Dog Park Safety Tips


(BREA, Calif., May 18, 2016) – As summer approaches, dog lovers begin their migration to local dog parks so their four-legged family members can play and socialize. With the increasing popularity of off leash dog parks, Nationwide, the nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance, would like to remind dog owners about the importance of safety when visiting the dog park.

Last year, Nationwide members spent more than $10 million on medical conditions that are commonly associated with dog park fun. Nationwide recently sorted through its database of more than 575,000 insured pets to determine the most common dog park-related medical conditions of last year. Below are the results:

Most Common Dog Park-Related Medical Conditions



Sprains & Soft Tissue Injuries


Lacerations or Bite Wounds


Kennel Cough or Upper Respiratory Infection


Insect Bites


Head Trauma


Hyperthermia or Heat Stroke



The most common medical condition on the list was soft tissue injuries or sprains, which affected nearly 24,000 Nationwide insured dogs last year. Head trauma from dogs crashing into objects or one another accounted for the most expensive condition on the list with an average cost of $591 per pet.

“The dog park is a great place for dogs to socialize and exercise, but there are safety measures dog owners need to be aware of,” said Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for Nationwide. “Many of the medical conditions on our dog park related injury list can be avoided by taking necessary precautions, but some are out of the owner’s control. If any of these issues occur, dog owners should take their companion to their veterinarian immediately for treatment.”

Before visiting any dog park for the first time, dog owners should research the rules and regulations of the park. Below are a few simple, but important, tips for ensuring a fun and safe trip to the dog park:

  • Obey all posted rules and regulations.
  • Pay attention to your dog at all times and ensure that playtime remains friendly. If your dog or another dog is playing too rough, it’s best to remove your dog from the situation.
  • Many dog parks have designated areas for large and small dogs. No matter your dog’s stature, be sure to keep them in the area allocated for their size.
  • Don’t bring a puppy younger than four months old.
  • Make sure your dog is up to date on vaccinations.
  • Keep a collar on your dog with proper identification tags that include contact information (microchipping is also recommended).
  • On warm days, avoid the dog park during peak temperature hours.
  • Bring water and a bowl for your dog to drink out of.
  • Look for signs of overheating; including profuse and rapid panting, a bright red tongue, thick drooling saliva, glassy eyes and lack of coordination. If this occurs, take your dog to a veterinarian immediately.

About Nationwide pet insurance

With more than 575,000 insured pets, pet insurance from Nationwide, formerly known as Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), is the first and largest pet health insurance provider in the United States. Since 1982, Nationwide has helped provide pet owners with peace of mind and is committed to being the trusted choice of America’s pet lovers.

Nationwide plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. Wellness coverage for routine care is available for an additional premium. Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Additionally, one in three Fortune 500 companies offers pet insurance from Nationwide as an employee benefit.

Insurance plans are offered and administered by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company in California and DVM Insurance Agency in all other states. Underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company (CA), Brea, CA, an A.M. Best A rated company (2013); National Casualty Company (all other states), Madison, WI, an A.M. Best A+ rated company (2014). Nationwide, the Nationwide N and Eagle, and Nationwide Is On Your Side are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. ©2016 Nationwide. Pet owners can find Nationwide pet insurance on Facebook or follow on Twitter. For more information about Nationwide pet insurance, call 800-USA-PETS (800-872-7387) or visit

About Nationwide

Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. and is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. The company provides a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto, commercial, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; banking and mortgages; excess & surplus, specialty and surety; pet, motorcycle and boat insurance. For more information, visit

Nationwide, Nationwide is on your side, Join the Nation and the Nationwide N and Eagle are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.


SOURCE Nationwide


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