Saturday, March 5, 2011

Dog Parks - Not a Fan

Let me start by saying I understand that many dogs could never be off lead outdoors if they didn't have a dog park to visit. It IS important for dogs to have a chance to run and sniff without the interferrence of their humans. However, it is YOUR responsibility that the dog be safe while it is doing that. The problem with dog parks is... other dogs. And, even worse, other PEOPLE. Unfortunately, people are just as clueless about their dogs as they are their children. Ours is not a large family considering the number of dogs living in the US, but in the last TWO years we've had pups injured while playing at dog parks, one by accident and one because of a deliberate attack. We've had one PERSON biten while trying to protect her dog. We've had one dog killed because it escaped from the dog park when someone didn't close the gate properly. Any number of pups and dogs have been exposed to viruses carried by unvaccinated canines. And the latest problem is a case of "puppy warts" picked up from an infected dog at the dog park.

"Puppy warts" is an easy way to say canine papilloma virus. Which is closely related to the family of papilloma viruses that plague humans. It is highly contageous and dogs with it MUST be isolated from other dogs. While it usually disappears on its own in about 45 days, it can require various degrees of treatment including surgery. Here is a website, if you'd like to get more info:

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