One of the reasons many people live in Norwalk CT is due to the number of dog parks we have in our city. It's a great place for dog owners to enjoy! Both the spring and summer seem to be very popular times for dog parks so, Broad River Animal Hospital wanted to offer up 10 important safety tips:
Does your pooch like to play in groups? The experience can be overwhelming for a newbie. Many dogs prefer to play one-on-one, so be sure to make your first visit to the part when small groups are around so, the dog doesn't become overwhelmed.
Has your best friend ever lunged at or tried to bite an unfamiliar dog-either during play or during an introduction? If so, the dog park is not for you. Repeated opportunities to lunge and snap only encourage aggressive behavior. These experiences will not socialize your dog and will put him and others at risk. Instead, arrange a play date. Consider having your dog evaluated by a veterinary behaviorist or contact Broad River Animal Hospital in Norwalk for a consult to help guide you towards success.
While in the park, keep your eye on your dog at all times. If your pooch is trying to escape, or if he's pursuing a dog that's trying to get away, he needs your help.
Recognize some common signs of stress: Dogs pant when they're hot or playing hard, but also when they're distressed. Tucked tails, big hair, ears pinned back, attempts to escape or hide and growling or snarling when approached are all signs that your dog needs a break.
Small dogs can resemble prey, especially when they're running. If you have a small dog, be sure to keep your dog with other smaller breeds. This will protect them from any possible harm.
Carry Spray Shield, a citronella spray that was designed to interrupt a fight and can be safely used in an emergency. It can be picked up at most any pet store - just in case of a possible emergency situation.
Remove all collars except breakaway collars when your dog is running free.
Toys can easily trigger a serious flight. Please do not bring toys or play fetch or tug unless your dog is the only dog at the park. Most people forget this and often it becomes an issue at the park.
Dog parks are not for everyone. If your pooch is not a party animal, consider joining a dog-friendly walking group, such as Meetup.com it's a great site that offers breed specific groups doing activities together in your area.
Many dogs can get aggressive over food and treats so be mindful not to overdue the treat giving at the park. Also, don't feed them often if they are running around because it can cause choking, bloat or other issues. Don't forget your water bowl. Not all dog parks have water so, always carry a bowl in your car.