How to find the best dog parks near you

best dog parks near me

You’re ready to go outside with your dog and your dog is super excited to go outdoors. But you realize you don’t have anywhere to take him, and you may even want your dog to roam free. That’s where dog parks come in! But finding a good dog park can be hard if you can even find one at all depending on where you live. Friday’s Dog is here to help you find a new popular spot for your furry friend to play!

It’s Quality and Clean

Doing a quick glance at the park when you get there tells more than the google images. The only way to know for sure if a dog park is any good is to see it for yourself. Is the park clean? For example, is there litter everywhere? That means the park doesn’t have someone dedicated to cleaning it up and the visitors don’t clean up. Do they have complimentary waste bags or a place to dispose of them? If they are taking the effort to keep the park beautiful and tidy, then it’s probably worth coming back.

It’s also important for your consistency to find a dog park near you or you’re willing to commute to regularly. You might not mind a commute to the dog park the first time, but after the 50th time, long commutes get a little old. If you don’t have a dog park close to you and traveling is a hassle, adjust how frequently you visit so you don’t have as much strain. At the end of the day, the closest dog park might be the most “quality” dog park if the next closest one is an hour further away.

There’s Lots of Space

Some dogs are just flat-out athletic. One such breed is the Border Collie. These dogs are like Olympic athletes. They can run 20 miles in a single day!  A good dog park gives your dog the space it needs to get those steps in! Make sure you keep up with your dog’s exercise requirements and, if your dog needs a lot of field, finding a bigger dog park is essential.

Other nice additions for your go-to park to have are little dog and big dog spaces. Little dogs are easy targets for aggressive dogs to bully. It’s okay to have the big dogs and little dogs mingle but all dogs present need to be well-mannered. It’s not uncommon for little dogs to get injured on an otherwise great day at the dog park because a big doggy got a little too excited. Stepping on and outright tackling little dogs make the news on a semi-frequent basis. Dog size separation also makes your life easier if you have the biggest dog at the park. You don’t have to watch as closely as you would if your Great Dane is playing with a stranger’s Pomeranian.

Another space some dog parks have is a separate playground for kids. Children generally think dogs are cool (but some might find them a bit scary). However, for the safety of the children and dogs, it’s better to leave children out of the dog park. Dogs can get aggressive in parks which puts children in danger. Conversely, children don’t know their strengths either. Young children can accidentally hurt mild-mannered dogs even when they try hard to be nice. So, if you have kids, try to find a dog park with a good playground amenity.

The Right Number of Friends

Dogs are social creatures. Isolating them can often mean they are left unsocialized, making them aggressive. Allowing them to play with other dogs helps your dog be gentler. So, keep watch and see if your dog and the other dogs get along okay.

However, don’t take your dog if it’s already aggressive. You will need to do some special training lest you risk your dog becoming the new playground bully. Once you feel your dog listens to you and understands how much play is too much, you can try out a dog park again. And even if your dog isn’t aggressive, don’t take his favorite dog treats to the park. It can lead to it aggressively defending its favorite things.

And don’t take your dog if it’s very insecure. Insecurity can turn doggy playtime into a doggy nightmare. Let your dog get used to its surroundings. Let it walk around and sniff the grass before going directly to play with other dogs. If your dog is still anxious and hovering around you, then go with your dog to play with other dogs. Make sure your dog doesn’t get bullied so it can get used to socializing.

Once you’ve figured out the level of energy and play your dog is willing to handle, make sure the play doesn’t go beyond that level. For example, your little Yorkshire Terrier might like chasing and being chased. But it may not be such a big fan of wrestling with a 140 lbs. Saint Bernard. Even bigger dogs may not like aggressive play. So, remain vigilant at the dog park, especially the first few times, so that you get a feel for the socializing your dog wants to take part in.

Conclusions

Finding a good dog park is rewarding. You can make new friends and help your dog find some play partners. But at the end of the day, your final decision on which dog park to visit may come down to which one you and your fuzzy friend feel comfortable in.

And if your cute fuzzy friend found a “neat” place to roll around in at the park, we’ve got you covered. You can give your dog a good brushing and scrubbing before letting them roam your house.

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