Helpful Tips When Visiting a Dog Park in Ohio

August 22, 2012

Dog Bites

dog park in OhioIt’s a beautiful day and your four-legged canines are a bit restless.  It seems like a great time to take both of them to a local or regional dog park.

Of course, it’s important to enjoy your leisure-time activities, but one should also be aware of  potential problems that could emerge, AND the legal rights you have, if an unfortunate dog bite accident, or incident should occur when you are visiting a dog park in Ohio.

Here are a few things to keep in mind if you are taking your dog to a dog park, whether you are a seasoned dog park visitor or a first-timer. A morning or afternoon of playing Frisbee could turn tragic if one does not stay alert.

Tips concerning a visit to an Ohio dog park:

  • If this is your first time visiting a particular park, read the signs.  Even if you have been to the dog park previously, check if there are new signs.  This is important because if you or your dog is injured at the park, the signs may be informing you that you are waiving your right to take action against a responsible party. (Unfortunately for animal lovers, a dog is not a “legal person” and does not have “legal rights.”)
  •  It is advisable to consult an expert before assuming that you do not have legal rights in a dog park situation, even if someone else has told you that your rights have been waived.
  •  Signs can also inform users of the “risks” of using the dog park.  Again, it is NOT a good idea to assume you do not have legal rights.  First, speak with a legal professional in this area.
  • Remember, fights at a dog park are not always fights between dogs. Most people truly love their animals, but that does not mean they know how to discipline them. The dog may not know how to act in a situation where there are unfamiliar people and strange dogs, including those of different breeds and sizes.
  • If you are accidentally or purposely injured, or your dog is harmed, or even killed, you may have a right to recover damages for the other individual’s conduct and receive compensation for your loss.  At the same time, if you “lose your cool,” and injure someone or their animal, you may be liable civilly, and even criminally.
  • Some dogs are simply too aggressive to take to a dog park.   If you are the owner of an aggressive dog, you may know the dog is aggressive.  Don’t take it or them (if you have more than one aggressive dog) to a dog park.
  • It can be stressful to take your canine to a dog park.  Try to remain calm when someone else becomes angry or does something that is unacceptable to you.  Leave the dog park, even if you believe that you were the innocent party.
  • If the dog park limits the number of dogs, or has restrictions on small children being in the park, follow the rules.  Some dogs are nervous around very young children, particularly if they are not normally exposed to children.
  • Be aware almost any dog park can be a breeding ground for harmful bacteria.  Dog owners may fail to clean up waste or bacteria may form in a body of water which is on the dog park property or nearby.
  •  Check the internet frequently before going to a dog parkMany have informative siteswith users of the dog parks posting comments about their visits.  In Ohio, there are many dog park websites.

Please do not hesitate to contact the Ohio lawyers at Slater & Zurz LLP who are experienced in handling cases involving dog bites and other types of personal injury. For a free consultation, call 1-800-297-9191, or send a Blog Message  to schedule a time to talk.

To learn more about what is reasonable conduct in an Ohio dog park, and other dog bite information, according to Ohio law, please visit

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About slaterzurz

Slater & Zurz LLP is an Ohio law firm of highly experienced and respected attorneys. Over the last 40 years, we have developed a reputation for getting positive results for clients. We've been trusted with handling over 20,000 personal injury cases and our clients have received more than $120,000,000.

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