Posts for: July, 2013
We have all heard the saying before: “It’s all fun and games until somebody (or somebody's dog) gets hurt". But what options does a dog owner have when they want to reward their dog with some physical exercise or address their dog’s need for social interaction at the local dog park? Working in the veterinary field, we are not estranged from the occasional canine patient presenting to us with multiple lacerations inflicted from an earlier dogfight. So how can pet owners ward off these dangers that exist and ensure that their visit to the dog park is a happy and safe time for their pets?
Here are a few suggested dos and don’ts on how to handle trouble at the dog park.
Do educate yourself on the signs of healthy play and how to read dog body language. If you can observe and respond effectively to gradually increasing signs of arousal, you will find yourself being well equipped to intervene before “play-time” turns into a trip to the veterinarian.
Do remember to have a leash handy at all times.
Do keep your eye on your dog, just as you would a child. Remember, this is reward time for your dog, so you should be focused on your dog for the entire time you are at the park.
Do clean up after your pet. Taking initiative to keep the park clean will increase the likelihood that the park stays open and protect both your dog and all other attending dogs from communicable illnesses.
Do remember to bring a water bowl and some water for your pet even on cooler days.
Do know the number and location to the closest veterinary hospital in case of emergency.
Don’t allow your dog to get so far away that you cannot intervene and control a situation.
Don't expect the dogs to work it out. Remember, it is ultimately the dog owner’s responsibility for maintaining peace & order at the dog park.
Don’t expect the other dog owner to take action if a troubling situation arises. Some pet owners do not consider their dog’s behavior to be a problem or do not handle emergency situations as well as others.
Don't think of the dog park as a great place to socialize a dog with behavioral issues (reactivity, aggression, fear, etc.) toward other dogs or people. In doing so, your pet will be left relating the dog park to a place of scary, overwhelming, and stressful happenings instead of the fun and joyful place it should be.
Don't bring your dog to the park if he/she is suffering from any sort of transmissible illness. Find other ways to provide your dog with exercise until he/she is no longer contagious.
Readers, what are your best tips for keeping the peace at the dog park? Which San Diego dog parks are your favorite? We’d love to hear about your (and your pet’s) experiences so please feel free to leave a comment!
ADORABLE DUO IN NEED OF HOME/FOSTER!
Dear friends, a client of ours needs to re-home her two grey tabbies, a male (Tucker) who just turned 6 in April and Abbygail, who is 5. Both are amazing cats and are best friends, which is why we are trying to find a good loving home willing to take them both (If you can find a temporary foster home that would be great too!). Please read description below:
I need to rehome my two grey tabbies. One male Tucker who just turned 6 in April and Abbygail who is 5. They are fun, friendly, affectionate both with amazing personalities. Tucker loves to go outside, enjoys sunsets, and is an extremely handsome kitty. I love when Tucker sits in the driveway to greet you when you come home. Abbygail is very regal like and more of an old soul. She loves to hang out with the family, enjoys, sitting on your lap and feet while watching a movie or reading a good book. Both are amazing spirits and are best friends. The most important thing is to find a good loving home together.
People may love the beautiful, vibrant colors that fireworks paint across the sky, but pets do not share in this fascination. While Fourth of July may be a day of celebration and fun for you, it can be a terrifying and stressful experience for your furry loved ones. To help you keep your pets safe this holiday so your celebration can stay a celebration, we are sharing some ways to help calm your pet during fireworks.
- It is best to keep your pet INDOORS! Having your pet remain indoors helps mask the noise volume of fireworks. Remember to close all windows and doors. If you are having guests over, make sure they know to keep your pets inside.
- The San Diego Humane Society suggests leaving a TV on or playing music to help drown out the noise. It is best to play the music for your pet before the fireworks start in order to get your pet familiar with the sounds. Offer positive reinforcements such as a treat each time you start the music selection.
- Make up a safe and comfortable place for your pet to escape the noise. Pets that are crate trained may feel safest in their crate.
- If your pet will tolerate clothing, you may consider trying the Thundershirt, a pet product that provides gentle, constant pressure to help calm your pet. Another option would be to pick up a pair of doggie earmuffs (originally designed to protect a dog's ears while flying, these can also help mask the noise of fireworks).
- Discuss your concerns with your veterinarian. They may choose to prescribe a sedative for your pet if he/she tends to become easily spooked by the fireworks.
Remember, it is always best to keep pets far away from fireworks, matches, lighter fluid, as well as human food and beverages. For additional pet safety tips, please refer to our previous blog article Fourth of July Pet Safety Tips.