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10 reasons to not go to the dog park



Little girl pulling her pug on a leash.

Taking your furry friend to the dog park may seem like a great idea, but it's important to consider the pros and dangers before making a decision. Some pet owners believe that the benefits of dog parks outweigh the risks, while others feel that the dangers are too high.




Curious Dog on yellow background

Pros:


- Dog parks allow your dog to socialize with other dogs and practice their social skills.

- They provide a great source of exercise and mental stimulation.

- Fenced-in areas allow dogs to play off-leash, which is a rare opportunity for most apartment dogs.

- You can meet like-minded people in your dog community.






Cons:


Happy dog on a solid yellow background

- Dog parks are an uncontrolled environment, and there's a risk of encountering irresponsible pet owners who bring fast food to the park or don't supervise their dogs.

- Dogs that are intact can cause issues and create drama in the pack.

- Dogs can contract various diseases and parasites, such as parvovirus, kennel cough, canine influenza, worms, giardia, fleas, and ticks.

- Careless handlers and lack of supervision can lead to inappropriate socialization between dogs.

- Some dog parks can be overcrowded and not suitable for small dogs, puppies, or seniors.

- Service dogs and therapy dogs should not go to dog parks due to the lack of controlled environment and distractions.

- Dog fights can occur due to gate guarding, resource guarding, or inappropriate play, which can lead to serious injuries.

- Injuries can occur at the dog park, and dogs can develop anxiety, reactivity, or aggression after a bad incident.

- Dog parks can be overwhelming and stressful for less confident dogs or dogs that aren't skilled at social interactions.

- Even very social dogs can start fights if they get too excited and don't respect others' boundaries.


Corgi Dog laying on his back looking up.

In my opinion, with 10 reasons to not go to the dog park, the risks of going to the dog park often outweigh the benefits. I've seen many dogs that were once social and friendly become reactive or aggressive after a bad experience at the park. However, I understand that some pet owners still feel that dog parks are a good option, and I'll be creating another blog post on dog park safety and the dos and don'ts of going to the dog park. It's important to keep safety measures in mind and be prepared for anything when visiting the dog park.





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