First and foremost, safety should always be the first consideration. This means avoiding products that fall within three categories. One; re-purposed children’s playground equipment such as slides or tunnels (they’re slippery for a reason!), two; any company using AKC standards in the design of their products and three; equipment made from PVC, wood or steel.
Dogs that compete in professional agility are just that – professionals! The equipment used in those competitions is much higher, narrower and steeper than what most dogs (and their humans!) should be using in a public park setting without prior experience.
Recreation level agility equipment should be no higher than three feet off the ground with extra wide planks that are highly textured for slip resistance. Tunnel interiors should be textured as well to provide traction, especially if the ground becomes wet.
As far as materials are concerned, equipment made with heavy gauge aluminum will always be your best bet. It’s incredibly durable, eco-friendly and won’t rust like steel, crack like PVC or degrade over time like wood.
Spending a little extra time when researching dog park equipment will ensure that you end up with high quality products that will provide years of enjoyment for all your park users, both two and four-legged.