What You Need to Know Before Setting up a Dog Park
Increasingly, families are living in densely populated urban areas with little green space for themselves or pets. This presents an excellent opportunity for parks and recreation areas to provide safe and convenient accommodations for families and their pets to play, exercise, and relax. Adding a dog park as an amenity is a great way to entice families to visit often.
Here’s what you need to know before adding a dog park.
- Fencing- The perimeter of your dog park should be completely fenced in, and it’s recommended that the fence be at least 5 feet tall, so dogs are less likely to escape. The entrance should include a dual-entry gate that allows for safe leash removal and prevents unwanted escapes during departures.
- Ground cover- Artificial turf is recommended as the best option for ground cover, as opposed to grass. It can be hosed down on a regular basis to eliminate odors and is often available in square tiles for easy installation. Traditional grass sod can become high maintenance over time due to the daily wear and tear from rain, excessive digging, and brown spots in the grass caused by dog urine.
- Separate play areas for large and small dogs- It’s important to have separate areas for many reasons; one of which is to avoid conflicts and opportunities for bullying between pets of different sizes and temperaments. In addition, this provides a safe space for puppies, older dogs, and those with lower energy or anxiety to play and exercise in peace.
- Pet waste disposals- It goes without saying that you need pet waste stations at your dog park. Have one located at or near the entrance of your park and depending on the size, you may need a second station inside of the dog park. This also provides a solution for additional trash created by human visitors.
- Adequate signage- Have proper signage to alert residents of existing guidelines such as operating hours, leash laws, etc.
- Water fountain- Install a water fountain or other option that allows both pets and humans to drink. This is especially necessary for warmer climates but is a benefit to visitors regardless of climate.
- Seating area- Provide a few park benches so humans can sit while their dogs play.
- Shaded area- You can use tree cover or a series of canopies to create a shaded area for visitors.