If you have recently moved to a new neighborhood and are in search of a good dog park, here are the most important considerations you have to make.
A park with sufficient space is always a good one. This is most true if it’s a canine park, or at least, one that’s dog-friendly. If you live outside the city, chances are you will find a dog park that’s at least a full acre of uninterrupted space.
Such is not always the case for city dwellers. If you live in a major city, you are lucky if you find a dog park that’s not squeezed in tightly between two imposing buildings. This does not mean you can’t consider a canine park in a city good enough.
Here we can readjust what we mean by the word space. Instead of taking it to mean the extent of a park’s covered land area, we can interpret it as the space necessary for a dog to move freely and comfortably. This space does not have to be as large as ten football fields.
So long as a park has ample room to take in the dogs and humans that frequent it without these creatures unnecessarily bumping against each other, then it gets a passing grade space-wise. Remember that dogs are territorial animals and cramped spaces can easily trigger this instinct and turn it into aggression.
By cleanliness we don’t mean parks sans dog poop. Let’s be realistic here and admit that sometimes, no matter how perfectly maintained a park is, it’ll always have dog poop somewhere and at some point. This does not mean dog parks should be inundated with canine excrement.
When looking for a park to frequent, assess a place’s cleanliness level, in terms of how regularly you think it’s being cared for or maintained. Observe whether the dog owners that frequent it are doing their part in keeping the place pristine. See if volunteers and city workers have regular cleaning schedules and know if these schedules are adhered to.
Keep in mind that an unclean space can easily turn into a breeding ground for microorganisms that cause harmful diseases. For example, a park that’s littered with dog fecal matters will make it prone to an abundance of parvovirus.
3. Responsible owners
This is arguably the most crucial factor from this list. A dog park’s success as a meeting place for dogs and their humans, relies heavily on how responsible the dog owners that visit the place happen to be. If a park is visited by responsible dog parents, then there’s no problem.
Meanwhile, if a park is frequented by irresponsible dog parents, the problems that can arise run the gamut. First, there’s the issue of cleanliness. Although park visitors are not expected to keep the entire area pristine, they are at least encouraged to clean after themselves, otherwise any park will turn uninhabitable soon enough.
Another risk is in terms of dog interaction. Responsible dog parents keep an eye on their pups. The opposite are scatter-brained. The latter will not be able to proactively deal with an increasingly aggressive dog and here begins the problem.