Choosing a Location for Off-leash Dog Parks

Dog ownership has skyrocketed over the past decade, and to answer the demand of cities and neighborhoods, developers are building more dog-friendly areas. One of the most popular, fastest growing amenities, dog parks are critical to supporting the needs of dog owners, but where do you start? Here are a few ideas to help get you started on where to implement your new dog park!

Park and Recreation Departments

Park and recreation departments understand owners want their dog to be able to play and run with other dogs within their parks. As a response to this need, off-leash dog parks may be created within or near a larger recreation area to increase crossover usage of facilities.

Hospitality / Resorts, Hotels, and Motels

Resort, hotel, and motel settings are becoming more aware of the need and potential of the market – some may offer luxury accommodations including high-end brand products appealing to both owners and dogs, and specialized classes like “doggy surfing.” 

Airports / Airlines

If you decide to travel by plane with your dog, selected airports in the U.S. offer off-leash dog parks on their properties. Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport has established a 1,000 sq. ft. dog park outside the ground transportation area. The space is fully fenced and offers two original art pieces, flowers, grass, rocks, benches, and biodegradable bags. 

Rest Areas

Traveling on the open road can be rather daunting especially if faced with stops, traffic, accidents, and the like. Add to that an energetic dog in the back seat, and the need for periodic stops is made very clear. Finding accommodations may not be as difficult as it was in the past, but finding dog parks at rest areas along the highway that welcome drivers and their pets may be challenging. 


While on the road, visiting restaurants could be a fun way to spend some time with friends and family. For those individuals that do not want to leave their dogs at a hotel or at home, coffee shops, brew pubs, and restaurants are also catering to dog owners. 

Corporate Settings

Considering the many benefits of dog-ownership, thinking about establishing a dog-friendly work environment may be of importance. According to a recent study conducted at the Virginia Commonwealth University, employees who bring their dogs to the workplace experience less stress during the day.

Housing Complexes

By offering dog parks or dog related amenities in housing complexes, they attract tenants that are willing to spend more money to accommodate their loyal companion. Some offer fenced-in dog parks with minimum equipment, while others may offer pet washing stations, doggy pools, agility equipment, discounts at local pet service businesses, or a combination of these. 

Now that you’ve chosen where to implement your new dog park, what’s next? Request a copy of our planning guide, Unleashed!® for an overview of design trends, planning tips, marketing strategies and a variety of case studies for reference.

Sources for this article can be found in Unleashed!®: Off-leash Dog Park Design Trends and Plannig Tips™

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