Have you heard the news? Campbell County will soon have its first dog park, courtesy of the Gillette Dog Owners Group (GDOG). GDOG has been working since 2012 to build this park, and it will pay off on Saturday, August 29 at 2:30 pm with the grand opening of The O-So Fun Dog Park on the at the intersection of Warlow & Hannum, near Bicentennial Park.
Many dog owners are likely howling for this new dog attraction, and the Fur Kids Foundation board is pleased to see a new amenity added for dog owners that enhances our community’s quality of life. We hope that GDOG and dog owners in our community make this dog park a great attraction that can be safely enjoyed.
Ask any dog owner you know, and they'll tell you that their dog loves to play. Dogs are social critters, and it’s natural for the majority of them to want to socialize and play, sometimes with other dogs and people. A dog park or dog run is a place where some dogs can get additional exercise, sniff the plants, romp with other dogs, or just rest in a comfortable and controlled setting. According to the ASPCA, dog parks can be a benefit for both dogs and their owners; however, they are not for everyone or all dogs. In this blog, the Foundation offers five tips for pet owners on how to safely enjoy the O-So Fun Dog Park, as well as some links to dog park etiquette we encourage you to read.
Remember to Scoop the Poop.
You’re responsible for cleaning up after your pet at the park, according to City of Gillette Ordinance 4-12.B. Please remember to bring your own plastic baggie to clean up after your pooch. You can purchase rolls of them at most pet supply stores, or you can even bring the plastic bags you receive from the grocery store to use. The Foundation has previously written about the importance of picking up the poo, but if you need a refresher, here are the blogs:
· Do you scoop your pet’s poo?
· Responsible dog owners Scoop the Poop
Don't bring unvaccinated puppies (or dogs), unneutered males, or females in heat to the park.
While it may be tempting to bring your little ball of energy to the O-So Fun Dog Park, Fur Kids Foundation suggests waiting until your puppy is at least four months old and has had all the necessary vaccinations, including Rabies (which is required in the County), Parvo, Kennel Cough (bordatella) and even heartworm prevention treats, among others.
Unneutered males have higher testosterone, meaning more aggressive behavior, and unspayed females in heat can make you a fast grandparent, as well as cause some aggression from other dogs trying to interact with the dog. Read more reasons why we feel you should spay and neuter your pet in this blog post.
Owners don't want their dogs catching anything just as you don't want your dog catching anything. Wait until your dog is healthy and vaccinated to bring him/her to the park. If you have any questions on whether your dog is healthy enough to be at a dog park, please contact your veterinarian.
Don't let playtime turn into fight club.
Barking and growling are considered normal social interactions, but it's your responsibility to decide when the rough-housing is turning into a dog brawl. If that happens, remove your dog.
And, if you know your beagle Rover doesn't interact well with dogs, don't go to the dog park expecting him to be different. The dog park is not the appropriate place to work on fixing your dog’s behavior problems. You may need to set up play dates with one dog, and then gradually add dogs to the mix before you plan on a visit to the O-So Fun Dog Park.
Don't unleash your dog and lose track of him/her.
Sure, it seems obvious, but sometimes dog owners can get distracted while talking to other dog owners about that silly thing Fido does with water, and what not. Make sure you know where your dog is at all times to avoid problems like fights. As with a child, you never know what your dog might get into.
Fur Kids Foundation encourages you to pocket the phone, keep one eye on your dog while chatting it up with other visitors, and although the O-So Fun Dog Park is an off-leash park, keep a leash handy.
Consider bringing water to the park with you.
We have not heard if water will be available at the O-So Fun Dog Park. Please make sure you bring Fido some water, and perhaps even a bowl to drink out of when you're there to help avoid heat stroke.
Please Note: GDOG and Fur Kids Foundation are separate non-profits in Campbell County, Wyoming, with different goals for dog owners in the community. GDOG is solely responsible for the rules and happenings at the O-So Fun Dog Park. Should you have any questions about the O-So Fun Dog Park, please contact GDOG at (702) 373-1682 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more at www.gillettedogpark.com.
Looking for more dog park tips?
Here are a few other articles to check out regarding dog parks. Do you have any dog park tips you’d like to share with us?
· ASPCA: Dog Parks
· The Association of Professional Dog Trainers: Dog Park Etiquette
· Dr. Sophia Yin, DVM, MS, The Art & Science of Animal Behavior - Dog Park Etiquette: Rules to Help Dogs Get Along
· The Whole Dog Journal: Dog Park Etiquette
Fur Kids Foundation board members believe that one very important way to keep pets healthy is to spay and neuter them. Today, we wanted to discuss why in four very simple points.
1. Spaying helps your female pet live a longer and healthier life. We’ve had multiple veterinarians, from all of the clinics in Gillette, tell us that spaying helps prevent uterine infections like pyometra and breast cancer. According to the ASPCA, breast cancer is fatal in nearly 50 percent of dogs and 90 percent of cats. Spaying your pet before her first heat offers the best protection from these diseases.
2. Neutering your male pet helps to prevent aggression, roaming, urine marking, and a variety of other unwanted male behaviors. It also helps to prevent testicular cancer in male dogs.
3. It’s affordable. Look at it this way: can you afford the cost of your pet having a littler? Listen to us: The cost of your pet's spay or neuter procedure is much, much less than the cost of having and caring for a litter.
4. It’s good for the community and helps to fight pet overpopulation. According to the ASPCA, stray animals pose a real problem in many parts of the country. They can prey on wildlife, cause car accidents, damage the local fauna and frighten children. Spaying and neutering packs a powerful punch in reducing the number of animals on the streets, and in shelters or rescues. The 2012 City of Gillette Animal Control Report, states that more than 1,000 animals were euthanized in the local animal shelter, down from nearly 1,300 in 2011. The ASPCA reports that every year, millions of pets are euthanized or suffer as strays. Many times, the animals in shelters are the offspring of family pets. Much of this could have been prevented by spaying or neutering.
Dogs and cats can be fixed at any time during their life span. Your veterinarian can address any concerns there might be about performing the procedure.
Spay or neuter your pet for a healthy and happy life. It’s really that simple. If that doesn't sway you, we also encourage it because of stories like these from Black Dog Animal Rescue:
In mid-July, the Foundation updated it's Application for Assistance to help us better assist people who need help with veterinary emergencies. We now require proof of identification as well as proof of income with each application. We are very hopeful that this will also help us apply for more grants.
July kept our case managers busy, much like June. We had 19 families apply for assistance, and we were able to help 13 of those families keep their pets healthy -- for a total of $2,326.31 given in aid. Below is a brief description of the cases we helped, and be sure to check out our Success Stories:
We have come a long way since we organized in 2011, and we know it’s because of the wonderful support that we receive from our volunteers and donors. Thank you for all that you do for Fur Kids Foundation and the families with pets in our community.
If you would like to help Fur Kids Foundation continue to help families with animals, please consider making a tax-deductible donation. The money helps families during a time when they may not be able to afford adequate veterinary care.
Created in November 2011, the Fur Kids Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides education and aid to promote the well-being of animals in Campbell County.
Your donation saves lives. It goes to work helping animals in Campbell County receive adequate veterinary care during a time when their family may not be able to afford it. Please contact the Foundation to learn more or donate now using PayPal.
The Fur Kids Foundation blog is written by board member and Founder Felicia. If you have ideas that you would like to see published in the blog such as concerns about pet-focused topics in the community or a funny story, please contact the Foundation. Enjoy!