Posts Tagged ‘dog park equipment’

Dog Parks Are For People Too!

Monday, April 9th, 2018

Dog parks are parks for people…with dogs!  Consider this: It’s a late Wednesday afternoon, and as soon as you get home from work, you greet your excited pup and head off to the dog park together. Though you’re tired from a long day, you want your 4-legged friend to have some time to exercise, enjoy the sunshine, and socialize with his furry pals. It’s important to you that your dog reap all the benefits of the dog park on a regular basis, but did you ever consider that it’s benefiting you as well? Read on…

Fresh Air – Truth: Most of us don’t get enough time outside in the fresh air. Between our jobs and hectic schedules, it can be challenging to get some quality outdoor time where you can feel the breeze on your face. While your dog plays, take a few moments to appreciate the great outdoors and take some deep, calming breaths. You’ll be amazed how a few lungfuls of oxygen can help with everyday stress. 

A New Hobby – More and more dog parks now feature agility equipment. If you and your pooch are looking for an exciting new hobby, train your dog to go through an agility course! You can work on improving time through the course, ignoring distractions, and working on advanced agility moves. Your dog will work hard mentally and physically, and you will get a kick out of how talented your dog really is. And just for some giggles, check out these dog agility bloopers.

Exercise – You know that exercise plays a vital role in the overall health of your dog, plus it makes him plain old happy. The same can be said for you! When you take a trip to the dog park with your best friend, take the opportunity to engage with him. By getting your heart rate up, you are taking care of your cardiovascular system and releasing endorphins at the same time.

Feel Good Hormones – Researchers have discovered that when we spend time with our pets, our bodies release a feel-good hormone called Oxytocin. This hormone played a key role in the bonded relationship we began with dogs thousands of years ago. So, while you’re playing fetch with your dog at the park, you’re releasing a hormone that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, and helps strengthen your bond with Fido that much more.

Socializing – Like us, dogs are very social creatures. They enjoy being part of a pack and love to greet every other dogs. They even “exchange business cards” by sniffing each other’s rear ends as they meet each other. Humans need socialization too, though it’s best you leave the rear ends of new friends alone.  If you make going to the dog park part of your lifestyle, you’ll inevitably start seeing some of the same people and get to know them and their dogs. Strangers become friends very quickly when you have dogs around to help break the ice.

A Change of Pace – Many of us are living hectic lifestyles in which we feel overworked and stressed. On top of that, we often spend too much time staring at electronic devices.  There is something to be said for unplugging. Dogs are the best teachers when it comes to living in the moment. Next time you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders, head to the dog park and take 30 minutes with your best friend to unwind, unplug, and de-stress. You’ll feel refreshed and recharged when you head home!

Be the Wise Owl – Are you an amateur dog expert? If you have years of experience in training and caring for your own dogs, chances are you have invaluable tricks up your sleeves.  There are lots of new pet parents at the park, or even other folks like you, and it can be a fantastic opportunity to share resources and ideas.  You all may have answers when it comes to reputable veterinarians in the area, favorite chew toys, and basic obedience tips.

Giving Back – If you’re looking for a way to get involved in your community, dog parks are an excellent place to start. Many off-leash areas are run by volunteers who help with maintenance, clean up, and events. By volunteering, you’ll get to know similar minded people, and truly make a difference in your town. And if your community doesn’t have a dog park yet, consider starting your own group to fundraise and help improve the lives of people and their pets.

 

 

Dog Park Etiquette: The Do’s and Don’ts

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

As dog park enthusiasts, we know that running and playing off-leash improves the quality of life for our furry friends. Here are some etiquette tips to help ensure a fun, safe, and happy visit.

  • Take for instance your first act upon arrival to the park…you unclip the leash and pull out your cell phone or even a favorite book.  Stop right there.  Put your phone away!  Dog parks not only provide healthy exercise for your pup, but can also help us humans make better decisions by choosing to embrace the outdoors, time with our pets and being present.

 

  • Keep a close eye on Fido! One moment of playfulness can turn sour pretty quickly, especially near the entrance as new dogs come in and others are leaving. It’s especially important for your furry friends to have manners with other dogs, so if you notice rude behavior such as humping, body slamming, stalking etc, it may be time for a break.

rude-dog-012

  • Barking excessively is also something to be aware of. It can be stressful for the other dogs, which can also lead to aggression.  And let’s be honest, even the most avid dog lover may get a little fed up with the one dog who insists on “shouting” the whole time. Take Barking Buster home!

barking_in_dogs_1

  • While some dogs greet their fellow canines quite nicely, they may still need some help saying hello to people. Certain behavior while intended to be friendly, can be perceived as uncouth to the person on the receiving end. Jumping and enthusiastic sniffing of nether regions are both common (but rude!) greetings that can potentially make someone else’s dog park visit less enjoyable. Working with your dog on impulse control can be a huge help!

ID

  • Avoid clusters of both people and dogs; a concentrated area of too many pups in too small a space can lead to a pack mentality. Much like cliques in school, one person (or dog in this matter) can end up being picked on.

 

  • Utilize the entire dog park, it gives you a chance to get some exercise along with your dog and they’ll also enjoy all of the new smells. Many dog parks offer fantastic walking trails as well as agility equipment, so each visit can have some variety.

6401 - Greenwood Urban Wetland Park

  • Remember to scoop your poop! To make the setting clean and enjoyable for everyone please clean up after your dog. Stepping in poop is a sure fire way to make your outing way less enjoyable. If you want to go the extra mile, you could pick up poop that has been left behind by other dog owners. You score some doggy karma points and the park is a little cleaner for everyone else.  Win win!

Most importantly, do a little research before you go to the park. Does your dog need to be spayed or neutered?  Are kids welcome? Are there breed restrictions or any fees or license requirements?  Make sure you know the rules beforehand, so combined with your new etiquette knowledge, you and Fido can make the most out of your time together.

Newtown

Thank you for reading! If you have any more questions about dog park etiquette, please don’t hesitate to ask. Woof woof!

A-Frame: A Dog Agility Classic

Thursday, April 7th, 2016

A-Frame Storey Bark Park

The A-Frame is a traditional piece of agility equipment; it’s fun for dogs of all shapes and sizes. Now, not all dogs are natural climbers so it is important not to push them past their comfort level. Using treats, praise and positive reinforcement to encourage your dog can also be helpful! According to Pet Expertise there are four types of treats that work best and are healthy options for your dog. They recommend using regular dog kibble, cheese, chicken, and chopped veggies as healthy alternatives to dog biscuits or cookies.

dog-loves-cheese

There are several important differences between our A-Frame and others. First of all, ours is not as steep. We think all dogs should be able to safely and comfortably play on our equipment! When an A-Frame is too steep and/or too narrow, it’s not only unsafe, it will discourage dogs from using the equipment again if they lose their footing or feel they need to jump off the side. With that in mind, our A-Frame is only three feet high at the peak with an extra wide width of 38”. Another important consideration is the angle of the ramp; traditional (professional) dog agility requires it to be a very steep 98 degrees for large dogs and 104 degrees for the smaller pups. By design, our A-Frame is only 43 degrees, so about half as steep. This helps to ensure that any pooch, whether an agility champ or a novice, can feel like a top dog once they conquer the ramp. One last word of warning, if a dog park company says they are using AKC or USDAA standards for their equipment, be careful! It’s always a much safer bet to install recreation level equipment in a public park.

Our A-Frame is also coated with PawsGrip™, our exclusive highly textured material designed for maximum slip resistance. Other products may have rubber or textured polyethylene. Neither of these are really suited for the use a dog park sees, and the surface can crumble, degrade or crack quite easily. However, PawsGrip™ is made from the same materials used in truck bed liners, and provides a more stable and sturdy texturized surface that is super durable and holds up under frequent use and all weather conditions.

dog_on_it-189

So remember when comparing dog park agility equipment, we don’t just offer the widest range of products you will find, but also the safest and highest quality. Dog parks are essential in bringing your community together and sourcing safe equipment with a lifetime warranty will guarantee a long lived (and loved!) place for all the pooches and their people to play!

6401 - Greenwood Urban Wetland Park

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!

Pet-Friendly Housing

Friday, March 6th, 2015

There’s been a huge trend with multifamily communities becoming more pet friendly, but what about the pet guardians who are renting? We thought it might be helpful to create a list with some tips for pet parents.

dog-cough

1. A Healthy Pup is A Happy Pup: As with any public place where dogs interact with one another on a regular basis, it is important for pet owners to ensure that their pups are all up to date on their shots. Oftentimes multifamily communities can have pretty tight quarters when it comes to designated pet relief areas. Keeping your pup properly vaccinated can help prevent the spread of disease or illnesses through pet waste and/or coming into contact with other resident’s pets. Many communities now require proof of vaccination with the rental agreement, but even if your community does not, your pup’s long term health is important too, right?

poop_fairy

2. Scoop Your Poop: As mentioned above, failing to pick up after your pet can result in the spread of disease from a neighbor’s dog to your furry friend. Although your coprophagic dog might convince you otherwise, poop from the new French Bulldog next door does NOT make the best treat in town! Pollution issues aside, it’s just not neighborly to leave your pet’s waste behind for Tammy in 3B to step in on her way to work. So make sure you know where the pet waste pick up stations in your community are located and even better? Carry extra bags with you – your neighbors will appreciate it!

just-paying-my-way-through-obedience-school

3. Mind Your Manners: Mark Twain said it best, “Heaven goes by favor; if it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in”. But…only if your dog is well behaved! A little obedience training can go a long way in not only strengthening your relationship with your dog, but also lets your neighbors know you’re a responsible pet owner. Dogs, much like humans, need parameters around acceptable behavior. Once they know what’s expected (positive reinforcement with praise & treats can help!) and can behave appropriately, everyone benefits.

barking

4. Respect Thy Neighbor’s Sleep: Even if you are a dog owner yourself and understand occasional barking, it’s never fun to listen to a dog singing you the song of his people while you’re trying to catch up on much needed beauty sleep. Making sure your pup is entertained during the day (doggy daycares or dog sitters/walkers are a great solution!) and giving them plenty of exercise in the evening will help to burn excess energy and reduce nuisance barking. Woof!

doggy-bath

5. Pet Friendly Perks: In today’s competitive housing market, many communities are offering some great perks for both you and your pup! Keep an eye out for a community that truly welcomes your pet and offers features such as dog grooming stations, pet relief areas, water fountains and best of all, a dog park on site.

Citra at Windermere

6. Dog Parks Are A Must: Finding an apartment community with its own dog park is a win-win. You have the opportunity to meet other residents you might not normally have connected with and if the park has some fun agility equipment, your dog can get some much needed exercise! Having easy access to an off leash area will make life much more enjoyable for your pup and if your community plans events at the dog park such as Yappy Hour, Howl-O-Ween or even obedience training, it can be just as much fun for you.

We hope these tips help make apartment living even better for both you and your furry family members! Feel free to contact us anytime for expert guidance on all things dog park.

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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Pet Parking 101

Monday, January 19th, 2015

Pet Parking Post with Wolfhound

Have you ever seen someone tying their dog up to all varieties of objects such newspaper dispensers, chairs or café tables? Often times, these aren’t exactly the safest way to secure your pet (if you’ve seen Marley & Me, you’ll know why!)…especially when they’re not meant to hold a 70 pound dog who just spotted the cutest little squirrel across the street that they just have to play with – right this second.

One of our favorite solutions at Dog-On-It-Parks is our Pet Parking Post, specifically designed to give you an extra hand while you juggle your coffee, sweatshirt, ball thrower, bag or just a wily canine.

The vibrant colors and laser cut paw print offer a fun pop of color and the two hitching arms accommodate both standard and retractable leashes. Even better? It’s manufactured with heavy gauge (and rust resistant!) aluminum that is secured with concrete so you can feel confident knowing your pooch won’t pull it over if that pesky squirrel happens to run by again.

Our Pet Parking Post is compact and can be easily installed almost anywhere. It’s perfect for tying up your pet while you make a quick run inside the grocery or pet store, community center, property management office or even at the bank.

From being a cute talking point that people notice on their way into your business or dog park, installing Pet Parking Posts throughout your community helps to create an environment where everyone is welcome, either with two or four legs.

What should I look for in dog park equipment?

Friday, May 16th, 2014

Bow Wow Barrel

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.

After all, you want your dog park to be safe AND fun, right?  Click through for more information on what to look for in dog park equipment and dog park resources.


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