There are some risks that increase in a mixed dog environment. Some diseases, such as bordetella (kennel cough) and canine papilloma virus can be easily transmitted through dog-dog interaction. Often, these diseases are airborne and contagious long before any symptoms show, and are therefore impossible for us to completely control. However, nearly all of these diseases are not life threatening and typically require minimal or no veterinary treatment. Also, your dog may be slightly more susceptible to injury in a play group.
During active play, dogs can occasionally injure themselves or each other, either by pulling a muscle, running into each other, or bumping each other with their teeth (dogs play a LOT with their mouths). Typically these injuries are quite minor, but dog-play is very much a full contact sport.
There is also the slight (but rare) possibility of a dog fight. We screen carefully, and supervise closely, but once in a while tempers erupt. Typically injuries are minimal. It is the position of The Pawsh Dog, and the CVMA, that the benefits of social interactions in dogs far outweigh the risks. Dogs kept in isolation for fear of illness or injury are often socially stunted and exhibit very poor behavior. Far more dogs are relinquished to shelters or are euthanized every year due to temperament and behavioral issues than die of contagious disease.
Please be aware of the benefits and risks inherent in bringing your pooch to a mixed dog play group. While we take pride in our cleaning, screening, and supervision protocols, the possibility of your pooch catching kennel cough (similar to the human cold – see handout below FAQ’s) or coming home with occasional knicks and dings is a risk in any mixed dog environment and beyond The Pawsh Dogs control.