In its annual survey of park professionals conducted by Recreation Management magazine, dog parks continue to rank high for scheduled improvements.
The survey is conducted by the magazine every year and asks park and recreation managers about such topics as budget increases, expected park participation and scheduled projects.
Here’s the list of the Top 10 planned projects on average and the percentage of park managers who reported they will be working on these projects:
- Splash parks – 25.6%
- Dog parks – 22.4%
- Playgrounds – 21.6%
- Fitness trails and outdoor fitness equipment 21%
- Park restroom structures – 18.7%
- Walking and hiking trails – 18.4%
- Park shelters – 18.1%
- Synthetic turf sports fields – 16.7%
- Bike trails – 15.5%
- Disco golf courses – 12.6%
What’s interesting, is that Dog Parks have been up on the list for several years.
In fact, last year 20% of park managers said they planned to add a dog park. It’s up to 22.4% this year.
If you look at all the dog owners in the US, it makes sense.
According to Statista, there were approximately 89.7 million dogs in America in 2017.
That’s up to ten million more dogs from 77.8 million in 2015.
In fact, the bar chart has moved upward every other year since 2002.
There’s your argument for adding more dog parks.
Dog parks grow for both public and private facilities
Not only are parks adding doggie playgrounds, but so are private facilities.
More and more multi-family and apartment communities are adding dog park facilities for their tenants.
In fact, they are adding dog park equipment to make those dog parks even more appealing to renters.
Again, that also makes sense as well.
When you think about it, most dogs stay inside all hours after their morning walks.
But as we all know, dogs are built to run and jump. Experts suggest they get an average of one hour of exercise per day, but those times vary based on the breed.
Adding dog park equipment gives them a variety of agility pieces to play with.
Experts say that type of play is good for several reasons. They include vigorous exercise but also mental exercise as well as the dogs master each obstacle. Mental stimulation is also important to a bored dog. In addition, dog agility equipment gives dogs a welcome opportunity to interact and learn from their owners, which dogs love to do.
Dog park equipment enhances doggie playgrounds
For that reason, park managers and multi-family communities, are now adding these amenities:
- Hoop Jumps (small and large for different size dogs and breeds)
- Crawl Tunnels
- Teeter totters
- Stepping Paws
- Weave posts
- Paws table – perforated so dogs can rest on a cool surface
- Hurdles (adjustable)
- Doggie Fire Hydrants – not the real thing but just as much fun
- Also, every dog park needs these essentials
- Dog waste stations
- Lease posts
- Doggy drinking fountains
- Trash receptacles
- Paw Benches – a place for owners to sit
The Park Catalog offers an array of pre-packaged Dog Park Equipment Kits. They range from Small Dog Park Kits to Intermediate, Expert Dog Park Kits and 7-piece Best in Show.
These dog park kits come with agility equipment that is coated with a special finish made specifically for dogs. The coating is slip-resistant, weather and urine resistant.
The trend is evident. So are the statistics. More and more people now own dogs and there is a real demand for more dog parks. With those improvements, pups have a place to play, interact with other dogs and their people and learn new skills.
As the saying goes, “A tired dog is a good dog.” A happy one too.
Dog parks and dog park equipment certainly fill that need.
(FYI – The Park Catalog is offering a special promotion until April 30 – purchase a Dog Agility Kit and we will include a FREE Doggie Fire Hydrant – click here for more details).