You wouldn’t let a child play in a park with broken glass, strange people, or hazardous terrain, so you know it is equally as important to make the best choice possible on behalf of your canine companion to offer him or her a fun, healthy place to play. Below, you will find our best tips for what makes a dog park great and how to find the best dog parks.
What do the best dog parks look like?
The best dog parks will all feature these amenities:
- Lots of Shade: The whole point of a dog park is to allow your dog to run and play, but running and playing in a hot park with direct sunlight and no shade to rest in can be detrimental to your dog’s health. Look for a park with trees, canopies, umbrellas, or large dog shelters to offer your pooch some respite from the heat.
- Fresh Water Sources: Just like shade above, this is a critical amenity that all parks need to have in order to keep your dog cool and healthy. Stagnant water that sits unchanged is a breeding ground for bacteria, especially when shared among multiple dogs. The best dog parks will have automatic pet waterers or fountains that allow the water to continually refresh itself. Look for stainless steel water bowls, which are the most hygienic. At the very least, traditional water bowls should be changed several times a day. If you have access to a water spigot, make sure to refresh waters for your dog as needed.
- Lots of Poop Scoop Stations: This one is pretty self-explanatory. The best dog parks will always keep cleanliness and hygiene as a top priority, not only for aesthetic reasons, but also because frequent cleaning significantly reduces pests and diseases that are detrimental to your dog’s health. Pet waste has been classified as a dangerous pollutant by the Environmental Protection Agency. Waste can also spread parasites like ringworms, tapeworms, hookworms, and Salmonella. The best dog parks understand these risks and the importance of a clean facility.
- Room to Run: The best dog parks are a safe haven for dogs of all sizes and ages to enjoy. There should be plenty of room to allow dogs to run freely and interact positively with other dogs, if playing is an option for your dog. The best dog parks will have facilities for all dogs to enjoy, no matter what their socialization needs are, because they will understand how important running in a safe environment is to your dog’s health.
Now, how do you find the best dog parks?
Today’s technology makes it much easier to locate the best dog parks in your area. To find reliable opinions, try finding trusted dog lovers on social networking sites like:
Or there’s just old fashioned word-of-mouth. Ask your most trusted friends, your vets, or your groomers for recommendations – chances are they hear a lot of opinions from clients. However, use your own intuition, too. What’s great for one dog and owner may not be the best for you. Visit the parks and ask for second opinions.
To see how it’s done right, check out DogBoy’s Dog Park!
DogBoy’s Private Dog Park is for Customers Only. Become a customer and join in the fun!
Photo: Norah Levine Photography