Posts Tagged ‘dog park design’

Woof on the Roof: Rooftop Dog Parks

Wednesday, June 5th, 2019

Bright Parks, Big City!

City dogs may be a sophisticated bunch, but just like their friends in the ‘burbs, they need space to play! A walk through the concrete jungle is fun, but what’s an urban dog to do when the hankering to fetch a ball takes hold? City dwelling dogs are on the rise and apartment communities are catering to them in a big way. Property management companies know that pet friendly amenities are a huge draw for prospective residents. They are catering to this furry niche by offering doggy welcome gifts, events and dog spas. But even if Rex is living the high life in a penthouse apartment, space can be hard to come by. Thankfully, rooftop dog parks are the perfect antidote! They provide a much needed outlet for our furry friends while also giving residents a safe, secure place to relieve their pets 24/7.

Space: The Furry Frontier

Property management companies have to get creative when it comes to offering pet perks. One of the smartest tactics in urban communities is converting underutilized rooftop or terrace spaces into bark parks. We’re often asked about the amount of space needed for a rooftop dog park. The short answer: it depends! Even when dealing with limited square footage, most communities will have room for a pet relief kit and a grooming station. For larger areas, additional amenities like seating, fountains, shade, and agility components can turn your rooftop into a first class dog park with an amazing view! When designing your park, amenity placement is key. You’ll need enough room between components for dogs to safely run and play. It’s also important to consider any resident events you plan on hosting such as Yappy hours. Park Chelsea at the Collective, a 429-unit luxury building in Washington DC, chose play components with custom portable bases to provide flexibility. This allows their residents to rearrange the agility course for an added challenge and to store the equipment when more room is needed for events.

Surfacing Solutions

One of a dog’s favorite things about going to the park is running on grass! Since real grass isn’t exactly a great fit for rooftops, we have another option that is attractive year-round and offers the ease of low maintenance. Our popular Turf Pods are a portable system designed specifically for hard surfaces like cement, asphalt, or decking. With antimicrobial agents that reduce odor and elevated tiles that provide aeration and drainage, these are a perfect solution. Turf pods come in standard 36”x 48” squares that snug together using the park’s perimeter/wall and can be moved for easy cleaning underneath and to help manage wear.  Unlike traditional roll turf, the pods don’t require professional installation and are a much more affordable option.

Features for Fido

Rooftop dog parks can go from “meh” to “wow” with the addition of the right features. Agility equipment keeps dogs engaged while burning off excess energy, and all dog parks benefit from a dog waste station to help keep the area clean. A fire hydrant is the canine equivalent of the office water cooler and adds a cute aesthetic to any dog park. If you and your pooch are easily parched, a human and dog drinking fountain is sure to cool you both off on hot summer days. There are so many options to turn an empty rooftop dog park into a place all dog residents will be barking to go!

Safety First!

Safety should be the top priority for all dog parks but is crucial component for a rooftop. It’s vital to have fencing or a barrier that is at least 5’ high. Double slats or a solid wall are also recommended so that smaller dogs can’t slip out. A double gated entry is also a good idea to ensure that dogs are safe on their way in and out of the park. A safe dog is a happy dog, and with just a few steps, your rooftop dog park can be a safe and inviting place for dogs to have the time of their lives!

The Essentials of a Good Dog Park – Guest Blog by ResMan

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

While multifamily properties are high in demand for a wide mix of renters, they have an unexpected demographic to cater towards. As more residents move into these developments, their pets are coming with them. Residents in the multifamily setting enjoy convenience and helpful amenities, but when looking for a new community, a good dog park is quite the deal breaker.

To accommodate residents and their furry friends, properties must adapt to be more pet-friendly. Making this shift will make your development more attractive to renters and keep current tenants (and their beloved pets) happy. We sat down with Nora VandenBerghe, the Sales & Marketing Manager of Dog-On-It Parks to learn just how to set your community apart with pet-friendly playgrounds.

Why Are Dog Parks Essential in Multifamily?

Dog parks have the versatility to entertain all age groups, making it the perfect meeting ground in the multifamily arena.

In 2015, the millennial generation surpassed the baby boomer generation as the largest cohort in history with 75 million members.

This generational shift means a shift in lifestyles, attitudes, and mindsets. Since millennials are waiting longer to have kids, they in turn, become parents to their dogs and are willing to spend more money on their dogs than ever before.

According VandenBerghe, “Our culture in general is becoming more pet friendly, as the pet service industry is the second largest revenue-generating industry behind consumer electronics,” says VandenBerghe. “This year the industry has raised about 62 billion in revenue.”

The point? This is a gold mine industry your development can take advantage of. According to Pet Food Industry, 57 percent of millennial households own a pet and 39 percent plan on owning a pet in the future. Dog parks have an incredible experiential value for residents that rival other popular amenities. In addition, there is a great social aspect associated with pet parks since dogs act as great icebreakers and conversation starters. What’s your puppy’s name? How long have you had her? Is she a social dog? It’s a great way to meet fellow neighbors and build a connected community.

Hartford 21 POD system - Hartford, CT

How Can a Dog Park Fit Into My Property?

Avoiding the 15-minute drive to a local dog park and simply walking outside to play with your dog is a definite luxury, but most developments have limited space to build a full on park. This is where you can get creative. Dog parks are a lucrative investment for developers. VandenBerghe points out that it’s actually cheaper to build a dog park than a children’s playground… and it serves a larger audience.

Companies like, Dog-On-It Parks, work with developments from start to finish when creating a dog park. Either they can help to build one from scratch or implement one after the complex is already built. By working directly with property managers, they find the best place to build a park, and they can get pretty innovative. VandenBerghe says she has seen it all. Communities are beginning to convert tennis courts, parking lots, parking garages, and open green-belt areas into dog parks.

What We’re Seeing in Dog Park Trends

Planning a good dog park is just as important as planning well-developed apartments. You must think of safety and how to accommodate dogs and people of all shapes and sizes. The best dog parks are those that provide amenities and equipment that make it fun for both the dogs and their owners.

Every dog park is unique to the community, so capture the atmosphere of your development and reflect it in the park. This is the fun part. Dog-On-It Parks manufactures all equipment within the U.S. and customizes the equipment to each customer. They strive to reinforce your brand on their products by customizing the products, creating a color theme to match the community, and engraving names and logos on the equipment.

The tail-friendly equipment is endless, but the most popular equipment pieces are one that incorporate agility. This gives residents something to do alongside their dogs, instead of sitting in the background on their phones.

VandenBerghe says, dogs are naturally curious, therefore agility structures entice them to explore their surroundings. Although dogs are curious, they are also extremely cautious. Keep structures low to the ground, sturdy, and slip resistant.

Along with agility equipment, water features are always a huge hit in parks. Try to find a water line nearby to build your park around. This adds a fun and convenient element. According to VandenBerghe, “We build pet fountains to play in, spray fire hydrants, and water stations so residents don’t have to lug water to the park.”

Get as creative as you want with your dog park, but keep in mind these fundamental aspects all dog parks should have:

  • Leave plenty of open space for running so the park doesn’t become overcrowded on a busy day.
  • A sturdy fence is one of the most important pieces of the whole park.
  • Plenty of seating for owners to take breaks on is critical. If there is no natural shading in your area, provide some type of roofing.
  • The busiest time to visit a dog park is in the warm months, so be proactive about residents needs.

City Market at O St - Washington, DC

How Dog Parks Benefit Property Managers

Investing in a dog park offers many benefits to your property, but the biggest are new potential residents and increased resident happiness — leading to retention.

“When we’re showing the building to prospective tenants, nine out of ten times we’ll be asked if we’re pet friendly,” says property manager Mary Swanson. “It gives us an advantage because we have a few more amenities than some of the communities in our area.”

An apartment with pets can be chaotic if property managers do not provide ways to accommodate the pets. Providing an outlet for pets to exercise on a daily basis reduces the chaos sprung from restless animals within the units. In other words, less noise complaints caused from neighbors annoyed by the barking dog next door.

VandenBerghe stresses that there is also a lot of responsibility placed on the property manager. Managers need to do their best to educate owners about dog park rules and city regulations. Just like a playground, liability falls on the manager. Be proactive about possible issues that can arise and know how to handle them.

For example, waste clean up is the top issue in dog parks. VandenBerghe suggests providing waste pick-up stations around the park stocked with bags for residents to easily use. Ultimately, it is up to the pet parent to know if their dog is a good fit for a park, but some owners may not know what behavioral signs to look out for.

VandenBerghe says she has seen managers bring in pet trainers to educate residents or check regulations with animal control to make sure dogs are healthy enough to interact with other dogs.

Since a dog park is a great socializing scene, take advantage of this as a property manager! Create monthly socializing events centered around the dogs, such as puppy playdates or Yappy Hours. Dog parks are a great way for property managers to build a strong community. Everyone loves to bond over common interests and this is especially true for pet lovers.

Colonial Grand Apts

Fact: Dog People Make Better Dog Park Equipment

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

Let’s just start off by saying we’re dog people. You know, the kind of folks who have dogs running around the office (see Exhibit A below), make their own dog treats, cross the street just to say hello to another dog, go to 4-H/agility/drafting events on the weekends, belong to a raw food co-op…the list goes on and on.

Quincy

When it comes to designing dog parks and dog park equipment, we think this makes all the difference in the world. Why, you might ask?

Would a restaurant hire a chef who didn’t actually enjoy eating? Because you can surely “cook” something, but it makes a huge difference when made by someone who truly loves food and has the knowledge to make something amazing. Would you trust hopping into an airplane if the engineer didn’t have a basic knowledge (and more would be better here, right?) of physics and how to get a giant piece of metal with wings to fly at 30,000 feet?

dog pilot

We believe the same school of thought applies to dog park equipment. Our office and design team have collectively 30+ years of experience in dog agility, metal fabrication, playground design and dog behavior.

What that means for our customers is that they get the best everything. All of our dog agility components are tested for safety and durability with our office pups who range in size from 15 pounds (Hello Sprocket!) up to our large breed mob of Bernese Mountain Dogs and Labradors, so we know what works for the little guys, the big dogs and every size in between.
6405 with dogs

Design questions? Yep, we got you covered. As the first company in the US to specialize exclusively in dog parks and dog park amenities, our customer service can’t be beat. We can guide you through surfacing options, whether it’s feasible to include a pet fountain or water feature, irrigation considerations, fencing and best of all, respect your budget.

So when you’re looking for a company to help you with your dog park, consider the following points:
1. Do they offer a lifetime warranty against rust on the agility equipment? Hint: We’re the only company in the US that does and believe us, you want this. Between environmental factors such as rain, mud, salt air and male dogs who, ahem, like to water everything in sight, rust is a huge problem in dog parks.

2. How long have they been in business? Dog parks, and dog park businesses are a hot commodity nowadays which means a lot of new companies have dipped their toes into the water. Sure, it gives people more options but they’re not experts like we are. So make sure you’re working with someone who knows what they’re doing and isn’t trying to sell you more equipment than your park has the space for or equipment that is potentially unsafe.

3. Customization: Does the company offer color and text customization? We know that some customers want bright, playful colors and others prefer more muted, natural options. That’s why we offer agility components in two color palettes and have the option for many other colors including blue, gray, black, yellow and more. Also, nothing screams “This is our dog park!” like custom benches and equipment with the park name. We offer that too!

Tire Jump

So whether you’re just getting started and are looking for a turnkey dog park or have an existing park that could use some perking up, make sure you’re getting the best advice. From us, of course!

Dog Park Design Considerations: Large & Small Dog Areas

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

Great Dane
As dog parks continue to grow in popularity, the debate on whether or not the dog park design should separate the little guys from large dogs has started to gain a lot of attention, so we’d put in our two paws, err, cents worth. Here at Dog-ON-It Parks, we have designed and outfitted dog parks in all shapes and sizes. Our verdict? Space permitting, we feel it’s safer all around to have separate large and small dog areas.

The separation helps ensure that both the dogs and their owners are able to enjoy their time at the park and also provides an opportunity to meet the needs of all park users, regardless of the size of their pets. This alleviates the need to have requested time slots for big or small dog play time and can also help to maintain the peace, so to speak. An important consideration in establishing separate areas is also providing clear communication in regards to the size restrictions for each area. Posting dog park rules and signs like these is an easy and affordable way to help make sure everyone is on the same page.

dog park car

The magic words “Go for ride?” are sure to excite any pooch, especially if they know where they’re going and sometimes that excitement may be too much for a dog new to the park, or just a dog that is a little less confident. And when you add size to the equation? It’s even more challenging.

Large and small dogs often have different play styles and different breeds have distinct (and often humorous!) personality traits which can factor in as well. Even unintentionally, big dogs can end up injuring a smaller pup because they just aren’t aware that there’s a little guy running around with them. Also, if a scuffle does happen to break out, having a more even playing field from the get go can possibly save a dog’s life.

This concept is also ideal for shy or timid dogs. The smaller area is often calmer and less overwhelming than the larger area would be with four big dogs hurtling towards you and your pooch to greet you. Starting out in the small and/or shy dog area of the park is a great way to introduce your pup to the dog park in a more neutral environment, so they can have a positive experience.

Sometimes due to space or budget considerations, it isn’t feasible to separate the pack so here are some suggestions to promote a safe and fun environment for everyone:

1. Always supervise your dog.
2. Make sure your pooch has a strong recall. Practice makes perfect, and if your dog is less than enthusiastic about coming when called, work on this skill at home with some high value treats. Pretty soon, you calling their name will equal “On my way!” instead of “Nope – I’d rather play!”
3. This is a biggie. Please, please make sure that your dog is properly socialized before visiting your local dog park. You are responsible for your pet’s success and safety. Not sure if your dog is ready? Try visiting the park during off hours where there aren’t as many dogs present to see if it’s a good fit.
4. Know the park rules before you go. Many dog parks don’t allow small children, food, puppies and dogs in heat, among other local rules that may vary from city to city.
5. Have fun!

mainstream

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