Dog Park Etiquette: Playing by the unwritten rules

Dog parks – the social scene of the dog world. Taking your dog to a dog park is a great addition to their exercise routine and a great way for your dog to maintain healthy socialization skills. However, there is proper etiquette to be considered when visiting the dog park. If you want the other dogs to wag their tails in approval and the other dog parents to greet you with a smile, then there are certain rules that should be followed – here is a list of ‘Dos & Don’ts’ to follow at the dog park.

5 Dog Park Do(s)
Here are some tips that are guaranteed to help you and your dog both win the popularity vote at the dog park.

Dog Park 2

-Scoop the poop.
This one is first on the list because it is THAT important. If you aren’t cleaning up after your dog poops in the park then you are probably on someone else’s list – a blacklist. If you really want to earn some brownie points, pick up any other dog’s messes that have been left behind.
-Exercise first, dog park second.
Taking your dog to the dog park should not be their primary source of exercise – it should supplement an already existing exercise routine. In fact, the proper thing to do is to exercise your dog before taking him to the dog park, in order to release any pent up energy that could affect his behavior at the park.
-Supervise your dog while at the park.
Let’s be honest – we’ve all seen the dog owner at the park who sits on the bench and stares at their smartphone while their dog terrorizes all of the other dogs at the park. Don’t be this person.
-Leave the kids at home.
We know that your kids probably love their dog and a trip to the dog park probably sounds like a dream come true to them, but the dog park isn’t really a place for small children. There is a lot of heightened interaction going on between dogs at the park and not all dogs are crazy about kids.
-Be cautious about handing out treats.
If you are using treats for training purposes while at the park, be sure that there are no other dogs in close proximity to you. The best advice would be to skip the treats until after you have left the park to avoid any unnecessary confrontations and don’t ever give treats out to a dog other than your own.

5 Dog Park Don’t(s)
It is important to always promote peaceful and pleasant interactions at the dog park so that everyone can enjoy their visit to the park. There are certain things that you just shouldn’t do while at the park with your dog.
DON’T bring a sick or unvaccinated dog to the park.
If your dog is sick, not up to date on vaccinations, or if you are unsure of your dog’s current health status, leave them at home until you know that your dog isn’t capable of spreading disease at the park.
DON’T allow your dog to bully other dogs.
If you notice that your dog is causing problems or is being the dog park bully, remove them from the park immediately.
DON’T bring your BLT to the dog park.
Never bring human food into the dog park – we shouldn’t have to explain the problems that this could create.
DON’T bring a dog to the park who doesn’t respond to verbal commands.
Does your dog come when they are called? Do they respond to your commands? These are basic training skills that your dog should have before turning them loose at the dog park. First things first.
DON’T keep your dog on a leash in a ‘no-leash’ dog park.
It doesn’t really make much sense to take your dog to the dog park if you plan to keep them on a leash the entire time. Plus, it can present safety issues for other dogs, especially if you are using a retractable leash.
Are you ready for your next trip to the dog park? Brush up on your dog body language signals so that you know how to recognize signs of trouble. A little dog park etiquette can go a long way to making the dog park a happy place for both pets and owners!

Common Cancer Symptoms in Dogs and Cats

50% of senior dogs develop cancer. The number isn’t quite as high for cats but it does happen.
Like with people, there are a variety of cancers that can affect your beloved pet and as you probably know, many cancers can be treated if caught early. So it makes sense to share a few cancer symptoms that pet lovers should be aware of.

There are a few symptoms that specifically skew toward cancer which I’ll share in a moment. Unfortunately, the other cancer symptoms can seem a little generic – weight loss, change in energy levels, etc. so don’t panic if your pet shows these signs, but do make an appointment with your veterinarian to have your pet evaluated.

3 Typical Cancer Symptoms

1—Unusual lumps and bumps – one common cancer for both dogs and cats is lymphoma, this is a cancer of the lymph nodes which are located throughout your pet’s body. The lymph nodes are part of the lymphatic system which works to filter toxic substances out of the body.

checking dog for bumps

Individual lymph nodes can swell up to be the size of golf balls so they can be very noticeable. In cats, lymphoma is linked to feline leukemia virus. There’s a vaccination against feline leukemia, which can protect your cat.

2—Visible sores on the skin – mast cell cancer is a type of skin cancer that can create noticeable lesions on your pet’s body. Now, since skin problems is one of those “generic” concerns that can mean all kinds of things, you’ll want a specialist to evaluate your pet. Plus, since this is a kind of cancer with multiple classifications, finding out what you’re dealing with is your best shot.

3—Unusual bleeding – whether from the eyes, nose, mouth, or in the urine, bleeding or unusual discharges are a sign of sickness.

Other possible cancer symptoms include a bad smell emanating from the body or mouth. Plus, weight loss, extreme change in energy levels – from happy and active to sluggish all the time.

Pet Cancer Prevention Tips

A healthy lifestyle can go a long way toward keeping your pet feeling great so keep them at a healthy weight, get regular exercise, and feed a quality diet. The basics are powerful.

Speaking of a healthy diet, when you include anti-inflammatory ingredients like blueberries, salmon, and other good-for-your-pet ingredients in your pet’s diet, you can reduce inflammation. As you may know, inflammation is a leading cause of disease.

Now that you know some of the typical pet cancer symptoms, you can keep an eye on your pet and make a note of any unusual behavior. As always, regular wellness visits with your veterinarian can help catch cancers and other diseases early. Twice a year visits for pets 8 and older is recommended unless your vet says otherwise.