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HOW TO: Create a Dog Park

HOW TO: Create a Dog Park

July 2, 2019

Multifamily communities are welcoming pets with open arms and dog parks have become a popular amenity. Many families are even willing to pay higher rents if it means a welcome environment for their pets.

Here’s what you need to know before adding a dog park to your community.

  1. 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 which allows for safe leash removal and prevents unwanted escapes during departures.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Adequate signage- Have proper signage to alert residents of existing guidelines such as operating hours, leash laws, etc.
  6. Water fountain- Install a water fountain or other option that allows both pets and humans to drink. This is especially necessary in warmer climates but is a benefit to visitors regardless of climate.
  7. Seating area- Provide a few park benches so humans can sit while their dogs play.
  8. Shaded area- You can use tree cover or a series of canopies to create a shaded area for visitors.