Dog Park Safety for Animal Owners

Dogs love to meet new friends and run around while off their leashes. Your neighborhood dog park in Riverside could be an excellent opportunity for safe socialization and exercise for both you and your furry friend. But be mindful of the potential health hazards that might land you in the hospital. If an incident does occur, the Emergency Room in Riverside Community Hospital is always open.

Choose the Right Dog Park

Before letting your faithful companion off his or her leash, take a few minutes to assess the dog park. Avoid parks that have dogs that look aggressive or fearful. Avoid dog parks in which the other owners are inattentive to their animals.

Respond Appropriately to Unfamiliar Dogs

Kids are taught to not approach unfamiliar dogs without permission. This is also a good rule for adults. Even if a dog appears friendly, always ask the owner if it’s all right for you to pet him or her. Never pet an unfamiliar dog without letting the dog sniff you first. If an unfamiliar dog approaches you and appears aggressive, stay still and remain calm. Avoid direct eye contact, turn your body partially away from the dog, and say “No!” in a firm tone of voice.

Handle Dog Attacks Effectively

If a dog does attack you, you can reduce the risk of serious injuries by placing an object like a handbag or trash can between you and the dog. If the dog knocks you over, curl up, touch your chin to your chest, and cover your ears and neck with your hands. If you get bitten, seek emergency care promptly. Even if the wound does not appear serious, dog bites pose a significant risk of infections.

Break up Dog Fights Safely

No pet parent likes to see a furry friend fighting with another dog, but it’s important not to get between two fighting dogs. Never assume that your own dog won’t bite you. In the midst of a fight, even your own faithful companion may see you as an aggressor. Instead, grasp your dog’s back legs and pick them up as though you were handling a wheelbarrow. Ideally, the other dog’s owner will copy your actions.

Riverside Community Hospital is a leading provider of emergency and trauma services for individuals throughout the greater Riverside area. If you’ve sustained major trauma in a dog attack, please call 911 without delay. Otherwise, you can call a registered nurse at our hospital at (951) 788-3463.