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Take A Walk In The Park Day: Tips From A Troutville, VA Veterinarian

March 15, 2024

Does your canine buddy enjoy going to parks? If so, mark your calendar: Take A Walk In The Park Day is on March 30th. Many of our four-legged buddies like coming to parks. This makes complete sense. After all, Fido is naturally energetic and curious. He also enjoys sniffing around new places, hanging out with his friends, and traveling with his favorite humans! However, there are a few factors to consider. Continue reading for tips from a local Troutville, VA veterinarian on taking your dog to the park.

What Are The Positive Aspects Of Dog Parks?

There’s a reason why dog parks have popped up all over the country in recent decades.

For one reason, parks allow Fido to run and play freely. This is especially useful for people who don’t have yards. A fenced park, on the other hand, provides an excellent opportunity for your pet to get some exercise and play. That is critical for both your pet’s physical and mental wellness. Dogs, like humans, require physical activity to maintain good health.

Fido will benefit from the mental stimulation as well. Our canine buddies can really learn a lot about the world through odors, so simply pausing to sniff the grass (and the shrubs, trees, and flowers) can be very informative for your furry buddy.  

Socialization also matters. Our canine companions are naturally friendly animals, and they can both enjoy and benefit from the opportunity to socialize with other dogs. This is especially important for puppy owners. Socializing should take place when your dog is still young. Dogs that were not socialized properly are much more likely to develop behavioral issues as adults. There is a short time frame for this, though. When your four-legged friend is about 12 weeks old, that window starts to close. Contact your veterinarian for further information.

Also, spending time with Fido outdoors may help deepen your connection with your dog.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Dog Parks?

There are certain downsides to taking Fido to the park. The largest one is the possibility of your dog being attacked by another dog. While such occurrences are rare, they do happen.

There is also a risk that your pooch could contract parasites or illnesses from other dogs in the park. Keeping Fido’s preventative care products, such as his flea and tick prevention and heartworm protection, up to date will help safeguard him. 

However, if you’ve only recently got your pet, you’ll need to wait until your vet gives the go-ahead. Some immunizations must be administered in a series, so your pup will not be protected until he has had all of his boosters.

Another potential threat is Fido running away. This is mostly a worry in parks that are not securely gated, of course.

Remember that some dogs just do not fare well in parks. If your pet is fearful or uneasy around other dogs, going to the park may be scary for him. That could lead to behavioral issues, which you do not want.

How Can I Keep My Dog Safe at the Park?

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

First and foremost, ensure that your dog is up to date on all immunizations and parasite control. Your pooch should also have a microchip and ID tags that are up to date. We recommend adding the word ‘Reward’ to your pup’s tags to encourage people to reach out. While we hope you never need to find out, this can really make a difference in motivating people to return your furry pal to you!

Choose Appropriate Buddies For Your Pet

Many parks separate big dogs from tiny canines. Keeping Fido among dogs of a similar size can assist to level out the odds.

Before allowing your canine companion to play, take a moment to inspect the other canines there. The most serious concern is aggressive dogs. While one would expect that individuals would understand not to bring dangerous dogs to parks, this is unfortunately not uncommon.

If you see any dogs being rowdy or bullying other dogs, be safe and take your cute pet for a stroll instead. Return to the park another time.

Bring Water … 

Although many parks provide fountains, it’s recommended to carry your own water. That way, if the facilities are down, you won’t be left with a thirsty dog.

…But Don’t Bring Lunch

While your pet is playing, it can be tempting to eat. However, there are some risks involved. Fido’s friends will undoubtedly notice any tasty snacks you hand out. As you may expect, this can lead to friction and even fighting.

Many parks have seats or picnic tables where people can sit while their dogs run and play. This is an excellent time to listen to a podcast or speak with a buddy. However, if you do listen to music or make a phone call, avoid turning up the level too much. You must be able to hear sounds like barking or shouting.  

Read The Park Rules.

Before entering the park, take note of any postings or signage. These may include important information. For example, if there are hazardous plants or a large number of ticks in the region, the park may issue a warning.

Have Fun And Explore

Consider installing a pet-friendly app, like Bring Fido. These can be quite useful for discovering previously unknown locations. You might be amazed by how many amazing places there are within an hour or two.

Find A Great Local Park

Ultimately, some parks are just better than others. Look for one with positive reviews. This also provides you a fantastic opportunity to review goodies like play fountains.

Talk To Your Troutville, VA  Vet

Parks aren’t right for every dog. If you have a nice, healthy adult dog, Fido may benefit much from a trip to the park. However, pups, seniors, and dogs with medical difficulties may not be suitable for park visits. If your dog is reactive, afraid, or violent, he may not be an ideal fit for a trip to the park.

Your veterinarian may also be aware of something you are not, such as a new virus or an outbreak.

Invite Friends Along

Dogs aren’t the only ones who benefit from having the opportunity to socialize and spend time outside. This is also a terrific place to meet up with friends or family members who own dogs!  

What Is “Take A Walk In The Park Day” For?

The holiday originated as a reminder of the benefits of spending time outside. Exercise, fresh air, and sunshine are good for all of us! Spending time outside can be extremely beneficial to our bodies, minds, and spirits. One study found that persons who could view trees from their apartments were less aggressive than those who couldn’t. 

While the holiday was originally intended for humans, Fido is welcome to join!

Schedule An Appointment At Your Troutville, VA  Animal Hospital

Do you want to learn more about our dog park? Is it time for your dog to have a checkup, vaccinations, or parasite control? Contact your Troutville, VA  pet clinic today!

Posted in General Care

47 Boone Dr,
Troutville VA 24175
t: (540) 966-1992
Also serving Roanoke, VA and surrounding areas.

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