By Paul Tan (Owner of Bailey the Golden)
Dogs are intended to lead active lives by nature, either through hunting, herding or controlling vermin. However, most of our pet dogs spend their time lazing at home, napping and snacking, without participating in any of the activities stated above. Our furkids are kept within the four walls of our homes for the most part of their day. This eventually leads to a bored and overweight dog. To keep your dog happy, healthy and out of trouble, you need to exercise their brain and body. The dog parks in our urban environment provide spaces where dogs can run freely off leash and socialise with other dogs, benefitting both the dogs and their owners.
Here’s why the dog park is a good space to begin a more active lifestyle for you and your pet:
Off leash at the dog park. This gives your dog the absolute freedom to run freely, investigate new smells and play uninhibited with their friends in the park. The exercise will wear them out and keep their energy levels in check.
An environment to develop and maintain social skills. Being a social species, dogs enjoy spending time with their own kind. Bailey started socialising since puppyhood with other peers and he has learnt to read other dogs’ body language and to use communication skills with unfamiliar dogs to sort out their social understanding. This helps him overcome any fear, anxiety or aggression when associating with his peers.
A social space for parents of furkids. At the park is where you, the pet parent, develop new friendships through the sharing of pet parenting tips and basically everything under the sun.
The down side to dog parks:
Health risks. Dogs with kennel cough, flea and tick issues are some of the situations you might come face-to-face with.
Your dog could also get injured in a dog fight during overly aggressive play.
Dogs who are shy or easily overwhelmed will find dog parks stressful. I always stress good experiences for your furkid. If your dog had an unpleasant experience with other dogs, he would always be on high defence mode to avoid being bullied or attacked by other dogs.
People problems. I feel that in most circumstances, dog fights and any kind of misunderstandings can be avoided if the owners are more responsible. If you know your dog has a tendency to be defensive and/or get aggressive, get help from a dog behaviourist to correct the problem or avoid the park when there are more dogs than usual. Always keep your eye on your dog because situations can happen in a matter of seconds. Be a responsible owner and know your dog and their behaviour well.
Whatever the space may be, choose to spend quality time outdoors with your dog so that both of you can appreciate the bonding time while being close to nature.
About the author:
Paul Tan is the owner of Bailey the Golden, our brand ambassador. Bailey started training for canine obedience competitions when he was 7 months old. He has appeared in several TV appearances, including a commercial with famed dog whisperer, Cesar Millan. Bailey is currently taking Astamate as part of his supplement diet. You may follow Bailey on Instagram: Bailey the Golden