Dogs visiting the park need to be up to date with their vaccinations. Canine vaccines include rabies, DHPP for distemper and DHLPP for Leptospirosis. There are additional treatments that are appropriate if your dog is around other dogs.
We recently asked Dr. Jennifer Klabunde at Northwood Animal Hospital on what responsible dog owners need to do to keep our canine friends healthy and happy dog park visitors. Being very supportive of the park, Dr. Klabunde provided the following insight and information.
Many people may think they are up to date on their vaccinations, but unless they have had a conversation with their veterinarian about where they take their dog, they may not have been given a Bordetella Vaccine. Dr. Klabunde noted that these are recommended for dogs that are going to be in communal areas, including boarding kennels, grooming businesses, dog parks and when traveling. The vaccine typically runs $15 to $25 for an oral dose that should be good for one year. Though it is possible to have a dog come down with these infections even with the vaccine, the dog’s symptoms are much less severe than they would have been had the dog not had the vaccine to begin with.
We can also help cut down the transmission of diseases at the park by taking home any toys we bring to the park. Dirty toys are excellent harborers of diseases. Please take your toys with you when you are finished playing at the park. Dr. Klabunde also suggests that if your dog is out playing in nature where wildlife, feces and fleas may be, you should think about putting your dog on a parasite prevention treatment.