small, fast, slow, and anyone in between. There’s no need to get a medical exam to take out (or keep) a plan with our program – and not all dog medical insurance companies can say that!

Get a quote for the best pet insurance for dogs in just a few minutes. Once you’re covered, why not see which parks are in your neighborhood?

 

You might be interested in

Dealing with dog parks

How to deal with dog parks

If it’s your first time heading out to a dog park, you might be surprised to learn they’re a bit of a contentious issue.

Best Pet Insurance and Pet Insurance Company

Everything you need to know about leash training

Don't let us pull you away! Start young and follow up with consistent encouragement and training for life.

Best dog insurance and cat insurance plan

Everything you need to know about mixing up your dog’s diet

The best pet insurance may be important to you, but your dog is probably more concerned with dinner. Here's how to mix up their diet and help their health.