Nov 01 2013

Harbor Animal Hospital Talks About Dog Park Safety –

Off leash dog parks are becoming increasingly popular in cities across the nation, and for good reason: they’re a great place to let your dog run around, play and socialize! But keep in mind, dogs will be dogs – which is why owners need to be extra vigilant about common dog park related injuries and diseases. Please make sure your pet is properly vaccinated, has had a negative fecal exam within the last 6 months, and that he or she is on year round flea, tick, Heartworm and intestinal parasite preventative before venturing out to the park, and hope that his new playmate’s owners have done the same!

SPRAINS– Playful, excitable dogs are prone to accidents at the park – they can trip in a hole while running or maybe play a little too enthusiastically with a pal, resulting in sprained joints. Be sure to keep a watchful eye on your dog to avoid these types of incidents.

LACERATIONS– Sometimes even the friendliest wrestling match between dogs can turn into a tussle. Cuts and scratches are common dog park injuries, so keep your pooch away from aggressive dogs and dogs much larger than your own.

TOXINS-Be aware of any chemicals used by park maintenance crews, like fertilizers, snail bait or pesticides. If you suspect your dog has been in an area where chemical treatments have been used, clean his feet and legs thoroughly with soap and water.

INVADERS-Regular flea and tick preventative treatment is critical for every dog, especially those that frequent dog parks.

OVERHEATING-No matter what time of year, always have plenty of water on hand to quench your dog’s thirst and prevent overheating. If your dog shows any signs of overheating such as excessive panting, vomiting or sluggishness, contact a veterinarian immediately.

As a pet owner, understanding the risks to your pet’s health is essential.

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