A day at the park is pupperdise for most pooches! There's lots of space to run, sniff, play, and explore. Plus, the freedom to be off their leash and meet new furry friends.
But, while it might be fun and games most of the time, the mood can change in the blink of an eye. Suddenly, a pleasant afternoon turns into a barking and biting frenzy. If chaos erupts and an injury occurs, here are some things you can do to safely handle this traumatic experience for your furbaby.
It’s a scary thing to experience, but it’s crucial as a pet parent to keep a clear head and remain calm during and after an incident. Your pup can sense your emotions. If you act aggressively toward the other dogs involved or their owners, they will remain aggressive and anxious too. So instead, your priority should be helping your dog relax and recover.
Breaking Up A Dog Fight
Breaking up a dog fight is risky, but your instinct is most likely going to be to protect your furbaby. The best and safest way to break up a fight is to grab the back legs of each dog and raise them off the ground like you would do a wheelbarrow and walk backward. Another option will be to use water from a hose as a deterrent or distraction if it’s available. Using this option is better if you know how the dogs usually react to water. For example, some dogs can become more agitated by the hose.
Assess Your Dog for Injuries & Seek Medical Attention
As soon as your dog is safely away from danger, check to see if they have any injuries and determine whether emergency veterinary care is needed or not. For example, if your pup is excessively bleeding, has trouble walking, difficulty breathing, or you can see exposed muscle or bone, do not wait. Immediately take your dog to your veterinarian or an emergency veterinary clinic. Even if your dog appears to be ok, it’s always a good idea to make sure there aren’t any serious complications such as internal bleeding or infections.
Exchange Owner Information
If your dog doesn't need immediate veterinary care, it is a good idea to politely talk to the other dog's owner and exchange information. In most cases, the dog who bites is at fault, and more often than not, their owner will be apologetic and offer to cover all or some of your vet costs. If you need to seek immediate care for your dog, you can always return to the dog park later to seek out the owner or look for witnesses that can help you identify them.
Report The Incident
Each dog park has its own rules, and some will ask owners to fill out an incident report when a fight or injury occurs. Unfortunately, sometimes the owner of the dog who caused the injury will refuse to give you any information and may even flee the scene. If that happens to you, call the police and report the fight while witnesses are still around to help.
How to Stop A Fight Before It Happens
It’s important for pet parents to understand that it’s always possible to encounter aggressive, territorial and possessive dogs. Even your sweet, mild-mannered puppy can show aggressive behaviors for a variety of reasons. Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do to reduce the chances of your dog getting into a serious altercation.
- Don’t go to the park when it’s busy – and be prepared to leave early if it starts to get crowded.
- Avoid congested areas and give more space to dogs that seem stressed or anxious, dogs that are playing roughly, and dogs playing with toys.
- Take off the leash inside the park. When dogs feel trapped or stuck on a leash, they can act aggressively out of fear of other dogs rushing around them. Taking the leash off lets your dog feel more secure and free to meet and greet on their own, preventing any aggressive reactions.
- Keep big and little dogs separate. A little dog can easily get injured by accident or from common roughhousing with a larger dog. Check to see if your local park has separate areas, and be sure to adhere to their size guidelines.
- Have a collar or harness on your dog and the leash handy so you are ready to remove your pup quickly and prevent them from getting into any fights.
- Keep an eye on your dog at all times! You’re dog is probably going to be the cutest one at the park, so it shouldn’t be a problem to make sure they are staying out of trouble.
Follow these tips to make sure your next trip to the dog park is pawsitively furbulous and fun! Don’t forget to make sure your furbaby is the coolest pup in the park with the latest Frenchie Bulldog harness, collar, and leash. Even mom and dad can get in on the gear with matching fanny packs, poo bags, and more!