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Prepare for risks at the dog park
Dog parks are great places to bring your pooch, allowing it to play, exercise and socialize in a safe, secure area. Most dog parks are fenced in, ensuring no wayward pups escape or get lost. Still, there are plenty of risks your dog might run into when it plays at the park.
Sprains and soft tissue injuries
Sprains and other injuries to the soft tissues on your dog's body are the most common injuries vets see after dog park romps. Sometimes a dog with one of these injuries will need surgery or other treatment from a vet, but other times the vet may simply prescribe pain-relieving pet drugs like Metacam or Tramadol to soothe the pooch while it heals naturally.
Insect bites and parasites
Because dog parks are usually located in the woods or another outdoor location, the chances your pet will get bitten by an insect (including a flea!) or pick up a tick are high. Before you go to the dog park, make sure your dog has taken its flea and tick preventative medications like Pet Armor, Frontline or Comfortis. This will protect the pooch from fleas in the woods and diseases carried by ticks. Also make sure your pooch has taken its heartworm medication, like Revolution. Heartworms and heartworm disease are spread by
mosquitoes, which are common in the woods.
Cuts, scrapes and bites
When your pooch is running through the woods or rough-housing with other dogs, accidents are sometimes unavoidable. Cuts and scrapes can occur from sticks, branches or other sharp objects in the woods, and some playful mouthing can accidentally turn into a bite.
If your pooch is bleeding at all after a trip to the dog park, always call your vet to discuss the severity of the wound and determine whether the dog needs stitches. The vet may recommend pet products like Nolvasan Skin & Wound Cleanser.
Hyperthermia or heat stroke
When you are playing with your pooch outside, you always need to consider the weather. In the winter, thin dogs or those with short fur may need sweaters or jackets to stay warm enough. Now that the weather is turning warmer, all owners need to be on the lookout for heat stroke or over-exhaustion in their dog. Always bring some water to the park for your pooch, and force it to stop if it seems tired. Many excited dogs will not stop themselves, so they need to be told when enough is enough.