Community Dog Park Planning
With pet ownership on the rise, having a safe and clean area within communities to let dogs off the leash to play is in high demand. The increase in dog ownership means that more and more apartments, condos, and communities are not only allowing dogs, but are also seeking to attract pet owners to their establishments with pet friendly amenities. Dog parks are a pet friendly feature that many communities would like to add. Dog parks are not only nice features to have in a community for pet owners, but can also help limit dog waste problems in the community. When a dog park is properly planned it can actually help limit dog waste problems by providing a specific area for pets to socialize and play.
If you are considering planning or building a dog park in your community, here are some tips to keep in mind so you can plan it right!
- Location, location, location- The location of the dog park in the community is very important. You will want to select an area in the community that is off to the side and preferably to the back of the community. This will help cut down on noise complaints. The dog park should be easily accessible to all community members. If it is too hard to get to no one will use it. A site that offers some shade is also preferable to help keep dogs and dog owners cool on hot summer days. You do not need to be too concerned about selecting a perfectly flat area in the community. It may be that you are able to utilize a piece of land in the community that is not ideal due to a slope or rough terrain. This will allow you to make more use of available land in the community.
- Dog Park Entrance- You will need to include a double gate when planning your dog park. The double gate serves a variety of purposes.
- It helps keep dogs from escaping as people enter and exit the enclosure.
- It allows dog owners to get their dogs if they are rushing the gate and allow some space for the new dog to enter. It essentially provides a bit of breathing room for everyone.
- Gate Placement- Where to place the double gate is also an important consideration. Placing the gate in the corners of the dog park are not advisable, as this allows a new dog entering the dog park to be easily cornered by the other dogs as they rush to greet him. This can create a situation leading to dog fights. Gates placed along the side don’t create a situation where the dog is being cornered as he enters the park. Instead, dogs entering will now have 180 degrees to travel instead of 90 degrees as with a corner entrance.
- Dog Park Surface- Contrary to popular belief, you should avoid grass as a surface for your dog park. Grass will add cost and maintenance headaches to the upkeep of the dog park. Plus, grass and busy dog parks don’t mix. Dog urine will damage the grass and the constant running will tear it up, leaving only exposed dirt which will become a soupy, muddy, mess when it rains. Decomposed granite is possibly the best choice. It is extremely durable and it is more environmentally friendly because it does not have watering requirements. It also provides a natural and attractive appearance and needs very little upkeep or maintenance cutting down on costs in the long run. Decomposed granite is made up of very small pieces of granite and can range in size from ¼” inch to a sandy consistency. Decomposed granite is also more sterile than soil, so it will reduce vegetation growth in the park.
- Small Dogs and Large dogs- Most dog parks have two separate sections of the park. One side is for small dogs (usually less than 35 pounds) and another for the big boys. These areas are completely separate enclosures so the dogs cannot mix at all. It can be a good idea to plan the double gate so that it can be used to enter either section of the dog park. This will save you some money when planning the dog park.
- Controlling the Poop at the Dog Park – Lots of dogs mean lots of dog poop. This is something you can absolutely count on when planning a dog park! DoodyCalls has many solutions to assist you with planning for and controlling dog waste within dog parks.
- At least one pet waste station is a must! Depending on the size of the dog park, you may want to plan for more than one station. Having a pet waste station inside the park and easily accessible is key to managing dog waste. The pet waste station must be complete with a litterbag dispenser that is fully stocked with litterbags (used by the owner to pick up the poop) and a receptacle to dispose of the dog poop after it is picked up. Do not count on dog owners always remembering to bring a bag with them – like it or not, they won’t! Finally, make sure the station is in good working order, stocked with bags at all times, and is emptied regularly. Interested in our pet waste station service? Click here for a free service quote.
- Placement of the station. The pet waste station should be positioned INSIDE the dog park and near the double gated entrance. Upon entering the park, most dogs will immediately being sniffing all the “wonderful” smells that dogs have left. All these new smells will generally stimulate them to go. This is why having the station nearby as one enters the park is a convenient place to position it. The other nice thing about this location is that it is highly visible. Dog owners will see it in the dog park as they enter the gate with their dogs and it will serve as a friendly reminder to pick up after their pet. Finally, we like this location because upon entering the dog park, the dog owner can grab a litterbag and store it in their pocket; then no matter where they may migrate to with their dog in the park they will have it at the ready when their dog decides to go.
- Which type of station should I choose? DoodyCalls offers a wonderful variety of pet waste stations that are perfect to place in any dog park. They are all great options, but in end, your community’s budget, needs and preferred aesthetics will ultimately be the determining factors when selecting one of our stations. DoodyCalls offers 3 great pet waste stations. Some of the highlights of each include:
- The Commander pet waste station:
- Bag dispenser, 10 gallon receptacle with a lid, a sign, and an 8ft two piece square telescoping post.
- The Master Chief pet waste station:
- Bag dispenser, sign, 8ft two piece square telescoping post.
Signage: Clearly display and enforce the rules for your dog park. Like all parks, your dog park should have set rules and regulations clearly posted on a permanent sign on the entry gate to the park. Here are some rules and regulations that many dog parks promote:
- Some Common Dog Park Rules and Regulations
- Owners are legally responsible for their dogs and any injuries caused by them.
- Puppies and dogs must be properly licensed, inoculated and healthy to use the park.
- Animals should wear a collar and ID tags at all times.
- Owners must clean up after their dogs.
- Dogs showing aggression towards people or other animals will be removed from the park. Animals who exhibit a history of aggressive behavior will not be permitted.
- Puppies using the park must be at least four months old.
- Owners should not leave their dogs’ unattended or allowed out of sight. If young children are permitted in the dog park, they too should be under constant supervision.
- Dogs in heat will not be allowed inside the park.
- Owners must carry a leash at all times. Dogs should be leashed before entering and prior to leaving the park.
- Violators will be subject to removal from the park and suspension of park privileges.
Water Supply: An available running water supply for the dogs is very important. You do not want big buckets of standing water for several reasons. For one, they can spread disease between dogs. Another reason is that they will become a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes in the summer months.
Park Seating: Have benches or available seating. A dog park can be a great place to meet people and socialize so try to group seating together. Also keep in mind the seating material. Aluminum is a good choice because it is less affected by dog urine, and will not absorb odor like wood will.
Fencing: Fences should be 5 feet or higher to prevent a dog from jumping over it.
By following these simple guidelines and tips your community Dog Park should be well used and well received. To learn how DoodyCalls can keep your dog park or community clean please contact us at 1.800.DoodyCalls (366.3922) or visit us at www.DoodyCalls.com.
Looking for pet waste stations for your dog park or community? DoodyCalls Direct has it all! We have a variety of pet waste stations, as well as refill litterbags to keep the stations stocked and ready for use year round. We are the dog poop experts and offer high quality products to control pet waste at very affordable prices. Do you have questions about our products? Please contact us at 1.800.DoodyCalls.com or visit us at www.DoodyCallsDirect.com