A Word From... Dr. C.A. Heller III DVM

Dog Parks

There has been a real boom in the development of dog parks in most of our local communities. These are wonderful opportunities for pet owners. They can be utilized by people who have too small a yard to exercise their pets. These parks can be used to help socialize dogs that do not live with or near other dogs. Dog parks can also be utilized as sites for advanced training. Most parks have lots of activity and distractions. If your dog can be trained to sit, stay and come on command in a busy dog park then you will have a well-trained dog.

Please remember some things when utilizing these parks. Pick up all of your pets solid waste that they may deposit while in the park. Intestinal parasites spread their eggs in the feces of infected individuals. By picking up the feces this exposure will be minimized. It would be a good idea to have your pets feces checked for parasites more frequently than once a year. This way if your pet does get infected with parasites they would be diagnosed and treated before severe symptoms develop.

Make sure that your pet is up to date on preventative vaccinations, flea and tick preventatives, and monthly heartworm prevention. With increased exposure to the other pets in dog parks comes increased exposure to infectious illnesses and both internal and external parasites.

If your dog park has separate areas for large and small dogs follow these guidelines. This way a disagreement between a large and small dog will not result in a serious injury. Also do not allow your dog off lead with other dogs, unless you are confident that they will get along.

Have a great summer using your community’s public dog parks.


C.A. Heller III, DVM
Animal Care Clinic

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