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What is a Bark Park?

 

Happy dogs get to run and play with other dogs at the Bark ParkA fast growing popular phenomenon

 

A Bark Park (also known as a dog park or off-leash play area) is a fenced public area where dogs can legally run off-leash and play with other dogs under the supervision of their owners. These places offer dogs off-leash play and exercise, while their people enjoy the park-like setting.

 

While amenities vary greatly among these parks, they all have several basic features:

 

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The park is fenced in so that the dogs can run and play without leaving the area.
 

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A double-gated entry provides safety when entering and exiting the park.
 

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Benches, poop bags, trashcans and watering stations are provided.

 

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In some parks, the fenced area is divided. This may be to give smaller or timid dogs their own separate play area, or to allow owners to separate dogs who are not getting along.
 

Dogs share a drink at the water fountainFor some city dogs, a Bark Park may provide the only opportunity for exercise and socialization. A Bark Park park may provide the only opportunity for many dog owners to socialize with other people and their dogs, making visits to the Bark Park a primary source of recreation for human and canine alike.

Persons with limited mobility, such as elderly and disabled dog owners, need access to a safe place where they can meet other people and exercise their dogs.

The ability to share activities with canine family members at a Bark Park is important, and increasingly recognized by metropolitan areas throughout the country (South Florida included).

The immense popularity of these dog parks has forced municipalities nationwide to take a look at how to best provide these facilities. Most have learned that dog owners looking for a place to let their pets roam and run unleashed are making up one of the fastest growing park user groups around.

 

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