How to Design a Dog Park

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Our Bark For Your Park contest kicked off last week. We are excited to see cities across the country barking for their parks.  Many of the participants are probably looking for land for their dog parks right about now. That’s pretty exciting! Imagine a dog park for be popping up in your city very soon. Here a few things to consider that may help you choose just the right place for your future park.

how to plan a dog park

Determining the size of your park is important. We recommend at least 1 acre.

Sizing it up – The size of your park may depend solely on the availability of land. But we recommend at least 1 acre for a park but they can be as big as your community can manage and maintain. If space isn’t an issue, consider an area large enough that it’s possible to rotate high traffic areas annually or seasonally. Talk to your community leaders and Parks and Recreation Department about available land.

Pack it in – Consider how your community will use the park. Remember that people need to enjoy the park too! It’s important to plan for seating and shade so everyone stays comfortable when they visit your park. But don’t stop there! Do you want to include room for agility equipment, a sand box, pond or fountain, climbing wall, walking trails or anything else you can think of that your community and it dogs would love?  A community meeting can help determine what’s feasible and preferred by the future park patrons.

how to build a dog park

Many dogs love to swim, so consider adding a water feature to your park.

Water, water everywhere – Consider a water source for humans and dogs drinking fountains but also consider making a dog rising station. On especially muddy days, being able to rinse your pup off to keep your car from getting the full dog park experience can makes a nicer day for everyone.

Plan for clean up – To help keep your dog park pleasant and as clean as possible, place waste stations and trash cans about 4 per acre depending on the layout of your park. Ensure the park is easily accessible for landscaping crews so it’s simple to keep your park lush and neat.

Show your spirit: Remember that designing your dog park extends to the spirit the park. One key way to do this is to set the stage for responsible pet-ownership and behavior in the dog park is to develop and post park rules. The following are the rules that we post in PetSafe dog parks as a reference.

  • Dogs must be properly vaccinated and it is recommended that they be spayed or neutered
  • Puppies under 4 months of age and female dogs in heat are prohibited
  • Do not bring dog foods into the dog park
  • Owners must clean up after their dogs
  • Dogs with a known history of aggressive behavior are prohibited
  • Dogs must wear a collar with identification at all times
  • Dogs must be leashed when entering and leaving the park
  • Leaving dogs unattended is prohibited
  • Children under the age of 16 must be supervised by a parent or guardian
  • Maximum of three dogs per person, per visit
  • Watch for dogs on the other side of the entry gate when entering or leaving to prevent escapes.

What would your dream dog park include?

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One Response to How to Design a Dog Park

  1. Mat says:

    Great guidelines. The idea of a rinsing station makes a lot of sense. There have been lots of days where I haven’t taken my dogs to the dog park simply because I thought it would be too messy.

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