By Lori Scarlett, DVM, Four Lakes Veterinary Clinic
One of my favorite things to do with my dog is go to a local dog park. Letting him play with other dogs, being told how handsome he is, and getting to talk about dogs with other people is a highlight of my weekend and his! Unfortunately, sometimes having to drive a distance to get to a dog park stops me from going.
But now Monona has it's own dog park! This off-leash dog park is next to the Public Works Garage at 851 Femrite Dr. (the corner of Femrite Dr and Edna Taylor Parkway). It is roughly one acre in size – about the size of a soccer field. It is not as big as some of the Madison dogs parks, but certainly is big enough for a nice romp outside with some friends.
Your dog does need to be licensed and have a dog park permit ($30 per year), which gets them more bling on their collar and admittance to all the Dane County dog parks. In order to be licensed, your dog must have an up-to-date rabies vaccination. For the safety of your dog, having distemper, parvo, Bordetella, and influenza vaccines is also a very good idea. These are all contagious and potentially fatal diseases that are easy to protect against.
Because the new park is smaller than some, it is important to know the etiquette for a dog park. First, please don't take your dog if you know he/she doesn't do well with other dogs. When at the park, pay attention to how your dog is interacting with the other dogs and people there. If he is hiding behind you, growling, barking, or charging other dogs, take him home. No one, including your dog, is having a good time. If you are at the park and encounter an aggressive dog with an unresponsive owner, get yourself and your dog somewhere safe, then can call the police to intervene.
Please pick up after your dog. Intestinal parasites are easily spread through dogs parks and cleaning up your dog's poop immediately is the best way to prevent transmission. Some of the parasites carried by dogs can also be contracted by people, so please do the right thing! Having your veterinarian check a stool sample yearly is a good idea and keeping your dog on heartworm preventative year-round will also keep intestinal worms in check.
If your dog isn't spayed or neutered yet or hasn't had all the puppy vaccines (the last one is given after 4 months of age), please wait to take him/her to the dog park. Four Lakes Veterinary Clinic offers a Free Vaccines for Life program that is worth checking into and they also perform spay and neuter surgeries. Getting your dog “fixed” will also decrease the cost of a dog license!
So check out the new Monona off-leash dog park. Remember, a “tired dog is a good dog!”
Dr. Lori Scarlett is the owner-veterinarian at Four Lakes Veterinary Clinic, 4504 Monona Dr - a proud sponsor of LENA!
Update/Correction Notice: City of Monona officials indicated that dogs must be licensed and no other permits or licenses are required at this time. The program will be evaluated for potential charges to non-resident use however that is not the case for at least 2017.
Articles are written and submitted by members of the Lake Edge Neighborhood Association, residents, business owners, community members, and elected officials in the Lake Edge neighborhood or vicinity.