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Personally, in So Cal I don't let my dogs drink from the bowls at the dog park. One of them got giardia awhile back and I'm pretty sure that was the source.

Sadly, in these dense, urban population centers, there are a lot of people who just don't care for their dogs very well. Some of the dogs at the park closest to my home are downright scary and mangy looking. Not to mention the owners. It's worse at some times of the day than others, or on particular days (like Saturday).

Sadly, a lot of people look at a dog parks like some parents view Chuck E Cheese's. It's a place where they can let the "little one" run wild while they disengage their brain. These are usually the people with the dogs that have poorest manners and social skills, and are often the ones with health issues.

I just keep a bowl and bottle of water in the car, which I offer to my dogs when we leave the park before the drive home. Frankly, when they were on kibble, they used to take me up on this most of the time. But since they've been on RMBs, they hardly ever need water even after playing at the dog park.

Jay
 

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I don't really pay attention to what water my dogs drink that much. Giardia is *everywhere* here in Colorado. It's almost imossible to keep my dogs from being exposed. Most healthy, normal dogs won't show symptoms of having it.

If it's tap water, I wouldn't worry about it.
 

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I never give it a second thought either and we go to the dog park probably 4 or 5 times a week. The only water I keep an eye on are puddles around the neighbourhood where there is a good chance of fertiliser or weed killer run off.
 

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I don't have a dog park right in my particular area, but we have an area where you can walk your dogs and anyone can walk jog etc. the kids play baseball soccer etc, so they have this water fountains well several water fountains I should say but one particular one has one water fountain at the bottom where the dogs can drink from. Its so cute! My dogs have all gotten drinks from this any time we walk there. They like that it pours out and collects in the stainless steel bowl at the bottom. I had never thought of giardia or should say have given it any thought! For as much as they have been there and drank never had nay problems! Now I guess I will be keeping my fingers crossed that they don't get anything! But several dogs do drink out of this!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have thought about what Aspen drinks, but I believe the water there is constantly flushing. I have to double check. Is it possible for giardia to live in there if it's always flushing?
 

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If the water is from a clean source and constantly draining away while being replaced with fresh water, it's very unlikely that any significant level of giardia could remain present. If it's being recirculated (like in a landscape fountain or pond), that can be a problem.

At our local dog park, there are a bunch of water bowls and faucets to fill them but there are a lot of dogs that just walk right into the bowls. Sadly, there are a lot of morons there who don't clean up after their dog craps so between a few unhealthy dogs here and there, standing water in bowls, and dogs that walk through feces then trample through the bowls, it's a recipe for trouble. I've watched it happen over and over again and I know it only takes one dog with a careless owner and giardia to defecate and that becomes the impetus for a "perfect storm". The more crowded the park is, the more likely it is to happen, especially in a place like this that is full of self-absorbed idiots.

Ya' gotta' love L.A. :frown:
 

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If the water is from a clean source and constantly draining away while being replaced with fresh water, it's very unlikely that any significant level of giardia could remain present. If it's being recirculated (like in a landscape fountain or pond), that can be a problem.

At our local dog park, there are a bunch of water bowls and faucets to fill them but there are a lot of dogs that just walk right into the bowls. Sadly, there are a lot of morons there who don't clean up after their dog craps so between a few unhealthy dogs here and there, standing water in bowls, and dogs that walk through feces then trample through the bowls, it's a recipe for trouble. I've watched it happen over and over again and I know it only takes one dog with a careless owner and giardia to defecate and that becomes the impetus for a "perfect storm". The more crowded the park is, the more likely it is to happen, especially in a place like this that is full of self-absorbed idiots.

Ya' gotta' love L.A. :frown:
Kinda makes me glad that we have never been to a dog park and have never even seen a dog park! We walk in a field and the woods and Rocky drinks from the creek and from puddles if they are fairly fresh. The only time I don't let him take a drink is if we are walking along the road and the ditch looks really grungy with old sitting water....then he has to wait until we get home just because I don't want him to drink a lot of car runoff. Sometimes I pack a water bottle for each of us (I have a fanny pack that holds two water bottles). I try to teach all my dogs to drink from a water bottle when they are little. Makes life a lot easier if they can do that! .
 

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Theres something about dog park water, but Uno wont touch it, even if I bring my own collapsible bowl, he wont drink it. He does drink the water I bring from home.
But he will also drink from ponds and streams (and occasional toilet), with no issues.
 

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Typically my dogs won't drink community water either. It's like they have a princess complex or something. NO idea where they may have come up with that one LOL
 

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while I commend anyone who loves their Dog enough to take it to this level...

from a philosophical standpoint, I would be scared that if I get to the point where I'm fearful of the water my Dogs drink...I wouldn't know where it would end.

Before it was over, I'd have them in plastic bubbles for protection, sleeping in Oxygen chambers.....and they'd be about as far from Dogs as the prissy people I work with who roll their eyes when I tell them I have to vacuum my bed at night.
 

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after having to treat for giardia this year and the cost of doing so...

i now err on the side of caution and bring water and bowls for my dogs.

malia did not get giardia from drinking water from a fountain...and water that is constantly circulated should be safe...but should be is not enough for me.

and i have seen how people treat their animals.....
 

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while I commend anyone who loves their Dog enough to take it to this level...

from a philosophical standpoint, I would be scared that if I get to the point where I'm fearful of the water my Dogs drink...I wouldn't know where it would end.

Before it was over, I'd have them in plastic bubbles for protection, sleeping in Oxygen chambers.....and they'd be about as far from Dogs as the prissy people I work with who roll their eyes when I tell them I have to vacuum my bed at night.
i think we all have to have our own comfort level...giardia is transmittable to humans. it is a nasty parasite....i watched malia go through three treatments for it and she is ten years old.....

from a philosophical standpoint, you're right. there's a line in the sand we all draw. i don't vacuum my bed at night...but i promise not to roll my eyes at you LOL...

i guess for me...it started with hospital acquired MRSA....so i'm a wee bit leary of what other people do.....

i like the idea of oxygen chambers though.....good for the lungs :)
 

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while I commend anyone who loves their Dog enough to take it to this level...

from a philosophical standpoint, I would be scared that if I get to the point where I'm fearful of the water my Dogs drink...I wouldn't know where it would end.
You probably have a healthy dog (or dogs) then. Dogs are much like humans in that some go through life without a care in the world, rarely getting sick, and seemingly immune to otherwise dangerous environments and substances. Call it "good genes" if you want.

On the other hand, some dogs are susceptible to everything going around, probably due to some issues causing a compromised immune system. Sometimes these problems, especially the underlying cause, is almost impossible to determine. Of the two dogs I have now, each is very different in this regard. One never gets sick and the other is very susceptible.

My male doxie/cocker mix came to us very, very sick. He had been living on the street for awhile and was only a few months old when we rescued him from a county animal shelter. We have no idea if or how well he was cared for as a young pup, whether he had access to mother's milk, and how healthy he was before he ended up on the street. All we know is that when we got him, he was a scared, emaciated, dreadlocked mess. Whatever ailments he didn't bring into the shelter with him, he probably contracted while he was there.

Then the shelter, on the day we were allowed to pick him up, gives him a barrage of vaccinations and neuters him all on the same day. He should have never been put through all of that in such a weakened state but that is how these county shelters work. The next day I have him checked out and he has kennel cough, giardia, and coccidia and three days later his kennel cough turns into pneumonia and it is not responding to antibiotics, oral or IV, and a week later we are basically told by the vet that he wasn't expected to live.

Well, he did live. I nursed him back to health. He recovered but you could tell that he was just fragile. I was determined to keep him "bug free" for the first year to give his body a chance to heal and rebuild itself. Since he was so sick, this was one of the reasons I didn't switch to raw right away. I didn't want to put that much of a bacteria load on him until he was a little more fit. But we eventually made the switch and he finally started growing and filling out and looking good.

Then we went to the dog park.

It was a busy day there with lots of different people and lots of different dogs. I let both of my dogs drink from the bowls there, thinking nothing of it. A few days later the male is crapping out blood. The female, as usual, is fine. I take them both in and the male most definitely had contracted giardia...again. So now I have to force meds down his throat to purge the organism and he becomes miserable and weak for the next 5 or 6 days. My goal of keeping him bug free for a year was shattered.

We still go to the dog park but I do not let them drink the water there and I wipe their paws down with anti-bacterial pet wipes before we get in the car so they don't drag any bugs home with them. You may think this is going "too far" but understand that like humans, every creature's health issues and needs are different. If I only had my female, I wouldn't worry about any of this in the least. But the health of my male is somewhat precarious and delicate and we treat the situation accordingly because I need him to stay well and get strong.

I'm happy to report that now that we passed the 1-year mark with him, just last month, he is like a new dog. He's happy, healthy and strong and I don't worry too much about him now like I used to. But I still won't let them drink from the bowls at the dog park any more than I would let them drink stagnant gutter or puddle water.
 

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You probably have a healthy dog (or dogs) then. Dogs are much like humans in that some go through life without a care in the world, rarely getting sick, and seemingly immune to otherwise dangerous environments and substances. Call it "good genes" if you want.

On the other hand, some dogs are susceptible to everything going around, probably due to some issues causing a compromised immune system. Sometimes these problems, especially the underlying cause, is almost impossible to determine. Of the two dogs I have now, each is very different in this regard. One never gets sick and the other is very susceptible.

My male doxie/cocker mix came to us very, very sick. He had been living on the street for awhile and was only a few months old when we rescued him from a county animal shelter. We have no idea if or how well he was cared for as a young pup, whether he had access to mother's milk, and how healthy he was before he ended up on the street. All we know is that when we got him, he was a scared, emaciated, dreadlocked mess. Whatever ailments he didn't bring into the shelter with him, he probably contracted while he was there.

Then the shelter, on the day we were allowed to pick him up, gives him a barrage of vaccinations and neuters him all on the same day. He should have never been put through all of that in such a weakened state but that is how these county shelters work. The next day I have him checked out and he has kennel cough, giardia, and coccidia and three days later his kennel cough turns into pneumonia and it is not responding to antibiotics, oral or IV, and a week later we are basically told by the vet that he wasn't expected to live.

Well, he did live. I nursed him back to health. He recovered but you could tell that he was just fragile. I was determined to keep him "bug free" for the first year to give his body a chance to heal and rebuild itself. Since he was so sick, this was one of the reasons I didn't switch to raw right away. I didn't want to put that much of a bacteria load on him until he was a little more fit. But we eventually made the switch and he finally started growing and filling out and looking good.

Then we went to the dog park.

It was a busy day there with lots of different people and lots of different dogs. I let both of my dogs drink from the bowls there, thinking nothing of it. A few days later the male is crapping out blood. The female, as usual, is fine. I take them both in and the male most definitely had contracted giardia...again. So now I have to force meds down his throat to purge the organism and he becomes miserable and weak for the next 5 or 6 days. My goal of keeping him bug free for a year was shattered.

We still go to the dog park but I do not let them drink the water there and I wipe their paws down with anti-bacterial pet wipes before we get in the car so they don't drag any bugs home with them. You may think this is going "too far" but understand that like humans, every creature's health issues and needs are different. If I only had my female, I wouldn't worry about any of this in the least. But the health of my male is somewhat precarious and delicate and we treat the situation accordingly because I need him to stay well and get strong.

I'm happy to report that now that we passed the 1-year mark with him, just last month, he is like a new dog. He's happy, healthy and strong and I don't worry too much about him now like I used to. But I still won't let them drink from the bowls at the dog park any more than I would let them drink stagnant gutter or puddle water.
Fair points, guys.

But it scares me...It's starting to get tiring worrying about everything in our world.

Heck, I was looking in my backyard the other day and spotted some mushrooms growing...are they poisonous? The neighbors flowers were also working their way into my yard....

Seriously, I don't want anything to hurt my guys.
 

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our malia came to us less than five weeks old, crawling out of a ditch.

her skin was so thin, she was so sick, even the shots with immune boosters would eke out of her skin.

she had thank g'd, one of the best vets we've ever had and we were in georgia at the time....we nursed her back to health.

she looks robust, but she is one in 35 thousand dogs in georgia to get rocky mountain spotted fever. not many get that one, but she did.

throughout her life, if there is something to get, she gets it.

at the age when she shouldn't get it, she managed to get a bout of giardia that took three rounds of antibiotics to get rid of...

never serious enough to kill her, thank g'd...but always enough to be concerned.

neither she nor bubba had great starts in life....so extra caution is needed.

and, whilst i believe that everyone, man and beast, should 'get' their pound of dirt....more than that can be dangerous.

i worked out, ate healthy, was healthy, and still managed to get an auto immune disease.....and during surgery, MRSA.

there are things that can be avoided...and water at a dog park would be one of them..mainly because i don't know how someone else cares for their dog...
 

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If I knew I had an immune compromised dog (for whatever reason) I wouldn't take it to high risk environments in the first place, which a dog park is pretty high risk. Not only do you have to worry about giardia (which can be transmitted straight from one dog to another so keeping your dog from drinking community water isn't going to protect your dog 100%) but what about the dogs that come with communicable diseases like kennel cough? Or there is always the risk for attacks since some people that frequent the dog parks don't have a clue about canine communication and behavior.

It's almost like if you're worried just about your dogs drinking public water you're not worrying about enough since that is only one threat out of many that are prevalent at dog parks. Why not take an immune compromised dog to a safer, more controllable environment if you're worried about them getting sick and you know that he can't handle things well physically???
 

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We don't have any dog parks anywhere around us, but if we did after reading all these posts I think I would play it safe and bring my own water from home.
 

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If I knew I had an immune compromised dog (for whatever reason) I wouldn't take it to high risk environments in the first place, which a dog park is pretty high risk. Not only do you have to worry about giardia (which can be transmitted straight from one dog to another so keeping your dog from drinking community water isn't going to protect your dog 100%) but what about the dogs that come with communicable diseases like kennel cough? Or there is always the risk for attacks since some people that frequent the dog parks don't have a clue about canine communication and behavior.

It's almost like if you're worried just about your dogs drinking public water you're not worrying about enough since that is only one threat out of many that are prevalent at dog parks. Why not take an immune compromised dog to a safer, more controllable environment if you're worried about them getting sick and you know that he can't handle things well physically???
there are risks everywhere and we've got a whole generation being reared now who think more about germs than we ever did in my day...it's frightening to see what lengths parents go to to avoid germs. we never worried about MRSA or AIDS or HERPES or HEPATITIS C, etc.....

now, that seems to be what is marketed the best....anti bacterials....for everything...our children's children, if we don't stop this crap, are going to be very sick if we don't let them eat worms like we did.

which is not to say they won't get sick, but we're setting them up.

the only way to improve an immune system is by letting it do what it's supposed to do...feed the system a wonderful nutritional diet and give the immune system a chance to do what it does best....fight disease...protect the body...keep it healthy...

avoidance will do more harm than good....

having said that, it never hurts to be a little cautious with a dog or human who is 'one' of those dogs who seem to get things more easily than others...

the thing is?

my dog didn't get giardia from a dog park. she got it whilst we were walking and it rains a lot in washington...so there are puddles and standing water...and maybe other dogs shed where she walked.

i was in a rather good hospital..so who would ever think i would get MRSA.

when the operating room is not cleaned properly....and the autoclave didn't work properly...well, the door was opened...and i was being diagnosed with an auto immune disease at the time...so everything was aligned just so for me to get MRSA.

i guess we have to draw a line in the sand...and, believe me, natalie...it was a year before i left the confines of my house....that's no way to live, though...and i didn't get better by avoiding bacteria or cleaning as if i lived in a bubble....

but i don't want to be agoraphobic or germaphobic....i don't want sterility....i don't want asthma from febreze..

no bacteria contributes just as much to immuno compromised as too much of the wrong kind....

and immuno compromised doesn't mean no immunity...it just means that precautions should be taken....how far we go, well....we do run the risk of going too far...

so, for me, at least...i'm not putting booties on my dog's feet, but she won't drink water from a dog park fountain. we avoid places that become bog like when we're walking....

for me? if i hear that someone is ill, i didn't go to the party because sick people were more dangerous to me than i am to them....
but, we have to eat, so grocery stores and costco and other places.....well...gotta eat, dogs gotta eat LOL

fortunately...i am now MRSA free....

but malia? she's just one of those dogs...who didn't have the best start in life.....that's why we keep such a close eye on her.....and it's why she gets vaccinations, like bordatella....because she is groomed and does go outside for walks....and meets up with other dogs....and has play dates...

bubba didn't have the best start in life....but he seems, so far, at least, to be a little tank here....
 
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