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NPM’s Guide To Dog Parks

With dog parks growing in popularity since the pandemic, NPM’s Asha Clearwater explains the dos and dont’s of using these facilities and what her three canine companions get from the experience.

Five minutes and we’re there. The Dog Park. Somewhere that has become one of our dogs’ favourite places for playtime. 


Tails wagging, eyes bright, they’re barking with excitement before I’ve even had time to turn off the car ignition. 


My three poodle crosses are 13 months, nine and 12-and-a-half and each one loves their time at the 3.5 acre site where they can run, amble, sniff and on the days they’re up for a challenge, try out the onsite agility equipment which includes tyres, weave poles and hoop jumps. 


For our older dog looking for a more sedate experience, there’s plenty of spots where she can lie down and keep a watchful eye on her younger ‘siblings’. 



With CCTV, seating and a wooden shelter for humans, where you can hang up leads, plus a water station and plenty of dog poo bins, the site may not be the most sophisticated, but it is secured with solid fencing (to stop paws digging under it), double gates with controlled entry and has everything your dog needs for a good adventure. 


Slots are booked online at a price of £10 for 45 minutes for a maximum of three dogs. Prices rise with the number of four legged friends in attendance. 


Situated on the edge of a village, it has become a go to for dog owners in the area with many booking a group slot - a canine meet and greet where canine companions can play freely together. 


For our three dogs, it has become a weekly treat and works perfectly with our regular walks. They come back well exercised, relaxed and happy. 


As well as using the time to help our energetic young pup burn off some pent-up energy, it’s a good opportunity to work on those important training basics like recall. 


It’s a fantastic way to prevent problems associated with boredom and lack of exercise, like destructive behaviours and escape attempts. 


Dog parks can be an excellent way for our four legged friends to exercise and gain mental stimulation to help them stay happy and healthy. They can also help them practice social skills with other dogs and people.


However, these places where multiple canines share the same space can increase the risk of disease and the spread of internal and external parasites without sufficient preventive measures. 


So, before booking a park visit always:


  1. Follow your vet’s advice on vaccinations and parasite prevention
  2. Ensure the park is fully secured
  3. Take along plenty of poo bags and water (not all parks provide them) 
  4. Test your dog’s temperament around other dogs and people beforehand if you’re thinking of taking your dog to a group session
  5. Allow some time for your dog to adjust, but if they’re clearly not having fun, leave
  6. Keep a close eye on your dog at all times
  7. Stay close enough to your dog so you can intervene if an interaction starts to take a turn
  8. Stay away from the park if your canine is coughing or showing any signs of illness. Instead contact your local vet. 

Do you and your dog visit a dog park regularly? Tell us about your experiences and share your pics with us.             

#PetPawsitivity #NPM24 

Press Office

For media information, images or to speak to a spokesperson about National Pet Month please contact Taz Thornton or Asha Clearwater at Turquoise Tiger on +44 (0)7920 461 044 or email

Please note we have access to a range of spokespeople via our coordinators, sponsors and most animal welfare organisations and charities who get involved with NPM.

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