The Nation’s Top 10 Dog Parks

Looking to spend some quality time with man’s best friend? All dogs look forward to spending time accompanying their owners outdoors. A simple walk or quick jog can provide that necessary physical outlet your pet craves and the one on one connection you seek. However, for an enjoyable change of pace, you may wish to consider excursions other than your usual routine around the neighborhood.Dog parks are an increasingly popular alternative that not only allow for mutual exercise, but meet social needs and provide a natural opportunity for various pet training experiences. Many larger canine parks offer different sections to separate smaller from larger dogs for your comfort. General offerings include the chance for pet owners to accompany their dogs on scenic hikes featuring natural landscapes of the region. A number of outdoor sites work great if you need a large, open field for playing a relaxing round of catch with your pet.  These facilities usually offer doggie litter bags for your convenience. Most importantly, dog parks offer the chance for canines to enjoy each other’s company.Different critics have chosen what they believe to be the best dog parks in the nation, allowing you and your special pet an invigorating experience you won’t soon forget. Think of the activities you and your four-legged friend would enjoy most in a dog park prior to visiting one of the best.  If any of these are near enough to you, it’s time to grab that leash and treat your pet to a bit of doggie heaven while providing a natural, safe setting to enjoy along the way.

1. Dogwood Park – Jacksonville, Florida

For those canines with behavioral concerns, obedience training courses are offered at this location. Owners can register for courses that teach dogs the basic commands, as well as etiquette. Agility classes are available for your dog to learn new tricks while experiencing a fun outlet along the way. This park also features bathing services for your dogs and swimming at “Lake Bow Wow” – a lake designed specifically for canines.

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2. Millie Bush Bark Park – Houston, Texas

For those that seek water play, this highly rated facility offers three small ponds amongst its many acres for visitors and their canine companions to enjoy.  Dogs are separated by size and can take advantage of the washing stations if needed. The secluded, scenic environment makes for a delightful getaway from busy life.

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3. Howard and Erna Soldan Park – Lansing, Michigan

A large open field awaits those seeking space in which to let their pets run, play Frisbee, or retrieve balls. In addition, separate drinking fountains for owners and their pets, as well as a scenic pond are included to accommodate you.

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4. Happy Trails Dog Park – Dunedin, Florida

This park rates as a top notch destination with dog drinking fountains, as well as picnic grounds and shady, cooler areas. Dog exercise and training equipment is available for pet use. A refreshing, low key day awaits animal lovers visiting here.

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5. Howlabaloo Dog Park – Edinboro, Pennsylvania

Dog lovers desiring scenic excursions can count on this location for a relaxing walk in the woods along creeks, as well as the exploration of beautiful rolling hills. The park also offers weather shelters for the convenience of visitors during seasons of extreme conditions.

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6. Shaggy Pines Dog Park – Grand Rapid, Michigan

Accommodations here include trails that are lit and plowed during the winter months.  Lucky dogs that visit have the chance to dig and play at a large sand pile known as “Doggy Mountain.” If you so desire, birthday parties are also available for your canine companions.

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7. Freedom Bark Park – Lowell, Indiana

If you are looking for fun group events that your dog can participate in, you can’t go wrong with this choice. Besides a unique pet parade each year, Freedom Bark Park offers a costume contest for your dogs in October, and pictures taken with Santa the following month. Striving to maintain a natural appearance, Freedom Bark Park has made use of fallen trees to create split log benches for visitors to enjoy.

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8. Ossining Dog Park – Ossining, New York

This top pick also deserves an A+ for creativity. Special events such as “Bark in the Park,” a vendor event with various games, offer fun for all.  Park officials currently have plans in the making for a memorial wall with pet names displayed to honor former canine visitors that have passed on.

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9. Dogwood Park – Knoxville, Tennessee

Your pets will be easily entertained with this elaborate dog playground, complete with inclined hills, jumps and tunnels. Pets can drink from their own water fountains after working up a thirst from a day of frolicking through the lush meadows designated just for them.

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10. Alum Creek State Park – Lewis Center, Ohio

If you prefer a camp-like setting, this lakefront locale near Columbus caters to both visitors and their canines. The water keeps pets cool and refreshed, while owners can take advantage of biking trails, boat rentals and camping grounds.Dog lovers should keep in mind that a dog park doesn’t have to be top rated to be fun. With proper research, one can find a park in their own region where they and their pet can build a closer bond.  Every dog park can give you the proper environment in which to enjoy special time outdoors with your pet and make lasting memories along the way.

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