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Tips For Taking Fido To The Park

March 15, 2024

Does your dog like parks? If so, put this on your calendar: March 30 is Take a Walk in the Park Day. A lot of our canine friends love going to parks. This makes complete sense. Fido is very active,  after all. It’s also fun for him to explore new places, hang out with his friends, and go on adventures with some of his favorite people. However, there are some things you should remember. Keep reading to learn some tips from a local Fort Myers, FL vet about taking your dog to the park. 

Are Dog Parks Beneficial For Fido? 

In recent decades, dog parks have sprung up nationwide. There’s a good reason for this! Parks offer Fido the chance to run and play freely in a contained area. This is especially useful for people who live in apartments. A dog park provides a pawesome spot for your four-legged friend to get some exercise and playtime. That is critical for both your pet’s physical and mental wellness. Just like humans, our canine friends need exercise to stay healthy. You may also find that your cute pet is better behaved after he’s burned off his excess zoomies.

Socialization is another benefit. Our canine companions are naturally sociable, and they both appreciate and benefit from the opportunity to spend time with other dogs. This is especially crucial for puppies, as socialization must happen while they are still young. Once your canine companion reaches about 12 weeks old, that window of opportunity starts to close. Ask your veterinarian for more information about socialization.

You could also benefit from visiting the park. Enjoying some sunshine and fresh air while watching puppies play is an excellent way to unwind after a hectic day at work. Plus, it will help strengthen your bond with your pet.

Is There a Downside to Visiting Dog Parks?

There are a few cons to taking Fido to the park. The most serious is the possibility of your canine companion being attacked by another dog. These instances are relatively rare, yet they do occur.

There is also a chance that your canine companion could get parasites or illnesses from other dogs in the park. Keeping Fido’s preventative care up to date can help keep him safe. However, if you have recently adopted a puppy, you may need to wait until your veterinarian gives the green light. Some vaccines must be provided in a series, so Fido isn’t guaranteed immunity until he has received all of his boosters.

The likelihood of Fido bolting is another concern to consider, though this is mostly an issue in parks that are not securely gated.

Finally, your pet may not enjoy the park. Some dogs just don’t do well in parks. If your canine buddy is afraid or anxious around other dogs, a trip to the park may be unpleasant for him. That could result in behavioral problems, which you do not want.

How Do I Keep My Dog Safe in the Park?

When it comes to animal care, one ounce of prevention is worth several pounds of cure. That definitely applies here!

Your canine companion should be kept up to date on all immunizations and parasite treatments. Dogs should also have current microchips and ID tags. (We recommend writing the word ‘Reward’ on your pooch’s tags to encourage people to contact you if they discover him.)

Choose A Good Park

At the end of the day, some parks are just better than others. Look for one with good reviews. This also gives you an excellent opportunity to review features such as play fountains.

Explore Your Local Area

Speaking of choosing good parks, consider installing a pet-friendly app such as Bring Fido. These can help you find new destinations. You might be surprised at how many fantastic sites there are within an hour or two of our area. Florida is full of hidden gems! 

Make Use Of The Time

Not only do dogs benefit from the opportunity to socialize and spend time outside, but so do people. This is also a great spot to meet up with friends or family members who own dogs. You may also find yourself becoming friends with other regulars.  

Assess Your Dog’s Playmates

Many parks have separate areas for large and small canines. Keeping Fido with other dogs of similar size can help make things safer.

Consult Your Fort Myers, FL Veterinarian

If you have a friendly, healthy adult dog,  Fido could benefit a lot from going to the park. However, puppies, seniors, and dogs with medical issues may be unsuitable for park trips. If your furry friend is reactive, scared, or aggressive, he may also not be a good candidate for a trip to the park. It’s always a good idea to check with your vet. There’s another reason for this as well: they may be aware of something you hadn’t heard of, such as a new virus or an outbreak.

Vet Your Puppy’s Playmates

Before allowing your dog to play, take a moment to observe the other pups. The most important concern is aggressive dogs. While one would expect that individuals would realize not to bring dangerous dogs to parks, this is unfortunately becoming more common.

If you observe any dogs acting up or bullying other dogs, be safe and take your adorable canine companion for a walk instead. Visit the park another time. “Better safe than sorry,” as they say.

Bring Water for Yourself and Fido

Although many parks have water fountains, it’s a good idea to bring your own water. That way, if the amenities do not work, you won’t have a tired, thirsty dog on your hands. Overheating can be very dangerous for Fido!

Many parks offer benches or picnic tables where people can relax while their pets play. It may be tempting to have lunch while your four-legged companion is playing. Just be extremely discreet. It’s also better to avoid bringing meals that have appealing odors. Fido’s friends will definitely notice any nice treats you have. As you might expect, this can lead to disagreements and even violence.

This is an ideal time to listen to a podcast or chat with a friend. However, if you decide to listen to music or make a phone call, avoid increasing the volume too high. You must be able to hear sounds such as dogs and shouting.  

Read Over Park Rules And Regulations

Before approaching the park, take note of any postings or signs. These may include important information. For example, if there are poisonous plants or a high concentration of ticks in the area, the park may publish a warning.

When Was Take a Walk in the Park Day created? 

We’re not sure when the holiday started, but parks have been known to benefit humans since ancient times. The holiday was created to remind people of the health benefits of being outside. Walking, fresh air, and light are all good for everyone! You can get health benefits from just 6,000 steps, while 10,000 will start to bring the number on the scale down. And even though the holiday was meant for people, Fido is welcome to join! 

Schedule An Appointment With Your Fort Myers, FL Animal Hospital

Would you like to learn more about our dog park? Is it time to have your dog a checkup, immunizations, or parasite control? Call your Fort Myers, FL  pet clinic today!

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