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Should you take your dog to a dog park?

Middy
Middy
Photo by John Eastman

In today’s society it has become very popular to take one’s dog to a Doggy Park for it to learn how to socialize. Most people find the atmosphere pleasant and welcoming. It should be noted, however, that although most dogs love having the freedom to run and play with others, there are many dogs that have not developed the skill and some of them can be downright aggressive.

It is always best to check out the dog park completely with your dog leashed before allowing it to roam freely. It is also a wise idea to take along a companion when visiting for the first time. If a dog should become aggressive towards your pet, it is always an advantage to have four hands on the defense rather than two.

Having two dogs together is a defense against an unsuspecting aggressor and can sometimes lessen the fear of first time experience at the park. Most of the largely attended parks are off-leash but there is a wide diversified number of parks to choose from with some having areas for small dogs verses large breed dogs. Following Dog Park Etiquette is always best.

Other risk factors might include an unhealthy dog joining yours in the park or perhaps rabbits or squirrels that inhabit the park and carry fleas or other diseases. If you have your own dog protected against parasites, this should not present a problem.

This link to the top ten off-leash parks in Minnesota will not only show you which parks to choose but give you all the specifics you need to know about their hours and rules of operation. Ranking is designated on the site.

Elm Creek Reserve Dog Park

Maple Grove, MN, US

Pets will find more than enough room to play at this 29 acre, fenced dog park, set in the middle of the gorgeous Elm Creek Reserve. Permit required

Bloomington Dog park

Bloomington, MN, US

This 25-acre park is a dog's dream! There is a very large grassy area, hills, trees and even a pond for those dogs that like to swim

Bryant Lake Regional Dog Park

Eden Prairie, MN, US

Dogs go wild for this 9.3 acre, fully fenced off-leash play area in Eden Prairie's beautiful Bryant Lake Park. Our paved, regional and skijoring/dog sledding trails are dog-friendly. Dogs must be kept on a 6-foot, non-retractable leash except in designated off-leash areas. Leashed dogs are allowed on all paved trails except where posted otherwise.

Battle Creek Regional Dog Park

Saint Paul, MN, US

Bring your pet to play off-leash at this fenced, grassy dog park, which includes trees and benches.

Alimagnet Dog Park

Burnsville, MN, US

Alimagnet Dog Park is the perfect place to let your dog run free. It offers 7 acres of off-leash fenced area, a double-gated entry, a pond, an open grass area, a wood-mulch walking path, a wooded area, picnic tables, benches, waste bags, and trash containers. The park also hosts many special events throughout the year (that you can find listed on their website). ...

Keene Creek Dog Park

Duluth, MN, US

Pets will love to run and play off-leash at this fully fenced Duluth dog park. Pets must be licensed.

Arlington Arkwright Dog Park

Saint Paul, MN, US

This is a fenced off leash dog park. Approximately 4.5 acres, this long rectangle of park land includes wooded trails, open space and a large bowl-shaped slope. Very clean, with all sorts of terrain, but no pond for dog to swim or get stinky.VISIT WEBSITE

Woodview Dog Park

Roseville, MN, US

Bring your pet to play off-leash in this fenced dog park, which sets aside certain hours for small-dog only play.

Staring Lake Dog Park

Eden Prairie, MN, US

Pets love this fenced Eden Prairie off-leash dog park, which includes both grassy, open areas and lovely wooded trails.

Bassett Creek Dog Park

Crystal, MN, US

Pets are welcome to run and play off-leash in this fenced dog park, which is sometimes used as a skating rink in winter.

Again a word of caution: it is always best to check very carefully before letting your dog be on its own for the first time. It’s best to be safe than lose a pet out of another animal’s inappropriate training or behavior.