Recently I was talking with a neighbor who mentioned that her daughter takes “Muffin” to one of the dog parks in our area several times a week and the dog is always battling diarrhea issues.  This prompted me to look into these recreational parks for dogs a little more.

She was asking for help on getting her dog’s stool regulated. I gave her my recommendations for dog food and supplements. I also told her to touch base with me later to let me know how her dog was doing.

When I seen her again three weeks later she explained that she changed the food and added the supplements, but her dog’s soft stool issues were off and on. This dog is only 6 months old and eating top of the line foods and receiving some great supplements.

I’m Not Bashing Doggy Parks or Day Cares

I think the idea of taking your dog to a large fenced in area where they can romp, roll and run around like a nut with other dogs, is great. Yet on the other hand many dog owners are oblivious as to what is going on with their dog, what’s the leash is removed.

Here’s 10 Reasons To Avoid Dog Parks

  1. You can’t read the body language of your dog or other dogs.
  2. You assume that your dog is going to behave the same way as he does when he’s at home with you.
  3. Your dog doesn’t listen or come when you call him.
  4. You get distracted when you start talking with other dog owners and forget to watch what is going on with your dog.
  5. Your dog is fearful of other dogs.
  6. Dog(s) are not vaccinated.
  7. Your dog is aggressive towards people and other dogs.
  8. You think that your dog being amongst a lot of other dogs will cure his behavioral issues.
  9. Your dog is sick with diarrhea or vomiting.
  10. Your dog eats everything and anything.

Make Sure Your Own Dog Is Healthy Before Socializing with Other Dogs

If you enjoy taking your dog to these recreational parks, my advice is to make sure that your own is healthy before hand.  Don’t go if your dog is vomiting or has diarrhea.  You can learn more about the causes and how to treat diarrhea here.

I can’t recommend enough that you start giving your dog a good daily multivitamin on a regular basis to help build his immunity.  Just like a good multivitamin works for you; they also work for your dog.  It’s vital that you maintain your dog’s immune system if you’re dog is going to frequent any place where there’s lots of other dogs.  You do that with good food and supplements.

It really boils down to the dog owner using common sense and closely monitoring their own dog. But again, I DO NOT RECOMMEND taking an older dog to a dog park if the dog is feeling under the weather.

Instead take your old friend for a walk on a nice trail and allow him to get that sniffer going!  She’ll enjoy that just as much, or maybe more.

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Showing 6 comments
  • kirsten

    nod. you need reliable off leash recall even if you dont ever think you will have your dog outside.. because what if your dog gets out past the door one day?
    my dog is being trained as a service dog, reliable recall is a must.

    the ONLY safe place to practice an off leash recall (especially practicing with distractions) is a fenced dog park!
    so we go to dog parks a lot
    as a service dog, Bella must be used to strange sounds, dogs, people, etc… so we also go (on leash) to many other places.

    i get so upset when i hear people say “well my dog is an indoor dog, so we dont need to train/vaccinate/etc. i had an indoor small dog as a child. guess what? he got out! if he had not been registered and vaccinated and etc who knows what would have happened

    • admin

      I agree with you 100%. Actually I’ve only ever had a recall problem with one dog and that dog is my dobie “Jenna” that I have now. Maggie my lab is pretty good. Jenna, her nose goes to the ground and that’s it! Nothing is getting her back. I wish that I had more time for training, but I simply don’t right now. My dogs have a nice big yard and they’re walked twice daily. Although I did work with Jenna as much as I could and she’s gotten better, especially since she’s gotten a little older.

      Service dogs are a completely different animal as far as I’m concerned. Yes, any dog should be trained for off leash recall – but service dogs have to take it to the next level.


  • admin

    Hi Kirsten:
    I completely understand having and wanting to take your dog to a nice large fenced in area where you can let your dog’s run. The reliable off leash recall is so important when you take your dogs anywhere where there’s a large number of dogs.

    Janie 😮

  • kirsten

    in my case i have a different issue…
    dont go without reliable off leash recall? uh.. ok.. the ONLY place i have to practice off leash anything is my living room, or a dog park. period.
    if i had the luxury of a backyard bigger than a postage stamp i wouldnt need to use a dog park! but the dog parks here in the city are the ONLY public access large fenced areas that are legally permitted to have a dog in them off leash!

  • Hawk aka BrownDog

    Hi Y’all,

    We don’t live near any dog parks or dog day cares, but we do walk on and off leash in areas frequented by other dogs.

    The thing you must reinforce with your dog is control! He must have a reliable recall and be reliable if an off leash dog runs up. You must have your dog vaccinated because if he isn’t, it’s the same as operating your computer without virus protection, only it’s a living being that’s getting sick, not an inanimate object.

    Y’all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

    • admin

      Hi BrownDog:
      Good to hear from you and thanks for the excellent tips. We’ll make sure we swing by. Love your blog and the beautiful pictures!!

      Janie :o)

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