What’s the plan for this weekend? How about visiting off-leash dog parks in Lakeland?
Your pup is READY to play in this chilly weather we are getting right now. Dog parks in Lakeland can be an essential part of your dogs mental and physical health – if done right. By being able to provide exercise and socialization
with other pets, this can really make their life more enjoyable. All set to go? Is your pupper ready to join the fun experience?
Wait! There are some safety tips, every dog owner NEED TO KNOW prior to heading off to the land of dog parks.
Basic commands like “come”, “stay,” and “sit” are essential. Interaction with strangers and other pets will require you to use these commands while at the park. Use positive reinforcement to get your dog to behavior even during high sensory times.
I once saw a pup RUNNING towards a mud puddle, like a gigantic mud puddle- the owner attempted a “No!” “Stop!” “Come!” but that temptation was TOO strong + the pup was just not properly trained. Insert at 60 lb dog that was white- now BLACK with mud from tip to tail and a very upset owner. Luckily, dog parks like Diogi Dog Park, or Dog Leg Woods have rinse off stations-but could have been avoided with proper training.
Vaccinate Your Dog
From “core” to “non-core” vaccinations, every medical checkup must be up to date prior to visiting a dog park in Lkld.
There is a high exposure rate to parasites, viruses that can live in the soil for years like Parvo (deadly!) and other highly contagious bacteria’s and viruses. Your Dog should be fully vaccinated ( that means puppy’s should be at least 16 weeks!) for DHPP, Rabies and Bordetella at minimum. Also consider adding Lepto ( Leptospirosis) which is transmitted through water puddles that have been contaminated with infected urine.
ID and Microchip
Dog parks in Lakeland get busy, and accidents and lost pets happen. Have a properly fitting collar that will hold a ID tag and ensure your pet is microchipped prior to your adventure.
ID Tag: An engraved piece of metal or embroidered or printed on a collar. Metal ID Tags can be found at most local pet stores like Lays Western Wear on Old HWY 37 in Lakeland. Printed or Embroidered Collars can be found online from companies like Hot Dog Collars.
Microchip: Can be administered by a Veterinarian- usually takes less then 1 minute to implant and cost $50 or less usually. Now, this is not a GPS – you can not just ‘ding’ the chip to find your pet. If lost it can be scanned by a special tool that most rescues and Vets have to find an ID number, they call a company and that company can provide the contact info to the owner- as long as it is UP TO DATE. Be sure to add your current address and phone number to this- there will be a minor charge- but well worth it.
Don’t forget to take these things when going with your walking partner:
- Water Bottle/Bowl– fresh clean water to avoid dehydration
- Dog Leash + Properly Fitting Collar or harness – for going in and out of the part and control as need
- Towel for drying– remember that mud pit I talked about above?
- Poop Bags– clean up is required. Usually at parks- but not always full!
- Pet First Aid Kit- in case a medical emergency occurs!
- Sneakers for the humans- to avoid dogs with long nails cutting you by accident or when you run after your pup.
It is Simple: A little negligence will cause big problems.
- Do not socialize with humans in the dog parks: pay attention to your pup’s activities- that is your job.
- Your dog will interact with other human beings + pets, and aggression can happen suddenly. You are fully responsible financially in case accidents happen- so be highly involved in your pets play is the best way to avoid.
- Ensure you pet ACTUALLY enjoys it : Just because you think they should, does NOT mean they do. There are introverted dogs to- and the dog park is just not their ‘vibe’ – don’t force it because it is Instagram worthy.
- There are Bad People: Theft of dogs in dog parks happen, nd it happens QUICKLY. Do not read a book, or phone – because the minute you look back up- your pet may be gone. There are professional bad guys that do this for a living
- Do not take Children: Any kid under 15 should not be a dog park, I don’t care if you have seen it or done it before. Why?
1. They do not know enough about dog body language, they do not have the inhibition to stop and think prior to doing something that can put them in harms way.
2.They can get accidently bit or harmed. Just because your dog is nice- doesn’t mean others are.
3. You will be distracted from what is required from you dog. There are kid kidnappers too in parks.
Ultimately, I have seen great park experiences- and I have seen dogs get mauled and require thousands of dollars of Veterinary Care, or contract Parvo and die. Don’t take Dog parks lightly, but with the tips above, and a dog that is actually interested- have a great time!