8 Dog Park Tips For You and Your 4-legged Friend

You and your dog have been cooped up in the house for some time now, and you both are ready to get some fresh air, so you decide to go to the dog park. 

There are few things we should all be thinking about before we turn our 4 legged friends loose at an off-leash dog park, today we will discuss some great dop park trips. 

1) Wait to go until your dog is old enough

If your dog is still too small and wild, it will be hard to get them to obey you at the park with all of the distractions of other dogs, people, and possible traffic going by.


2) Be respectful of other dogs’ sizes

Little dogs always look so cute… but just because they are small, doesn’t make them friendly. A little dog can still attack. Make sure you and your dog take the time to introduce yourselves to the other dogs. 


3) Maintain your dog’s health and paperwork

We already know the importance of keeping our fur buddies healthy for their sake, but if we are venturing out to public places, it is even more important. Make sure they have their shots current and taking their heartworm medicine. Hopefully, it never happens, but if your dog attacks someone at the park, you will need to verify it has had a current rabies shot. It is a good idea to keep a copy easily accessible on your phone. 


4) Do a test run

Before going to the dog park on the weekend, see if you are able to get by during non-peak hours to test that place out and see how your pup handles the environment and test their behavior. Having fewer distractions is a great way for them to get comfortable with their surroundings.


5) Let Them Go off-leash

The best part about the dog park is watching our furry friends run wild and free! It is a great time for them to get some exercise and make some new friends, but as we’ve mentioned above, make sure they are ready. The last thing you need is “Fido” running wild, causing a ruckus, and your dog attacks a kid or another dog. 


6) Clean up after your dog and yourself

Good dog park etiquette includes cleaning up your dog’s mess and of course yours. If your dog decides to do his business at the park, be sure you have baggies to clean it up, no one enjoys stepping in poop. Also, if you take some snacks and drink for yourself, be sure to throw them away when you’re done. 


7) Keep a close eye on your dog

As dog owners, we are like parents but for our 4 legged kids haha. And these kids can get wild real quick! Be sure to know where your dog is at, this could prevent issues or injury to your dog or someone else and their dog. The last thing we want is for your dog to bite someone, and they file a personal injury case against you. 


8) Put your dog’s safety first

Keeping our dogs safe, is our responsibility as pet owners. We owe it to them to do our best to keep them out of harm’s way. If you are entering the park and notice a few wild and aggressive dogs, it is ok to turn around and leave. There is no need to increase the chances of getting your dog or yourself injured. 


Wrapping it up

Dog parks are a great time for us and are really fun for our pups, so it is up to us to make sure we are following the park rules, take time to socialize our dog and do everything we can to make sure our friends have a good experience at the park. 

Always make sure to pack snacks, water, and a water bowl to make sure they stay hydrated when playing. Must of all, apply these park safety tips and have a fun day out! 


4 Common Reasons Why Dogs Bite

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4.5 million dog bites occur each year in the United States, with an estimated 1 in 5 bites becoming infected. With a number this high, it’s important to take every precaution to avoid becoming part of this statistic. One precaution includes understanding what causes dogs to bite. From feeling territorial to aggression caused by pain, there are many reasons a dog will lash out at their owner or a bystander. Learn more about 4 of the most common reasons for dog bites here.


Maternal Instinct

In the first few weeks after a female dog gives birth, she is the main source of everything her puppies need to survive – warmth, emotion, nourishment, and protection. Even if your dog is normally outgoing and friendly, this new role in her life can cause maternal aggression if she feels her newborns are at risk. To reduce the risk of a dog bite or attack, be aware of the new mother’s need for a safe space. Keep visitors to a minimum and only allow for 1-2 adult family members near the space at one time if you have friends visiting



Like humans, each dog has their own limit for pain and irritation. There are breeds that are commonly known for their pain sensitivity, such as chihuahuas, but most likely to bite or act out if they are in pain. If you notice your dog becoming irritable or acting out of character when you attempt to check a certain area for an injury, you should take your dog to your veterinarian or local animal hospital for treatment. 



A response involving fear aggression is usually directed towards strangers or visitors the dog is not very familiar with. Similar to people, dogs are naturally scared of unfamiliar and potentially dangerous situations. A scared dog may bark, lunge, or jump at whatever or whoever they perceive to be a threat. Loud noises, fast movements, and large groups of people are common causes of fear in dogs. There’s no specific breed or gender that fear aggression affects more, but it is commonly seen in dogs who were not exposed to socialization early on. 



In most cases, when a dog acts out in dominance aggression, it usually is pointed towards the dog’s human family. This happens during innocent interactions such as trying to move the dog off of the bed while changing the sheets or stepping over a dog laying in the middle of a doorway. A vocal warning can precede the bite and is caused by the dog’s belief that he is in charge. This behavior is common in unneutered males and more confident breeds, such as Chow Chows and Rottweilers. 


Understanding the reasons behind a dog’s aggression is a great step to working with your dog on their responses. According to an Indianapolis personal injury lawyer at Fountain Law Firm, P.C. who specializes in dog bites, a dog bite is not only emotionally traumatizing, but can also come along with many other obstacles, such as medical bills, plastic surgery, and other physical injuries. Before you interact with a new dog, take time to learn about their behavior and customs for the best results.

Dog Safety Tips for the Holiday Season

The holiday season spanning Thanksgiving to New Year’s is one of the most joyful, exciting times of the year. But it can be fraught with hazards for your furry friends. Check out these tips to help keep them safe and prevent an emergency trip to the vet.

Tell Guests You Have a Dog

If you have guests coming over, make sure to let them know ahead of time that you have a dog, especially if it’s a new pet or if they haven’t visited your house before. As wonderful as dogs are, some people are scared or allergic. They may need to take extra precautions, such as by bringing allergy medication or asking you to keep your dog in a separate room.

If the guests have young kids, they may also need to teach their kids how to be safe around dogs prior to coming over. Over 50% of the time, a child is the victim of a dog bite. This is an unfortunate statistic, so make sure to work together with your guests to ensure everyone knows what to do to stay safe.

On the other hand, perhaps a guest will want to bring their own dog. If you aren’t sure how the pets will get along, politely decline or spend some time supervising the pets to help them get acclimated to each other.

Avoid Feeding Your Dog Table Scraps

Many foods can be dangerous for dogs, so make sure you and your guests are on the safe page about keeping people food off-limits. Some foods to be particularly careful to avoid include:

  • Bones
  • Turkey and turkey skin
  • Candy, especially chocolate
  • Coffee grounds and beans
  • Citrus
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Onions
  • Raw eggs
  • Alcoholic beverages

The above foods are toxic to dogs, and many other human foods aren’t particularly good for dogs either. It’s best to err on the side of caution and only feed your pets the foods they normally eat. If you want to feed your dog something special to celebrate, you can always buy or make holiday-themed dog treats.

If you think your dog has been poisoned or eaten something they shouldn’t have, call your vet or local animal hospital right away. You might also want to call the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline at  (888) 426-4435

Provide a Safe Place for Escape

A loud holiday party may overwhelm your dog and lead to barking or aggressive behavior caused by stress. Prepare a quiet room or crate for your pet to escape the excitement. If you know your dog is anxious or easily excitable, you may want to put them in another room preemptively. Make sure to leave food, water, toys, and a bed in that room, so your dog can stay comfortable.

Though parties can be overwhelming for dogs, be sure not to put your furry friend outside during cold weather. It’s best to have a quiet, comfortable indoor space for your dog to relax. This is especially important to remember on New Year’s Eve, when fireworks and other loud noises might scare dogs.

Keep Decorations Out of Reach

Between the pine needles, glass lights, wires, and tinsel, Christmas trees can be quite dangerous for dogs. Be sure to avoid leaving your pet unattended with a Christmas tree, and keep all decorations out of reach. Plastic Christmas lights are safer than glass, and small or breakable ornaments should be above your dog’s reach or in a separate room they can’t get into. Also keep in mind that the water in the tree stand often contains bacteria or chemicals that could make your dog sick, so don’t let them drink out of it.

The same goes for candles and holiday plants like poinsettias, holly, or mistletoe: don’t leave your pet alone with these decorations. Candles should never be left unattended in general; having a dog loose around them greatly increases the risk of a fire. And these popular holiday plants can be toxic to pets.

Clean Up Quickly

Dogs are notorious for eating things they shouldn’t. Wrapping paper, ribbons, tissue paper, and other materials used to wrap gifts, can actually be dangerous to dogs if ingested. They can be a choking hazard or cause digestive issues. Instead of letting your furry friend play with the gift wrappings for an extended period of time, consider giving them their own stocking full of dog toys to ensure safe Christmas morning play time.

Additionally, make sure to clean up food right after a party or gathering and dispose of the trash somewhere your dog can’t get to it.

Dog Behavior Issues: Understanding & Treating Bad Habits

Certain dog behaviors are considered as bad if they become excessive and unwelcome. Unlike humans, dogs do not have a sense of what is right or wrong. It is up to the owner to teach their dog good behavior and correct bad behavioral issues. To fix or preventing certain bad behaviors, it is important to have a good understanding of what they are and what the cause may be.

Aggression and Biting

Aggression is one of the most common behavioral issues. While not all aggressive dogs bite, there is a strong possibility that dogs who show aggressive tendencies will end up biting someone. Treating aggression issues is important to avoid any liability from a possible dog bite.
Aggression can be caused by illness, injury, anxiety, fear, etc. In order to properly treat aggression issues, it is important to know what the cause of the aggression is.


It is important to remember that some dog breeds have a tendency to bark more than others. Barking is natural and is one form of vocal communication in dogs. However, when a dog’s barking becomes excessive, it becomes a behavioral issue. Some common reasons dogs may bark are:

  •  Attention seeking
  • Warning
  • Anxiety or fear
  • Bored or excited
  • Greeting someone

In order to reduce barking, owners will have to address the cause of the barking. Additionally, avoid rewarding or give your dog what they are asking for when they bark and reward them when they remain quiet.

Separation Anxiety

Like humans, all dogs can experience some form of anxiety. The most common type of anxiety dogs may experience is “separation anxiety”. Dogs who experience this may show destructive behavior when left alone including:

  • Urinating
  • Excessive barking, howling or whining
  • Chewing
  • Attempting to escape

Treatments for separation anxiety require training, behavior modifications, and medication in extreme cases. Treating dog separation anxiety will take time and effort from dog owners. If untreated, dog anxiety can lead to other behavioral issues such as aggression, excessive barking, and other destructive behavior.

Jumping on People

Jumping is common and natural in dogs. Dogs may jump on people to greet them or jump when seeking something in someone’s hand. Excessive jumping however can be annoying and can lead to injuries, especially in small children. Since this is often-times an attention-seeking behavior, owners should ignore their dogs when they jump up.


Begging happens when dogs site by the dinner table and ask for the owner’s food scraps. This is a habit that is often taught by owners. However, begging should not be encouraged as it can lead to obesity and digestive issues. The best way to treat this is to take preventative measures. Experts recommend telling your dog to go somewhere where they cannot see you. If they behave, you may reward them by giving them a treat or giving them your leftovers in their food bowl.

Who is Liable for Dog Bite Injuries & Property Damage at Work?

The question of whether to allow dogs in the workplace is one that many employers face. A dog-friendly office can be a major perk for many employees, and sometimes fulfilling ADA requirements supersede an employer’s decision, if an employee with disabilities requires a service animal to do their job.

Outside of ADA considerations, allowing pet dogs in the office can open an employer up to major liability, since generally, employers will be liable for dog attacks and damages that occur in the workplace, although dog owners share some of that liability. While the exact legal specifics may vary by state and individual case, the liability general falls into two categories: personal injury and property damage.

Personal Injury Liability

Unlike homeowners and renters insurance policies, which typically cover the legal expenses of dog bite liability, dogs in the workplace are not excluded from liability. If a dog attacks and injures an employee, customer, or any guests invited onsite, the business owner can be held liable. The dog owner could be liable as well, and the injured employee could potentially sue both the employer and the dog owner.

Property Damage Liability

Another factor to consider if dogs are allowed in the workplace is property damage. Dogs can be destructive, especially if they are bored or not adequately trained, and allowing them in an office can easily lead to the destruction of office equipment, including chairs, computer monitors, and carpets. These are all things the employer would have to replace if they get damaged by a dog. And if a dog damages another employee’s personal property that is rightfully in the office, the employer could be held liable.

Insurance & Indemnification

One solution to both of these liability issues is to have comprehensive rules for dogs allowed in the office. The employer may choose to require the owner to get insurance that covers any injuries their dog causes. They can also require that employees planning to bring dogs to work sign an indemnification agreement, meaning the employee will have to cover the cost of defending the company against dog bite injury cases. In addition, the employer can ask the employee to sign a contract saying they will cover the cost of property damaged by their dog.

While some employees may think these policies seem extreme or unnecessary, they help ensure that a dog-friendly office is also employer-friendly by limiting the liability the company faces if problems arise.


Welcoming furry friends to the workplace can contribute to a better work culture, helping to attract and retain employees. While not all risks can be avoided, employers can take steps to limit their liability while making employees happy. In addition to the policies regarding insurance, the employer should create written policies explaining the details of the dog-friendly office that include everything from how often dogs are allowed to be there to what will happen if a dog misbehaves. 

Ultimately, each business owner will have to weigh the benefits against the risks and then decide. If employers establish detailed, well-thought-out policies that they enforce fairly, there is a much better chance of the program working out well for all parties involved: employers, landlords, employees, and dogs.

Dogs in the Workplace: ADA Considerations

Should dogs be allowed in the workplace?

From employer liability to improving office culture, there are strong arguments to be made on both sides. Generally, it is up to the employer to weigh the pros and cons of a dog-friendly office then decide accordingly. But in some cases, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) dictates whether dogs must (or must not) be allowed in a specific workplace based on individual employee needs.

Here we will examine a few examples of common scenarios that arise related to dogs in the workplace and the ADA. If you fall into one of these categories and find that your employer is not complying with federal regulations, you may need to contact an employee rights lawyer in your area who handles ADA cases.

ADA Provisions for Service Dogs

If an employee with a disability requires a service animal to help them perform the essential functions of the job, the ADA generally requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations, as requested by the employee. In this case, the accommodation would be allowing the dog, provided that doing so does not cause the employer undue hardship.

It is important to note that only dogs are recognized as service animals: Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. (Some states may use a broader definition than the ADA’s.) The service animal must stay under the owner’s control and must be restrained.

Service dogs may not be accommodated in workplaces requiring a sterile environment, like a medical lab or a restaurant kitchen. Allowing dogs in those types of settings may compromise patient, product, or food safety.

ADA Provisions for Animal Allergies

While dog allergies do not invalidate the provisions of the ADA, the law may also protect a person with allergies serious enough to be a disability. And even if not considered a disability, the allergies could make that employee less productive, indicating 

If an employee has a severe allergic reaction to dogs, the employer will most likely not be allowed to open the workplace to dogs. But if one employee requires a service dog and another is severely allergic, there can be a conflict.

When These Needs Conflict

Unfortunately, there’s no clear-cut solution to the conflict, and people have a variety of opinions on this topic. According to the ADA, ideally, the employer will find a way to keep the two in separate areas of the building, so the one can have their service dog and the other can avoid the allergy trigger.

Additional adjustments may be required to develop a win-win solution. Since creating ADA accommodations is a unique, interactive process that requires good-faith discussion, the employer and the two affected employees should meet to discuss their options. Possibilities to consider include:

  • Provide one or both employees with private/enclosed workspace.
  • Use a portable air purifier at each workstation.
  • Adjust the employees’ work schedules so they do not work at the same time.
  • Allow one of the employees to work from home or in another location.
  • Allow employees to take rest breaks if needed (ie: to take allergy medicine).
  • Ask the employee who uses the dog if he or she is able to temporarily use other accommodations during meetings attended by both employees.
  • Provide alternatives to in-person communication, such as email and videoconferencing.
  • Add HEPA filters to the office’s ventilation system.
  • Ensure that the work area (including carpets and floors) is cleaned, dusted, and vacuumed regularly.

Different Degrees of Dog-Friendliness

For employer liability purposes and dog allergies, the best decision may be to limit dogs in the workplace to service animals, rather than allowing for a dog-friendly office that allows employees to bring their dogs to work as they please. If having dogs is seen as a major perk, one option is to make it a special occasion rather than an everyday thing by holding an annual or semi-annual Bring Your Pet to Work Day.

How Does Divorce Affect Dogs?

The loss of a marriage can be devastating. Not only are you losing a relationship, but your sense of every day normalcy. But it’s not only you that will be struggling to find a new routine – your furry best friend will be as well. According to recent studies, it’s estimated that up to 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. “Going through a divorce can be an incredibly tumultuous, stressful ordeal’, says a San Diego divorce attorney. Unfortunately, in many cases, dogs end up being collateral damage. If you’re thinking about filing for divorce or in the process of separating from your partner, be mindful of these changes that your dog may exhibit.

While looking for a new home after separation or making different plans for the usually split holidays can be frustrating, imagine how stressful it can be for your family dog. Tense arguments filled with shouting aren’t easy for them to understand it isn’t directed at or about them. Or, the sudden absence of a beloved owner can be confusing and disorienting. 

Unlike humans, dogs aren’t able to directly communicate when they are upset, in pain or experiencing stress. Instead, they act it out through changes in their behavior. Stress in dogs can manifest in many different ways, including:

Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is typically triggered when they witness their owner or loved one preparing to leave. In some cases, the dog will try to block the owner from physically leaving or start loudly barking and keep barking after the owner has left. According to the ASPCA, common symptoms of separation anxiety include chewing, digging, destruction, barking, howling, and using the bathroom in the house. Owners can work with a professional counter-conditioning program to teach their pets that they will be okay being alone. 


In less severe cases, depression in dogs can lessen over time with lots of love and a new routine. Unfortunately, some dogs may experience depression symptoms that are similar to those in people, such as avoidance/hiding, paw licking, changes in appetite, inability to find joy in the things they did before, and spending more time sleeping. 


As stated above, dogs are unable to communicate their feelings directly and may act out when they are distressed. This can manifest in many different ways such as snapping, biting, and growling. It’s important to talk with your veterinarian if these symptoms develop, as aggression can also mean illness is present.

Unfortunately, dogs can end up the casualty of a broken home. Many dogs end up at a shelter or an adoption agency after a divorce, due to the inability to care for the pet as an individual. If you’re planning on getting a divorce, be sure to consider your pets feelings as they are part of your family too.

How Dogs Have Benefited From The Stay-at-Home Orders

While this has been a very trying time for people all over the world, there is one group of mammals that have benefited from the mandatory stay-at-home order – dogs! From surges in purchases of pet products to shelters being cleared out, our furry, four-legged friends have been seeing a rise in attention. In April, the Chicago Animal Care and Control center ran out of adoptable animals for the first time ever. During these unprecedented times, the emotional support that pets provide their stressed out owners have been extremely valuable. It’s only right that dogs are having their moment in the spotlight. Here are a few ways that dogs have been benefiting from the stay-at-home orders. 

Increase in Fostering and Adoptions 

As mentioned above, shelters are seeing a spike in applications for fosters and adoptions. This may be due to people having to work from home or stay at home during their off hours. The mandatory shutdowns have given people less of a reason to go out and more time to give attention to a dog.

Less Opportunities to Cause Trouble

As owners are required to stay at home, many dogs with special issues, such as separation anxiety, are able to get the additional attention they require. According to a Santa Ana personal injury lawyer, “An owner is held to a strict liability standard of care to protect victims of dog bites and/or dog attacks.” If the dog has their owner or a person nearby, they may be less likely to aggressively act out towards other dogs or strangers.

More Activity

Instead of sleeping the day away, dogs are getting in more walking time than ever before. During such a mentally trying time, people are finding it beneficial to stay active through exercise and taking daily walks. Since owners aren’t rushing out of the door to get to work, they are able to take more leisurely morning walks, along with lunch-time and evening walks. 

Increase in Pet-Related Purchases 

Between the uptick in adoptions and paying closer attention to their animals’ habits and needs, owners have been investing more money into their pets’ health and living conditions. Visits to the veterinarians have increased, as well as money spent on dog leashes and other necessities

While the current pandemic has been stressful and sometimes scary, one positive is that our furry friends are getting the extra love and attention they deserve. Take advantage of this quality time you have with your dog to go on longer walks, play more games of fetch, and sneak them an extra treat.

Do I Need Dog Liability Insurance? 

Owning a dog is a major responsibility. In addition to buying material things such as food, medicine and toys, dogs need other plans in place to protect their well-being. This is where dog liability insurance comes in. Known mostly for protecting owners against legal repercussions that could happen after a dog attack, dog liability insurance protects you from financial responsibility if your dog injures a person, another dog, or causes property damage. While it may seem like an added cost to an already pricey playmate, having dog liability insurance can save you from future financial hardship. 

What Does Dog Liability Insurance Cover?

Dog liability insurance helps to pay for any property damage or medical bills that result from a dog’s action. For example, this can include medical costs related to a fall caused by a loose dog that resulted in a broken arm. According to a Richmond personal injury attorney, “Accidents that lead to broken bones can occur out of the blue and almost always have an impact on [their] health for years to come.” In addition to medical costs, liability insurance can also cover damages done to another person’s property such as a destroyed fence. 

Why Would I Be Denied Dog Liability Insurance?

While denial for dog liability coverage is rare, it can happen. The most common reasons include the breed of the dog and the dog’s history of aggressive behavior and attacks. After an attack, the future insurance premium can increase and the insurance company can refuse to renew the policy. As for breeds, some animals are known to be more aggressive than others and are more likely to engage in dangerous behavior. 


Which Dogs do Insurance Companies Consider Dangerous?

Even if a dog has been with an owner since it was a puppy and has never displayed aggressive behavior, there are certain breeds that are considered dangerous. In addition to being denied liability insurance, a dog can also be banned from attending certain dog camps or schools, as well as being denied residency in certain apartment communities or areas. 

The 10 dog breeds that are commonly blacklisted include:

  • Rottweilers
  • Staffordshire Terriers
  • Pittbull Terriers
  • German Shepherds
  • Presa Canarios
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • Wolf-hybrids
  • Mastiffs
  • Cane Corsos
  • Alaskan Malamutes

Caring for a dog is much more than just playing fetch or taking it for walks. It’s important to take the necessary precautions to protect both yourself and your dog from the outside world. If you’re considering adopting a furry friend to add to your family, be sure to do some research about dog liability insurance before you bring the dog home.

Should Dogs Wear Seatbelts in The Car?

For many, there’s nothing better than a long road trip with the perfect playlist and their best friend riding in the seat next to them. A smooth ride, clear skies, and miles of flat road sound like a dream for the modern explorer. Of course, with adventure should come precautionary safety measures for you and your passenger – regardless if they have two or four legs. 

If your car co-pilot happens to be the furry, four-legged kind, it’s important to take the same steps to keep them safe while your dog is riding in the car with you. Dog seat belts, which come in several different forms such as a harness or a bucket seat, can prevent dogs from being seriously injured in a car accident should occur. 

Car accidents can happen any day of the week, at any time. There are numerous causes for a car accident to happen, such as the actions of a distracted driver or an environmental factor such as a neglected street covered with potholes. According to Kansas City car accident lawyer Samuel Wendt, “A poorly designed roadway or parking lot, malfunctioning traffic lights, poor roadway maintenance, low visibility due to overgrown shrubs, potholes, road debris, and unsafe construction zones are all examples of defects”.

With so many dangers on the road, making sure your dog is secure in your vehicle is a great way to avoid being a factor in a motor vehicle crash. Here are a few tips for using a dog seatbelt:

  • If you have a small or medium dog, opt for a dog car seat and save the harnesses for large dogs.
  • Shorten dog harnesses if the window is open to avoid the dog from having enough slack to jump out of the window.
  • Seat dogs in the backseat. If an airbag is deployed in the event of an accident, a dog could be seriously, even fatally injured. 

If you’re planning on bringing your dog along on your next trip, pick up a dog seat belt to ensure they make it home in one piece. Visit a site like Amazon.com or Chewy.com have lots of dog seat belt options for pups of all shapes and sizes.