6110 Creston Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50321
Phone(515) 280-3100

ISU Student Experience

Everybody Loves the Dog Park!

Dog parks are the latest in fun and recreation . . . at least for our dogs!  I have witnessed first hand how a relatively calm, laid-back, adult dog transforms into a vibrant, excited "puppy" once they enter the gate and have their leash removed! 

I have to admit I was a skeptic in the beginning.  Truly felt this was an invitation to the likings of a massacre.  Seemed like a great project for every veterinary and emergency clinic to sponsor!   Then I was invited to the grand opening of the Ankeny Dog Park.  I was at the gate helping owners to get their dogs in and unleashed.  I was in complete awe!  The dogs have no reservations or hesitations.  They are there to play, run, swim.  You would swear they are running and laughing like children on a playground!  Such a joy to watch.  You seriously can't take your eyes off of them. 

Now, there are some rules to be followed.  (Rules vary from park-to-park -- these are generally accepted.)

Each dog must have a valid Permit Tag and must have current Rabies vaccination certification.  Dogs should also be licensed with the City. 

Handlers must pick up and dispose of their dog's waste. 

Gates must be kept closed at all times.  (We don't want a dog to escape!)

Children are not allowed.  Handler of dog must be at least 18 years old.  Handlers must remain within eyesight of their dog(s) and under voice control at all times -- never left unattended.  Handler should always carry a leash within the facility. 

Maximum of two dogs per handler.

Only dogs are permitted.

No pinch/prong/spike collars allowed.

Intact females may not attend the park during their heat cycle.  Intact male dogs may be required to stay on leash or in a separate area. 

No food or drink permitted -- small training treats are allowed.

Dogs should be on a leash while entering and exiting the facility but off leash inside the park.

Most dog parks have an area designated for large dogs and one for small dogs.  Please respect small dogs by not putting your large dog in their area to keep them "safe" from the big dogs.  Small dogs do not enjoy having large dogs jump all over them.  It can cause a small dog harm.  If you aren't comfortable having your dog in with other's their own size, you might not be ready for the dog park experience. 

Get your vaccinations updated, your City License renewed and purchase your Dog Park Permit today.  Then treat your dog to the time of their life!  Drive to your nearest Dog Park, remove the leashes and let them be dogs!!  Be a good owner and supervise.  If your dog bites or causes injury to another dog, please give your information to the other pet owner and offer to cover the veterinary bill.  It's the right thing to do. 

I know one little dog who is King of the Dog Park when he enters.  He runs from one end to the other and never stops.  Let him in the pond area and I guarantee, you are going to have to do some coaxing to get him out! 

Bathing will be required when you get these tired pups home but guaranteed they will sleep soundly!

Published on October 4, 2016

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