The Case Against Dog Parks

The dogs may not be having as much fun as you think, writes Julie V. Iovine
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 6, 2023 9:35 AM CDT
The Case Against Dog Parks
   (Getty / felixmizioznikov)

It's advice sure to rile up a certain breed of dog people: "Skip the dog park." So argues Julie V. Iovine in a New York Times essay. These parks may seem great for humans, but Iovine makes the case they are not so great for dogs. "Rather than thinking of them as an oasis, we'd be wiser to think of dog parks as under-supervised and vaguely dirty watering holes during thunderstorms when there's a good chance of lightning: high risk, and best avoided." Sure, some dogs love them, but many others suffer stress at the prospect of interacting with a large pack of random, stranger dogs.

"Those loopy circles that dogs make in a dog park, called the zoomies? Those could be playful, or they could very well may be your dog screaming, 'I just can't take it anymore!'" she writes. For these dogs, the park is more like a "thunderdome," and the lingering stress and exhaustion can last for days. So "stop worrying so much about socializing your dog in exactly the right way," writes Iovine. "She may enjoy running around with other breeds sometimes, but studies suggest the truth is that she'd be happiest of all just playing with you." Read the full essay. (Or read other stories about dogs.)

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