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5 Reasons You Must Avoid Dog Parks

Avoid Dog Parks

Your local dog park may have everything your dog needs. From having a decent space to roam around to making friends with other dogs, it may just be your pet’s safe haven – at least in theory. However, facilitating socialization is not the only thing dog parks allow. When it comes to acknowledging the downsides, it can surely get a bit more complicated.

So what is it that makes your local dog park unsuitable for your canine buddy?

The Disadvantages Are Not That Simple!

While the disadvantages aren’t as obvious as the advantages, they do tend to be a lot more powerful in the long run. Some problems emerge due to the layout of parks, while others are often associated with the animals’ behavior. However, in many cases, it’s the owners that unwittingly contribute to them.

There are a number of angles these problems can take, but for the most part, they’re related to dogs interacting with other dogs and behavioral deterioration that ends up impacting dog-owner relationships. Here are the top five reasons you should avoid your local dog parks.

They Learn Disobedience

Who would’ve thought that the very space supposed to be your dog’s safe space could end up teaching them disobedience? If you’re a careless owner, it won’t take long for your dog to learn that you have no control over them, and the consequences of this learned behavior could be disastrous in the long run.

How does it all start?

Think about the car ride and how hysterically your dog starts barking on the way to the park. Then think about you calling out to them in vain as they stay out of range or bolting away from you the moment their leash is off. These are only some of the many instances that unfold once your dog learns of your helplessness in a supposedly “dog-friendly” space, which brings us to our next point.

There’s always a Risk of Catching a Disease

A dog-friendly space does not only entail that the space is accepting of your dog but also that it’s safe for them. As with any large gathering, your dog’s much-loved park can also be a hotbed for diseases, especially since there’s no guarantee that other dogs visiting the park are fully vaccinated.

Hence, there’s always a possibility that they will catch something that will make them sick. Among some of the most transmittable diseases are fleas and ticks, parvovirus, and kennel cough. Even if your dog is fully vaccinated against these diseases, there is still some risk involved since there are a number of strains lurking in the air. Think of that water bowl the local dog park is providing for your dogs to quench their thirst.

That alone could be a breeding ground for disease and bacteria, and if you know of irresponsible owners who hardly pick up after their dogs, then yours may be in for a tough time, especially if they come in contact with another dog’s poop.

There’s a Lack of Designation

While a park is an arena for both big and small dogs to socialize, it isn’t always done ideally. Yes, size does matter when it comes to playing together. Small and large dogs aren’t an ideal mix, especially if the former ends up getting hurt or the latter ends up getting bitten.
Since most parks aren’t as well thought out as we would like them to be, they often turn out to be a dog’s biggest nightmare. Moreover, as owners become less mindful of these intricacies within a park, they hardly pay attention even if there is a separate area for small and large dogs.

Dog Parks Aren’t Very Natural

Let’s face it, as important as it is for your dog to socialize, it isn’t exactly a great idea to throw them among a bunch of strange dogs at a new outdoor spot other than your garden.

Whoever said that dog parks were ideal spots for socialization probably didn’t know what they were talking about. Not only are dog parks unnatural, but the idea of expecting your pet to play with a bunch of newbies they had never seen before is quite strange.

No matter how well you think you know your pet and how friendly and outgoing you presume them to be, they may not turn out to be the same when put in a large group of dogs. Hence, it’s safe to say that dog parks are absolutely notorious for dogs who lack socialization skills and owners who greatly underestimate what their dog is capable of learning.

Costly Vet Bills? No Thanks.

More than costly vet bills, it’s the idea of a seriously injured dog that makes your trip to a park even more unnecessary. It isn’t uncommon for dogs to indulge in fights. However, some of them can escalate and cause serious injuries.

In fact, during rough play, there may also be instances of torn ligaments, strained muscles, bite marks, and so much more. Unless you’re happy catering to a huge bill for expensive surgery, you might as well want to be wary of going to a dog park.

The Bottom Line

Remember, the idea isn’t to believe that dog parks are inherently bad but to accept that they aren’t as ideal as we have believed them to be. Sure, having a fenced-in area for your pup to run around and play may sound great on paper, but in reality, there’s a lot more to consider.
From irresponsible owners who refuse to pick up after their dogs to poor management that makes the experience completely unworthy, dog parks can turn out to be your pet’s biggest nightmare – but only in some cases.

In the end, it’s important to recognize that there are much better ways to exercise and socialize your dog than trying to fit them into a bunch of rowdy and untrained dogs. Hence, unless you’re willing to let your dog be vulnerable to injuries and diseases, dog parks may just be a terrible idea with all their risks and unpredictability.