The Official Houston SPCA Humane Education Blog

Teaching us about our animal friends


Houston Dog Park Directory

blog pic

A healthy and active lifestyle promotes not only our own quality of life, but that of our animal companions. With National Parks & Recreation Month underway in July, there is no time like the present to grab your dog and head out to your neighborhood parks.

Many parks in the Houston area offer separate or adjacent parks designed just for dogs, where they can run, jump, play and exercise. Check out these great options in your community, and make sure to observe safe practices to avoid heat stroke and other heat-related illnesses (link) while out this summer. And don’t forget, each dog park has their own rules for people and the animals they bring. For more information on dog park etiquette, check out our post on dog park manners: https://houstonspca.wordpress.com/2015/02/19/houston-spcas-dog-park-manners/

Houston

Alexander Deussen Dog Park

Harris County Precinct 1 opened the 5.25-acre Alexander Deussen Dog Park, 12303 Sonnier St., in Houston in July 2010 with separate areas for small and large dogs, plenty of shade, benches and drinking fountains for the entire family to enjoy. The park is fenced for your safety and security.

Congressman Bill Archer Bark Park

This summer, the dogs can have a blast while taking a splash at Congressman Bill Archer Bark Park, 3201 Hwy. 6, across from Bear Creek Park in West Houston. The Harris County Precinct 3 park boasts doggie swimming ponds, water fountains and plenty of shade to keep your animals cool. Open daily from dawn until dusk.

Danny Jackson Bark Park

Another Harris County Precinct 3 property, Danny Jackson Bark Park, 4700 Westpark, offers fun for you and man’s best friend inside the loop, and features separate areas for large and small dogs, each with their own pond, shade trees and a walking path.

Discovery Green Dog Runs

Two dog parks await you at the City of Houston’s lush green space downtown known as Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney. The Kinder Large Dog Run and Harriet and Joe Foster Small Dog Run offer your pets their own space for off-leash adventures in the middle of the city’s abundant people park. Crushed gravel ground cover, shade, fountains and seating areas help make an exciting experience for all members of the family.

Ervan Chew Dog Park

Ervan Chew Dog Park, 4502 Dunlavy, was the City of Houston’s first neighborhood park to allow dogs to legally run off leash and provides a fenced-in space of approximately 9,000 square feet from which dogs can exercise without restriction. The park features a small neighborhood park adjacent to the space for the kids, plus a water fountain, large shade trees and benches for the family.

Gene Green Dog Park

Gene Green Dog Park, 6500 E. Sam Houston Parkway, is one of the area’s larger dog parks, and features a pond and plenty of greenery to enjoy with the entire member of your family. A neighboring skate and splash park will have the kids enjoying some outdoor time too at this park operated by Harris County Precinct 2.

Johnny Steele Dog Park

Johnny Steele Dog Park, 2929 Allen Pkwy., sits adjacent to Buffalo Bayou on two beautiful acres near Allen Parkway and Montrose Blvd. The park features large and small dog ponds, large shade structures, water play features, a dog wash station, and drinking fountains for people and dogs. There is limited parking available alongside the Allen Parkway frontage road. The park is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Levy Park

Looking for a small dog park inside the loop? Leave it to Levy Park’s dog park, 3801 Eastside, in Houston, which offers a little shade, ample parking, and a dog water fountain. The park is operated by the City of Houston.

Maxey Bark and Run Park

The approximately 13-acre Maxey Bark and Run Park, 601 Maxey Rd., features separate areas for small and large dogs, a dog shower area, waste disposal stations, and plenty of shade trees to enjoy with your favorite animals.

Millie Bush Bark Park

The 13-acre Harris County Precinct 3 park, 16756 Westheimer Parkway, named after the beloved pet English Springer Spaniel of President George H.W. and Barbara Bush features a double-gated and fenced area for small and large dogs, several swimming ponds, water fountains for people and dogs, and an abundance of shade trees.

Tanglewood Bark Park

Nestled at the corner of Bering and Woodway in Houston lies Tanglewood Bark Park, 5801 Woodway Dr., a small neighborhood park offering off-leash access for you and your dogs. Operated by the City of Houston.

TC Jester Bark Park

This City of Houston park in the city’s northwest side, 4201 TC Jester Blvd., offers separate small and large dog areas, double-gated entrances, a variety of drinking fountains for man and dog, and ample shade trees and benches to rest. Located behind the baseball fields at TC Jester swimming pool.

Tom Bass Regional Dog Park

Operated by Harris County Precinct 1, the Tom Bass Regional Dog Park is located at 3452 Fellows Rd.

West Webster Bark Park

Montrose’s pocket park, West Webster, 1501 W. Webster St., boasts a 5,000 square-foot dog park within that includes a drinking fountain and a dog wash area. Operated by the City of Houston.

Baytown

A Bounty of Fun Awaits at Baytown Bark Park

Large dogs can find a variety of agility equipment only steps from the neighboring skate park at Baytown Bark Park, 4334 Crosby Cedar Bayou, in Baytown. This 5-acre park features tree-lined walking paths, areas for large and small breeds, covered awning and benches, and wooded trails that connect the parks together in the vicinity.

Conroe

Canine Fun in Conroe

When the Wiggins Village Park (565 Bryant Rd., Conroe, TX 77303) opened in 1998, it boasted three baseball practice fields that eventually gave way a decade later to one of the area’s largest dog parks after two of those fields were repurposed for you and man’s best friend. Conroe residents can also enjoy access to off-leash playtime at Kasmiersky Park, 889 Old Magnolia Rd.

Deer Park

Enjoy Man’s Best Friend at Ela and Friends

The City of Deer Park features a two-acre dog park next to the Jimmy Burke Activity Center, 500 W. 13th St., constructed by Deer Park Rotary Club and the city.

Katy

Plan on a Trip to Mary Jo Peckham Park

The City of Katy offers a 14-acre park near Mary Jo Peckham Park, 5414 Franz Rd., created for both people and dog use, and includes access to lots of shade and trees, a paved walking trail and two water fountains. Dogs will find use of the park’s attractive agility equipment, and you’ll like the abundance of benches and washing areas available.

Kingwood

Aaby Dog Park

A joint initiative between Kingwood Kennels and the Aaby Foundation, the Kingwood Aaby Dog Park, 619 Lakeville Dr., offers residents the opportunity to enjoy off-leash exercise and socialization in a safe and fun environment. Residents must complete a registration form and show proof of updated vaccinations to receive access to the park, good for one year. Open daily from dusk until dawn.

Pasadena

Take in the Shade at Bay Area Bark Park

Pasadena’s five-acre Bay Area Bark Park, 7500 Bay Area Blvd.,  has an abundance of shade with a variety of trees and covered awnings, and features benches, picnic tables, a walking path, dog and people water fountains, a waste bag station, dog showers and separate areas for large and small dogs.

Pearland

Stroll on Down to Southdown

The City of Pearland offers dogs and their owners a place made just for them, with shade, benches and a variety of brightly-colored agility equipment to enjoy. Southdown Dog Park is located at 2150 County Rd. 94 (Smith Ranch Road).

Sugarland

Pack Your Bags for Pawn Springs

The City of Sugarland operates an exquisite, tropical retreat at Pawn Springs Bark Park, 15300 University Blvd., where dogs and their owners can enjoy a resort-style pond, a beach area, a misting palm tree feature and tropical plants and trees.

The Woodlands

Wet and Wild Fun at Bear Beach Dog Park

Residents and visitors of The Woodlands will enjoy a splash of fun with their dogs at Bear Branch Dog Park, 5200 Research Forest Dr., where visitors will find more than two acres of bark-covered play areas for dogs big and small. A “water play station” provides ample relief from these hot summer months, and amenities including dog waste bag stations and plenty of shade. Please note, children 9 and under are not permitted in the dog park.

Catch Sun and Fun at the Cattail Dog Park

Across from the Palmer Gold Club house in Cattail Park, 9323 Cochrans Crossing Dr., lies a quaint dog park where visitors can enjoy a space to play with their dogs. The park features a double gated and fenced area with doggie bags, a water fountain and cool-off station, and bulletin board for community events.

Small Dogs Rule at Terramont Dog Park

Neighboring the Village of Sterling Ridge, the Terramont Dog Park offers a small park for dogs of 25 lbs. or less.  The park is located at 8500 Terramont Ln.

Tomball

Burroughs Park Brings Man and Dog Together

The 320-acre Burroughs Park, 9738 Hufsmith Rd., in Tomball lines a beautiful expanse of land, a seven-acre fishing lake and even boasts a dog park to enjoy with your pets. The park, operated by Harris County Precinct 4, includes plenty of shade and eight miles of nature trails.

For more information about the Houston SPCA or to support our life-saving efforts, visit www.HoustonSPCA.org.


3 Comments

Driving Home Animal Safety: Never Leave Pets in a Hot Car

Dog left in hot car

Never leave your cats, dogs and other pets in a hot car.

With the summer sun set high in the sky comes the threat of people and animals trapped in a hot car. Yet, unlike us, animals have no means of escaping the life or death situations that can occur if left inside a car during the summer.

You should never risk leaving an animal alone in the car, even if you only plan to be away for a few minutes.

heat-safety-weekEven if you park in a shaded area or crack the window, temperatures can climb to more than 120 degrees within just a few minutes. All the while, the body temperature of your pet will continue to rise. If their temperature rises above 106 degrees, your pets can suffer heatstroke, resulting in seizures, organ damage and even death.

Before you head out with your pets in tow, consider whether or not you will be traveling to places that require you to leave them inside the vehicle. If you are, it’s best to leave them at home rather than risk their health or safety.

What to Do If I Find an Animal Trapped in a Car

If you should spot an animal trapped inside a car, take immediate action to prevent harm to the animal:

  • First, call 911 and request emergency assistance from your local law enforcement.
  • Second, contact the Houston SPCA at 713-869-SPCA (7722) to report this form of animal cruelty.
  • Third, notify management of any adjacent stores or businesses of the make and model of the vehicle. They may be able to page for the owner who can open the vehicle.

Together, let’s ensure a safe and healthy summer for all creatures great and small. Thank you for being proactive in protecting animals throughout Houston.

Founded in 1924, the Houston SPCA provides the most comprehensive array of animal adoption, shelter, rescue, rehabilitation and other programs and services in the Gulf Coast area. Check out all of our adoptable animals and consider the adoption option this summer.

Houston SPCA Summer Heat Safety Week

The information contained in this article is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure any ailment or disease, and is provided for reference. Please consult with your veterinarian with questions or concerns related to heat safety.


3 Comments

Sand, Sun and Safety: 9 Tips for Taking Your Pets to the Beach

Everyone loves a day at the beach, including your pets!

Everyone loves a day at the beach, including your pets!

Pack a tote bag and load up the car! The beach is calling! But before you and your pet head off to enjoy the sand and surf, there are things you can do to keep your four-legged friend safe from heatstroke and other summer dangers.

Hydration is the Name of the Game

Like us humans, animals can fall victim to dehydration in the summer months. If you’re headed to the beach, pack plenty of fresh water for your pets, and a bowl they can access regularly for refreshment.

When you’re at the beach, be sure to frequently monitor your dog’s activities. If she doesn’t have enough cool, clean water to consume, she may resort to drinking seawater, which can cause additional dehydration, an upset stomach or even salt toxicity.

heat-safety-weekKnow the Signs of Heatstroke

While we rely on sweat to help cool our bodies down, dogs pant to remove body heat. If your dog is panting hard or in a way that is out of character, find shelter immediately from an umbrella, beach tent or other structure, and make cool, clean water available. Take special care with short-faced dogs, like bulldogs or pugs, since they are more susceptible to heatstroke.

Keep Their Paws Cool

Hot sand, gravel, shells and other beach surfaces can seriously injure the paws of your animal. Make a beach towel available for your dog, and be sure to rinse and examine their paws before leaving.

Apply Sunscreen Liberally to Your Pets, As Well

Too much sun exposure is equally as bad for your cats and dogs, and can result in sunburns and an increased risk in skin cancer for every member of your family. Use a sunscreen with SPF 15 or 30 on dogs, especially on breeds with lighter coats. Use a non-toxic, hypoallergenic sunscreen specially formulated for pets.

Not All Dogs Can Do the Paddle

While some dogs are adept swimmers, others may struggle in the water. Even if your dog can swim, exhaustion can set in at any moment and present a dangerous situation. Keep careful watch of your pet, and never allow her to get too far beyond the shore. Never force a dog into the water if they seem uncomfortable or are unable to stay afloat on their own.

A canine life vest will help keep your dog safe in water or while on a boat, Make sure the vest is fitted properly, since loose-fitting vests can be a choking hazard, or may cause the dog to slip out in the water.

Watch for Algae and Red Tides

Red tides which appear in salt water, and blue-green algae which can be found in freshwater both present the possibility of irritating the skin of your pets. Your dog can also experience digestive problems, liver failure, and even death if these toxins are ingested. If you detect red tide or blue-green algae, keep your pet away from the water.

Support the Houston SPCA’s Mission – Make a Donation

Pack a Picnic—and Watch What They Eat

Always pack snacks and a meal for your dog — fun at the beach can work up an appetite. Monitor her activities closely to be sure she doesn’t eat seaweed, decaying fish or other refuse, which can cause an upset stomach.

Avoid the Dunes, Grasses and Marshes

Dogs love to explore, but be very careful before allowing your animals to scout out grassy areas of the beach that could be infested with ticks, snakes and other dangers. Always check your dog’s coat and skin for signs of bites and ticks after visiting the beach.

Observe Good Pet Ownership

Always keep your dog leashed while at the beach, and follow all local laws and ordinances. Be a responsible owner by picking up her waste and disposing of it properly.

Need a friend to take to the beach? Check out all of the Houston SPCA’s adoptable animals. Founded in 1924, the Houston SPCA provides the most comprehensive array of animal adoption, shelter, rescue, rehabilitation and other programs and services in the Gulf Coast area.

Houston SPCA Summer Heat Safety Week

Sources and Recommended Reading


Heat Stroke in Pets: Signs and Prevention Tips

heat-safety-weekSummertime is here and so are the scorching hot temperatures that make us all reach for that extra glass of water. Did you know that, like humans, your pets can suffer from heatstroke? In fact, being outside all day or in a warm environment can affect an animal’s health just as much as it can affect ours.

Here are some signs and symptoms of heatstroke in cats and dogs, as well as ways to prevent it happening to your pet.

If your pets have any of the following signs or symptoms, take them to your veterinarian or an emergency veterinary clinic immediately!

Signs of Heat Stroke in Cats and Dogs

  • Excessive panting
  • Excessive thirst
  • Bright or dark red gums
  • Vomiting
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Weakness/difficultly moving
  • Increased pulse and heartbeat
  • Excessive drooling
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness

How to Keep Your Pets Cool this Summer

  • Keep your pets inside the house while you’re away. Your pets love the air conditioning as much as you do.
  • Always find a shaded area for your pet — keeping them out of the sun will help cool their body.
  • Avoid heavy exercise with your pets during the hottest hours of the day. Exercise with your pets outside during the early morning or late evening hours to keep them from overheating.
  • Have fresh water available for your pet at all times.
  • Be sure to use cool water, since ice water may constrict blood vessels and impedes the cooling process.
  • Place cool, wet cloths around your pet’s paws. This helps with the heat that is being released through the pads of their paws.

If you think your pet may be suffering from heatstroke, call your veterinarian immediately. It’s always important to watch your pet for any behaviors that seem abnormal. At the first sign of abnormal behavior, it’s time to act.

Don’t forget to keep yourself hydrated this summer along with your pets!

Houston SPCA Summer Heat Safety Week

Founded in 1924, the Houston SPCA provides the most comprehensive array of animal adoption, shelter, rescue, rehabilitation and other programs and services in the Gulf Coast area. Check out all of our adoptable animals and consider the adoption option this summer.

Thank You for Supporting the Houston SPCA’s Mission – Make a Donation!

The information contained in this article is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure any ailment or disease, and is provided for reference. Please consult with your veterinarian with questions or concerns related to heat safety.


Animal Behavior: How to Introduce Yourself to a New Cat or Dog

When meeting new people, you probably don’t walk right up and hold their hand or give them the biggest hug you can, right? That could be awkward or uncomfortable depending on the person you are meeting. The same rules apply when meeting new animals.

Learning the cues that animals give us before walking up and petting them is incredibly important and can determine the beginning of your relationship with that animal. Let’s check out some common animal behaviors that you can look for to help with your first interaction with a new dog or cat.

For both cats and dogs we will discuss vocalization and body language.

Why Do Cats Purr? (And Other Cat Sounds)

Cats vocalize in quite a few ways, all of which can give you a clue as to how they are feeling. Here are a few sounds that can help you determine if you can safely pet a new cat friend:

  • Purring is normally a sign that your cat is pretty happy. If your cat is purring, they probably wouldn’t mind some love and attention. For a new cat, you could introduce yourself calmly and start to pet them gently.
  • Chirrups are sounds that a mother cat would typically use towards her kittens. You may hear your cat use a ‘chirp’ to ask you for something or ask you to follow them somewhere. Sometimes it helps when meeting a new cat to practice making a small chirping sound so the cat can be more comfortable around you.
  • Hissing or growling (YES, cats can growl!)indicate a cat who is upset, angry or frightened. Stay away from this cat! They are definitely not safe to pet.

What is Your Cat’s Body Telling You?

A cat’s body language is incredibly indicative of how they are feeling at that moment in time. You have to keep a cat’s eyes, tail, ears and overall body posture in mind when determining if you can pet them or not.

The chart below (from artist Lili Chin -DoggieDrawings.net) is a great resource for visualizing what we are talking about:

NEW: Cat Language!A big thank you to the Training and Behavior Dept of Oregon Humane Society for their help with cat body language information. I have been a cat-less dog person for many many years, so some of this stuff was new to me! For example, I didn’t know that cats also emoted with their WHISKERS (relaxed = fanned out and horizontal; anxious = pulled backwards) Pupils, ear positions, body weight, and tails are the other indicators of how a cat is feeling. *As with dog body language, we look at the whole body and context *. And yes, cats feel and express DISGUST. I didn’t make this up. :)I will be selling 11″ x 17″ and 11″ x 14″ Cat Language prints at CatConLA this weekend, along with other cat-related stuff! I hope to see you there! Booth #333.If you cannot attend CatConLA, a print-resolution version of Cat Language will soon be available as a FREE DOWNLOAD from my website at www.doggiedrawings.net/freeposters   [Please feel free to share, download, print, distribute! As per the Creative Commons License terms on my website: please don’t crop, modify, or use these images commercially.]Donations are always welcome and appreciated. :)- Lili x

The best way to say “hi” to a cat you do not know is to turn your face or body sideways,  then hold out one finger, at right about the height of her head, so she can come up and give you a good sniff. You only want to do this if the cat looks relaxed and calm. You definitely don’t want to offer your finger towards a cat who is hissing at you.

Once the cat has sniffed you and possibly rubbed her head on your hand, you can go ahead and pet her gently behind the ears or on their back. You do not want to put your face near hers— she may like being pet, but you do not know if she will want to be that close to you.

To meet a cat who may be shy, remember to be calm and patient. Never try to force interaction with a cat. Oftentimes a cat will approach someone who is not paying attention to them at all because they feel less threatened. You can try to use toys or small cat treats as ice breakers for a shy cat. It may just take a bit of time for the cat to warm up to you.

Why Do Dogs Bark? What Are They Saying?

Dog vocalization is also diverse, just like cats, and can include barks, whines and growls.

A dog’s bark can actually mean quite a few things and learning to tell between the different types of barks can help make your first introduction to a new dog a bit smoother.

If the dog you want to pet has a high-pitched bark, that may indicate excitement and happiness. They may want to play with you or want you to give them a treat. Dogs also have a low-pitched bark that may be indicating or alerting you to something going on that you do not know about yet. They may or may not want to be pet if they are vocalizing with a low-pitched bark.

If the dog you want to pet is whining, they might be frustrated or want something they cannot get to. Whining may also sound very close to whimpering, which can indicate that the dog does not feel well. Definitely pay attention to the dog’s body language. He may be frustrated he is not being pet enough or might not be feeling up to being pet by a stranger.

And as you already know, dogs can growl. Growling is the way a dog tells people and other animals to back off and give him space.  Never pet a dog that is growling at you or any animals near you. And be sure not to punish a dog for growling- it’s actually a very important form of communication that dogs use, and punishing them for growling means they might not warn you before they bite in the future.

Reading Your Dog’s Body Language

When looking at a dog you want to pet, always be aware of their ears, tail, hairs on their back (hackles) and overall body posture. The chart below gives great examples of what a dog may be feeling based on their body language.

So how do we introduce ourselves to a new dog? First,  you do not want to stand directly over the dog. He probably doesn’t want to feel overwhelmed by having someone stand over him. Stand or sit next to the new dog and offer him your hand, palm down. Let the dog sniff your hand and if they look like they are comfortable, give them a gentle pet behind the ears or under their chin. Don’t go straight for the top of the head- this makes dogs very uncomfortable!

You always want to avoid the dog’s mouth on your first pet. That’s where the teeth are. If the dog you are meeting looks a little nervous, give him time. Some dogs do warm up to people really quickly, others may take some time and patience for them to give you a good sniff and feel comfortable with you.

This quick introduction guide is a great start for meeting new cats and dogs. If you are looking to adopt a new cat or dog into your family, this guide will help you when interacting with new animals at the Houston SPCA! Before taking an animal to your home to join your family, spend a good 10 to 15 minutes with them in our Meet and Greet rooms so you can see if the dog or cat’s personality matches that of your family.

To see all of our amazing adoptable animals, visit www.HoustonSPCA.org today!

Sources:
http://www.cathealth.com/how-and-why/greeting-a-cat
http://www.dogster.com/dog-training/dog-body-language
Humane Society of the United States


Brushing up on Your Pet’s Dental Health

donate button  adopt button  volunteer button  report abuse button

February is pet dental health awareness month. To celebrate we have some of our very own smiling pups here to tell you all about keeping your pet’s teeth healthy!

dogsmile3

You know your dentist’s orders: Brush and floss twice a day to keep your human teeth nice and healthy. But what about your pet’s teeth?

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of oral disease by age three! Dental care is not always a priority at a vet’s office, but as a pet owner you can make it one. Having your pet’s teeth cleaned properly by a veterinarian can help prevent infections and prolong your pet’s life.

dogsmile2

Let’s discuss ways to keep your pet’s teeth nice and healthy:

1. Take your pet to get a dental exam at your veterinarian’s office at least once a year.

2. Start a dental-care regimen at home – ask your vet for appropriate methods to help keep your pet’s teeth clean on a daily basis.

3. Schedule a yearly dental cleaning with your veterinarian. You have to go to the dentist once a year for a full dental cleaning – your pet should too!

dogsmile

Common signs of dental disease (if your pet exhibits any of these, please take them to your veterinarian):

  • Consistently stinky breath
  • Loose or discolored teeth or teeth covered in tartar
  • Your pet is not comfortable with you touching their mouth
  • Abnormal drooling or dropping food from the mouth
  • Bleeding from the gums
  • Loss of appetite or loss of weight

dogsmile4

To find out more about pet dental health, visit these sites:

https://www.avma.org/Events/pethealth/Pages/February-is-National-Pet-Dental-Health-Month.aspx

https://community.petco.com/t5/animal-care/How-to-Brush-Your-Dog-s-Teeth/ba-p/54644

http://www.vetstreet.com/care/dental-health

For more information about the Houston SPCA, visit our website: www.HoustonSPCA.org


1 Comment

Minding Your Bark Park Manners: How to make the most of your dog park experience!

 donate button  adopt button  volunteer button  report abuse button

Dog parks can be an excellent way for you and your pet to get exercise and enjoy the outdoors. It is very important to know some basic facts and rules about dog park etiquette before bringing your dog into the local bark park. Most importantly, it is absolutely essential to be aware of canine body language to ensure the safety and enjoyment of your dog and the dogs around you!

Top 10 Dog Park Manners from the Houston SPCA:

Dog Park Run
1. Make sure your dog enjoys the dog park! If it looks like he’s overwhelmed or won’t leave your side, maybe the dog park just isn’t for him. And that’s OK!

Dog Park Water Bowl
2. Know your dog… and your dog’s limitations. You may think he’s having a blast, but make sure he isn’t ruining the fun for everyone else! Some dogs just don’t play well with others.


3. Survey the crowd first! Even if the park is usually fine, there might be different dogs that aren’t the best playmates. If it looks like your pup won’t get along with the others, it’s safest to just leave.


4. Only bring your dog in the appropriate designated size areas. Even if your little dog LOVES big dogs, there might be some dogs who think she’s a stuffed toy, so she’s safest in the small dog area.


5. If you see behavior you don’t like from other people’s pets, just leave. It’s not worth arguing with a stranger. If enough people leave, or management is called, then they will eventually get the message.

6. Don’t try to break up a dog fight by yourself. If you can, spray the dogs with water. Never grab a riled up dog by the collar —that’s the fastest way to get bit! Even your own dog can get caught up in the moment and bite you.

Dog Park Man Bench
7. Keep a copy of your dog’s current vaccination records on hand, and always keep current rabies tags and registrations on your dog’s collar.


8. Children under the age of 16 should ALWAYS be accompanied by an adult, and it is generally frowned upon to bring babies and toddlers into a park full of sharp claws and teeth.


9. Leave food, treats and toys at home. These can cause competition and fights over resources.

a471e-dp061614b
10. SCOOP THE POOP! Every single time! Keep a vigilant eye on Fido so you don’t miss a mess!

Exercise and socialization are vital elements of a dog’s life, and dog parks can absolutely offer both of these. However, it shouldn’t be relied on as their only form of stimulation. Be sure to take your dog for long, interesting walks and provide them with appropriate attention and affection. Many dogs enjoy and look forward to their regular trips to the local dog park. Be responsible and observant to ensure that every visit is an enjoyable one!

For more information about the Houston SPCA visit our website: www.HoustonSPCA.org