5 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)
I have recently read a lot of negative articles about dog parks, and I found that humans either seem to love dog parks or hate them. Of course, most dogs love dog parks, so at first I didn’t understand why humans might be against them. I personally don’t like playing with other dogs, but I love being off a leash and smelling all the great smells.
However, many humans are against dog parks nowadays because they’re worried that they aren’t safe. So, I decided to consider both the pros and cons of dog parks to see both sides of the argument.
Pros of Dog Parks
Let’s start with the positives of dog parks. Obviously, they exist for a reason and many dogs use them, so there are lots of great things about them, especially from a dog’s perspective.
They Can Help Dogs (and humans!) Socialize
Dog parks are a great way for dogs to interact with each other. I’ve never been a huge fan of other dogs, but after going to the dog park more often, I’ve become more tolerant of them. A lot of dogs aren’t friendly just because they’re not used to being around other dogs, so going to the dog park more often could help to make them friendlier around both humans and other dogs.
Humans also get some socialization skills at the dog park as well. While they watch their dogs run around and play, they will often interact with the other dog parents at the park. I personally think that dog people are much friendlier than people that don’t like dogs.
It’s a Great Way to Get Fresh Air
It can be boring to be locked up at home all day, so the dog park can be a great opportunity for both dogs and humans to get outside for a while. Fresh air is good for us, and it helps to make our day more entertaining. Being inside all day is no fun for most dogs.
It Gives Your Dog New Things to Smell
Many humans will walk their dogs in the same area over and over again every single day. This gets boring after a while! We love new smells and new places, so give us the chance to explore and experience new things. We won’t get as much excitement walking around our neighborhood as we would at the dog park.
They are Specifically for Dogs Only
When walking in other public areas, we have to worry about a lot of things such as bikes, skateboards, and cars driving past. But the dog park is for dogs only. It is the perfect space for dogs and dog people to have to themselves. Plus, it is one of the only chances for us to be off-leash in public, so it is a fun and unique experience for us.
What better reason to go to the dog park than to have fun? The main purpose of dog parks is for dogs to run around and play. To us, all that really matters is that dog parks are exciting. It’s difficult for us to understand why some humans are so hesitant about this concept.
Cons of Dog Parks
While dog parks are exciting places for dogs, some humans have problems with these facilities. So, here are some of the reasons dog parks might not be so great.
Some Dog Parents Might Not Be Responsible
At dog parks, there are just certain rules that humans expect each other to follow. They need to pick up the dog poop, always close the gate behind them, and make sure their dog is behaving. However, not all humans like to follow these rules. Sometimes, people can be rather inconsiderate when it comes to this free public space. Sadly, some humans take advantage of it without doing their part to keep the dog park in good condition.
Fights Can Occur
While the idea of dog parks is for dogs to run around and play with each other, there are some dogs that aren’t trained as well as the others. I’ll admit that even I have picked a fight with another dog before. However, if Molly thinks I’m a problem, she takes me out of the park to help keep the other dogs happy.
Not all dog parents like to take responsibility for their dogs though. Some humans just let their dogs run around like crazy and put other dogs in danger. Therefore, some people don’t like dog parks simply because of the uncertainties they have with the other guests.
Fleas, Ticks, and Diseases
If your dog has taken their flea and tick medicine and they are up to date on all their shots, then this shouldn’t be an issue. But sadly, there are plenty of dogs that visit the dog park without the proper protection. This can cause many dogs to get sick simply by visiting the dog park.
Should You Take Your Dog to the Dog Park?
Whether or not you take your dog to the dog park is entirely up to you. For the most part, dog parks are safe, but there are certain dogs that will enjoy them more than others. If your dog doesn’t really like other dogs or they don’t do well when they’re off their leash, then dog parks might not be a good choice for them.
Also, if your dog is not up to date on vaccinations, please don’t bring them to the park or to any other public area. You are only putting your dog and those around them at risk.
Sure, bad things can happen at the dog park, but bad things can happen anywhere! Don’t avoid dog parks just because you’re scared of what could happen. If you never take any risks, then you and your dog could be missing out on a lot of fun activities.
I feel like every dog should visit a dog park at least once in their life. It can be a fun new activity for them and it can help you to see how they react around other dogs.
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