As a dog owner, you want to make sure your pet has plenty of room to play, run and exercise. For this reason, you may want to consider adding a trampoline for your dog to enjoy. However, there are many things you should know about this activity before allowing your dog to jump on a trampoline.
#1 Kids or Dogs, NOT both
Having many people on the trampoline at the same time will greatly increase the risk of someone getting hurt. What do you think happens when a dog is introduced to this mix?
Jumping on a trampoline with your dog is great fun, but it can also be very dangerous. This is especially true for children.
Kids are clumsy. Give them enough time to play on the trampoline with your dog and someone is bound to get hurt.
#2 Enclosure/Safety Net
Just as a safety net will help protect you from getting injured around the trampoline, it’ll also help prevent your dog from falling off.
A safety net also serves the purpose of deterring your dog from getting on the trampoline at an inappropriate time.
If you’re going to allow your dog to play on the trampoline, keep an eye on them. You don’t need to stare him/her down, but stay in the general vicinity and at least pay passive attention.
We recommend chatting with some friends or reading a book, but having your chair tilted towards the trampoline so that the dog is always in your view.
#4 Encourage Central Jumping
One of the problems many dogs have while jumping on the trampoline is that their paws get caught in the springs. In most cases, this isn’t something that can be entirely avoided.
You can reduce the likelihood of your dog having this problem, however, by encouraging him/her to jump mostly in the center of the trampoline. This will also have the benefit of reducing your dog’s chance of falling off the trampoline.
#5 Be Careful of Playing With a Ball
Dogs love to play fetch. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing trampoline games totally unconcerned about the dog.
If someone throws the ball near the dog or has an errant throw and the ball falls off the trampoline, the dog is going to get excited.
An excited dog isn’t normally a big deal. Add a trampoline into the mix, however, and you’ve got a safety hazard. If the dog is playing with you or your children on the trampoline the dog can become aggressive from high levels of excitement.
If the dog becomes too excited he/she could even bite or attack someone! While this may not happen often, it’s far from unheard of.
The other issue is if the ball falls under the trampoline your dog may chase after it. This wouldn’t be an issue if no one was jumping on the trampoline.
If there are jumpers, however, watch out! Having people jump on the trampoline while your dog (or anyone for that matter) is underneath is very dangerous.
#6 Help Your Dog Onto the Trampoline
Depending on the height of your trampoline, it may be beneficial to help your dog get onto it. Even if you think your dog can jump onto the trampoline without your help, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
While this isn’t something we probably would’ve otherwise thought about, we recently read a horror story where a dog tried to jump onto a trampoline unassisted. Unfortunately, the dog wasn’t able to quite make it all the way onto the trampoline.
As a result, the dog had a horrible injury. Raptured bladder? *Shudders* Just reading this story was painful.
#7 Be Careful of Fences
Every dog owner’s worst fear is their best friend running away. That’s probably why many dog owners have fences.
Unfortunately, something you probably never considered was whether a trampoline would reduce the effectiveness of your fence.
While we’re not sure how commonly this occurs, we’ve read at least one story of an intelligent dog using the family’s trampoline to bounce over a 6 feet high fence it wouldn’t otherwise be able to scale. Just when you thought you’d seen everything…
Of course, we’re not saying that trampolines and fences can’t go together. If your yard’s fence is high enough it doesn’t matter much where your trampoline is.
And if your fence is fairly short? That’s easy. Just leave some space between your fence and the trampoline and your dog won’t be able to use the trampoline for assistance in getting over the fence.
Just like how we want you and your family to be safe on the trampoline, we also want your dog to be safe too. By using the tips in this article, you’ll greatly reduce your dog’s chance of suffering an injury on or around your trampoline.
Of course, if you want to be even safer, there’s always the option of taking your dog for a walk, or playing in the sprinkler. Your dog will probably enjoy those activities just as much. 🙂
Apart from possible injury risks to the dog, having a dog jump on your trampoline also poses the possibility of damage to your trampoline. Many dogs enjoy chewing trampoline padding or clawing the trampoline’s netting.
Whether these possible risks are worth it or not is ultimately up to you. Regardless of whether you’re jumping on the trampoline alone or watching your dog jump, you’ll have a lot more fun if you’re jumping on a quality trampoline.