Off-leash dog parks may enhance human health, but may also lead to health risk through infection or canine aggression. Published evidence was reviewed to examine positive and negative public health impacts of off-leash dog parks, as well as strategies for enhancing benefits and mitigating risks. Evidence suggests that off-leash dog parks can benefit physical and social health, as well as community connectedness. While studies have documented shedding of zoonotic agents in dog parks, the risk of transmission to humans is relatively unknown. Evidence on the risk of dog bites in off-leash dog parks is also limited. Case-examples from North American off-leash dog parks highlight the importance of park location/design, public adherence to safe and hygienic practices, and effective regulatory strategies for mitigating potential risks and maximizing the benefits of off-leash dog parks.
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- Public Health Considerations Associated with the Location and Operation of Off-Leash Dog Parks
Pablo Romero Barrios
- Springer US