Dog parks are the grand outdoor arenas for dogs. These green spaces are perfect for allowing your four-legged tail-wagger to run, jump, roll around, and bark at each and every squirrel.
As we’ve chatted about before, by following proper dog part etiquette, you will help make it a better experience not just for you and your dog, but for other people and their pets as well.
However, you should know that not every dog park is created equal. As a dog mom, you don’t want to trap yourself and your dog in a bare patch of grass and think that’s your only option.
Instead, look for these top qualities of a good dog park. These aspects might surprise you as you learn what to look for in a high-quality dog park.
5 Qualities of a Good Dog Park
1. Playground Equipment
The point of a dog park, naturally, is to serve as a place where your dog can run, jump, and play. Dog parks offer great opportunities to get your dog the exercise she needs to live a strong and healthy life.
A good dog park must have some playground equipment, which may include hoops, ramps, tunnels, hurdles, and obstacles. These allow your dog to work on her agility and performance. Use this opportunity to teach your dog some new tricks or behaviors.
2. Open Space
Whether you and your pup live in the middle of a bustling city or in the quiet countryside, your dog needs lots of space to run around. A small patch of land might suffice for a small dog, but big dogs take up more space. She needs plenty of room to run and jump.
For this reason, opt for a dog park that features lots of natural or artificial grass. Your dog will love either option, but she’ll especially love artificial grass for its natural feel.
3. Hydration Stations and Shaded Areas
Your dog will need to cool off and drink plenty of water after all that exercise. Be on the lookout for drinking fountains specifically designed for dogs. You can always supply your own water and food on your trips to the park, but water stations at least provide reassurance in case you forget or run out.
Similarly, there should be plenty of shaded areas to keep both you and your dog cool. Depending where you live, spring and summer can get notoriously hot. Trees or other shaded areas will give your lovable mutt protection from the sun’s harmful rays.
Your dog will probably need to relieve herself at some point, and no one wants to step in another dog’s waste when they’re playing with their own dog. Always look for a clean dog park, which will show you that the other dog owners respect the park enough to clean up after themselves.
Also look for plenty of waste receptacle stations and bag dispensers within the park.
5. Human Activities
A dog park should have amenities for people, too. It’s always fun if the park hosts social events for dog parents in the form of games, food and beverages, parties, or other events that allow them to connect. Some of my best friends are other dog moms that I’ve met at events just like this.
Note whether any benches, tables, or other human amenities are available. A good dog park is one where you can be as comfortable and happy as your dog.
Tell me about your favorite dog park
Do you and your mutt have a favorite dog park? Tell me a little bit about it in a comment below, or stop by my private Facebook group for dog moms and join in the conversation there!