Why not just throw the ball in your own backyard? Just like humans, dogs need a daily dose of both exercise and social interaction to stay healthy and active. Dog parks are beneficial to both puppies and humans alike. According to the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, dog parks are perfect for providing socialization for your canine companion both with other dogs as well as people. Off-leash play also exerts more energy, which usually translates into less destructive behavior at home.
There is no question that most dogs are game for exercise, activity and socialization, so pack up the pup and try out one of these local dog parks! But before you go, remember these three things:
- Bring water or verify that the park has water available for both you and your dog.
- Pack a leash. Even in an off-leash environment, it’s good to have a leash for emergencies.
- Make sure your furry friend is up-to-date on vaccinations. As of late July, Oakland and Macomb Counties have both reported an outbreak of canine influenza.
Check out some of the dog parks around Michigan:
- PetSmart P.U.P.’s Detroit Dog Park: This dog park located in Detroit’s Corktown gives you an awesome view of the old train station. The park has turned once vacant land into a pet-friendly park perfect for dogs to freely run around. The park has been open since April 2014 and is free to enter.
- Community Park Dog Park: Barking around Northville? This four-acre park is $30 for residents and $60 for non-residents to access. The fob deposit is an additional $20 however you the park returns $10 when the fob is returned. Hours for this park are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. or dusk.
- Ferndale Dog Park: The Ferndale Dog Park is a members-only dog park which includes safe key-card access, dog poo pick-up stations, designated small and large dog areas, as well as a dog water station. To access this park, it costs $40 plus $10 for the key fob.
- Joey’s Dog Park: Located in the city of Williamston, Joey’s is great for anyone in the mid-Michigan region. The park is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays.
- Northern Tail Dog Park: This off-leash park is a two-and-a-half-acre area located in East Lansing. Created in 2007, visitors can access the Northern Tier Trail and also contains a playground and shade trees. The park is open every day from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- Soldan Dog Park: Located in Lansing, Soldan Dog Park sits adjacent to Hawk Island. This park is more than 15 acres and contains trails, a pond, and a free dog washing station! This park costs $30 for 12 months of access but only $20 if you are a student, senior, veteran, or an owner of a service animal.
- Shaggy Pines Dog Park: The highly acclaimed Shaggy Pines Dog Park has it all! Located in the city of Ada, this park is 15 acres of fenced in grounds. The park has a one-mile jogging/hiking trail as well as a sunset deck that overlooks the pond. Better yet, the park even has a “Shaggy Shuttle” so that your dog can get a day of fun even when you’re busy at work or school.
- Grand Ravines Dog Park: Located on Fillmore East and 42nd Avenue, the Grand Ravines Dog Park is free to enter and perfect for residents of the Allendale, Jenison, and Hudson area. Park hours vary throughout the year. The park is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. from March 1 to October 15 and from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. the remainder of the year.