If you don’t have a yard of your own, or even if you do, a dog park is a great place to take your dog for some fun and exercise. Sometimes the dog park has very little equipment in it, other times there are lots of things for the dogs to do. What equipment is necessary for a dog park and why is it necessary?
If you have been to a dog park, you know what you would like to see there. Some people want just a big open space for their dogs to run. Other people want dog park equipment so that their dogs can play on it. Either is good for most dogs, it’s just more of a preference for the dog parents.
- Waste Disposal Stations – there needs to be at least one waste disposal station so that when the dogs relieve themselves, it can be cleaned up quickly. A waste disposal station will allow dog owners to clean up after their pets so it is safer, cleaner place for pets to play.
- Water Station – dogs will get thirsty if they are running and playing so there needs to be a water station for dogs and their owners. There are water fountains that have a fountain at the top for the humans, and one at the bottom for the pets. As an alternative, there could be a bucket with a water pump nearby so that it can be refilled as needed.
- Places to Sit – some people want to just sit and watch their dogs play, so they need to have a bench or other place to sit. This also allows people to converse while their dogs play and gives the dogs a place to return to.
- Signs with Rules – there are always rules at dog parks to keep the dogs and their owners happy and safe. You can make a sign on your own or you can have one professionally made for you. These rules can be as general as necessary, or they can be very specific. Here is a sample of rules that can be used: https://www.dogingtonpost.com/12-rules-dog-park/. These are just a beginning place for you to start and get some ideas.
Equipment for Fun
- Agility Equipment – even if your dog is not being trained for agility trials it is fun to be able to have the equipment for them to play on. There can be things to jump over, crawl through, climb on, and walk through. There can be hoops and simple jumps that can be adjusted or barrels to walk through. Make sure that these items are made for commercial purposes so that they are safe for the dogs.
- Ramps – these are just fun for the dogs to walk up and down – some even have slides on one side for more enjoyment. This will give your dog something different to do and give them some exercises to do. There can be short ramps for smaller dogs and longer, higher ones for bigger dogs.
- Tables – there can also be tables for the dogs to relax on or for people to teach tricks to their dogs. The smaller dogs can be placed on the tables for their owners to teach them tricks without having to lean down to the pet’s level. This could also be another spot for owners to sit and converse with other dog owners.
- Weave Posts – when you watch the agility trials on television one of the crowd favorites is the weave posts. These poles are for the dogs to walk through as fast as they can – they can’t miss a post, either, or they can lose points. These would be fun at the dog parks to see how many pets could do it successfully.
- Stepping “Stones” – these are platforms that have varying heights that a dog will step up and down on. They slowly rise towards the middle and then go down on the other side. Dogs love playing on these, and it is fun to watch them do it.
There can be a lot of fun things at a dog park, or it can be a wide open space for the dogs to just run. It could also be a combination of both if the park is large enough. The more things that there are for your dog to enjoy makes it a better place for the dog and its owner. You can do some research and find so many more things for the dogs to enjoy at the dog park. See here for some more ideas. This list will help you get started with your own dog park.
There have also been dog “libraries” where there are toys such as balls or sticks for the dogs to chase, as well as squeaky toys and stuffed animals for them to play with. You have to be careful with these types of items because they can pass sicknesses to other pets if they are not sanitized or replaced often. If there will be something like this at the park, there should also be a way to clean the items.