As the weather becomes warmer pet parents will likely take their best friend to a dog park. The National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS) offers three safety tips for pet owners who visit dog parks.
1. Bring a container of water to the park for your dog. The provided water stations are often used by raccoons or other wildlife during the night, and can spread dangerous infections, such as leptospirosis, a potentially fatal bacterial disease.
2. Carefully wipe your dog’s paws after leaving the dog park. The park’s soil can be a source of parasites and diseases and should be cleaned from the dog’s paws immediately.
3. Make sure your dog is up-to-date on vaccinations prior to visiting the dog park. Through playful activity, pets can be exposed to other dogs that have not received proper vaccinations.
“Pet parents are drawn to the wonderful social and exercise benefits of dog parks, but few are aware that dog parks can impose health risks on their beloved pet,” explained Monica Leighton, President of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS). “At the core of NAPPS’ mission is a commitment to the welfare of animals. We urge pet parents to fully investigate the hidden dangers of dog parks before visiting one to protect their pet.”