Are you a dog park person?

A dog park can be a wonderful place for dogs and people alike to get together with friends and enjoy the benefits of fresh air and exercise. But it isn’t for everybody.

  • If you love dogs of all kinds, enjoy seeing big dogs and small dogs playing together, and are someone who is willing to take things as they come, you may be a dog park person.
  • If you are nervous about dogs playing together because you just never know what might happen, are afraid your dog will get sick from other dogs, or if dirt drives you crazy, you may not be a dog park person.

There are certain inherent risks to using a dog park. It’s common sense, but sometimes we need to be reminded.

Fights sometimes happen.
Sometimes two dogs just rub each other the wrong way. You can never be sure what kind of dog you might run into at the park, or what kind of mood he’ll be in. The vast majority of dog fights are loud but brief, and don’t result in injury. You just have to take a deep breath and move on (preferably in the opposite direction.) But injuries do happen on occasion. If you are particularly nervous about the “what if” of dog interactions, a dog park may not be the place for you. For most of us, it’s a risk we’re willing to take.

Dogs can get sick if they play with other dogs that are sick.
It can happen anywhere, not just at a dog park. But because dogs are at the park in greater numbers, the chance of meeting a sick dog is naturally higher. As a precaution, your dog should be vaccinated against kennel cough if it is playing with other dogs. Your dog should only drink from a fresh water bowl (some park users bring their own). If your dog is sick, please stay at home.

Dogs can also get sick from drinking standing water.
The wooded area surrounding the Fergus Dog Park contains wetlands, and park users also like to use the duck pond behind the dog park property. Ask your vet about the “lepto” vaccine to protect against bacteria transmitted in water by wild animals. (If your vet uses the DAPPL vaccine, you are covered for leptospirosis.)

Dogs can get sick from dog poop.
Considering how many dogs use it every week, the Fergus Dog Park is remarkably clean. But you may still come across the occasional pile that someone has missed. Several common infections including giardia, hookworms, parvo virus, and roundworms are transmitted through dog waste.

Children can get hurt where dogs are at play.
Dogs run fast and play hard, and sometimes don’t watch where they’re going. Please supervise your children at all times. We recommend that they not play on the agility equipment, as it was not designed to ensure their safety.

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