I’m sure everyone is aware of the dog friendly park in Utah County that opened last year in Provo City. It is located at 1440 South 1600 East attached to the already existing Bicentennial Park. In the short year it has existed it has already been through quite the transformation.
Originally it started with grass and some sand in the middle. However, once the rain hit followed by snow the park soon became a swampy, muddy mess. Provo City closed the park for a brief time laid down pea gravel, which affected some dogs’ paws. So sand became the permanent solution for the drainage issue as well as for the comfort of the dogs.
The benches and shade trees make it more comfortable for the owners. There is only one major flaw, which I’ve heard is getting resolved, is there is no water. Bring a bowl and water for your dog especially as summer peaks. Most dogs have no problem sharing their water with another.
Visiting The Dog Park
The dog park is a great place to take your dog to frolic and play.
As a pet owner, you need to be responsible. Posted on the gate before entering there is a sign stating there have been reported cases of Bordetella (kennel cough). Because of the close contact with the dogs, it is important to keep your dog up to date on vaccines. Also, if your dog is displaying any sign of illness; coughing, vomiting, or diarrhea, for example, it would be best for the health of all dogs to stay home.
The park is such a high traffic area it is hard to keep is pristine. Everyone can help by making sure they are cleaning up after their pet. Provo City has convenient waste stations with bags and garbage cans to help keep things tidy.
Watch behind you as you leave. There are double gates to make sure another dog doesn’t decide to go home with you. Most dogs are curious on who is coming and going. Make sure your dog is the only one within the gate when leaving. It is also safest to have your dog on a leash when entering and exiting.
Be Aware At The Park
Another potential issue of a dog park, unfortunately, is dog fights. I frequently take my German Shepherd there and have not experienced this first hand, but have heard stories.
Be familiar with warning signs that a fight may be breaking out. Watch the body language of the dog; they won’t be wagging their tails, they may have their hackles raised, their ears are flat and back, their lips are snarled and their teeth are showing. Often a dog will growl as well, but not always.
If this behavior is being displayed it is a good idea to get them out of the park and away from the other dogs.
If a fight does ensue there are safer ways to break up the fight. Never reach for the collar it is a good way to get yourself bit even if it is your own dog. Grab the dogs by their back legs like a wheelbarrow, lift up and pull back.
Then circle the dogs away from each other, if they are let go still facing the fight will probably erupt again. This will work for dogs that are about the same size.
A large dog attacking a little dog can be different. Ideally a “break stick” can be used to leverage the larger dog’s mouth open, freeing the smaller dog. Both dogs need to be immediately taken from the situation in either case. A hose or pepper spray has been reported to work at breaking dogs up as well.
This Is Park Not A Petting Zoo
One more thing that I have noticed, some people treat it as a petting zoo. As a community, it is important to understand the purpose of the park. It is for dogs to burn off excess energy and play in a contained area.
It just frustrates me to see someone allow their small child unattended to go pet the puppies. At 80 pounds my dog can run by and unintendedly knock down a small child. Some dogs also do not do well with kids and can nip. Please keep your kid in the main park and I’ll keep my dog in the dog park.
Visit Your Local Dog Park
Dog parks are a great place to take your dog to play and burn a lot of their energy. It is important for the community and specifically the owners using the park to help maintain and be responsible for their pets. It does make for a much more enjoyable experience for everyone if the dog park is well kept and owners continue to use it properly.
For more places to take your dog here are 8 Great Places To Take Your Dog In Utah Valley.