There’s only so much exercise and freedom dogs can get when roaming a small apartment or crossing the same back yard day in and day out. So when your furry friends fall victim to the boredom of their everyday surroundings, grab their best collar and be on your way. It’s time for an adventure.
For those times when it’s time to let your dogs off the leash, there are three dog parks in Orange County that are perfect for any type of dog.
Friends of the Laguna Beach dog park
Nestled between the hills on Laguna Canyon Road is the Friends of Laguna Beach Dog Park. The park has areas for small and large dogs with dog sanitary stations nearby. The dog park has a large number of visitors with 70% of the daily locals and others arriving from surrounding cities. Marc Buchan, board member, said the park had seen an influx of new visitors over the past month.
Buchan said the open space gives owners the opportunity to bond with their animals while also being part of the unique and friendly community of dogs and dog lovers.
Kayla Leland, who owns a five-month-old Australian Shepherd, has visited the park a few times since trying to socialize her pup. Her puppy was shy and insecure when she first visited the park as she is smaller, but now she gets excited and is less afraid when she plays with the other dogs. The park is near her home and she prefers this park as there are always a variety of dogs, Leland said.
The Central Bark dog park
Dogs can play off-leash in three acres of open field at Irvine in Central Bark Dog Park. This park offers the convenience of dog fountains, covered seating, lighting fixtures, and disabled access. The room accommodates different sizes of dogs with a main yard for large dogs and a separate fenced area for small or frail dogs.
“Dogs can go out and be active, which is important for dog health, both mentally and physically,” said Gina Ferrante, Irvine City Community Utility Coordinator.
Ferrante notes that while the park is in constant use throughout the day, peak usage usually occurs in the early hours of the morning and early evening. The park provides a safe environment for dogs to socialize, while also providing an opportunity for owners to meet other dog owners and share experiences, she added.
â€œThe staff meet with the community frequently to hear recommendations and work together to improve the facility,â€ Ferrante said. “The relationship with the community makes this dog park really special.”
The dog beach
Dogs can enjoy their stretch of beach in Huntington Beach, known locally as Surf City. Martin Senat founded the Dog Beach in 1998, which stretches over 1.5 miles between Goldenwest and Seapoint. Dogs have the opportunity to walk around without a leash as soon as their paws touch the sand.
The Preservation Society of Huntington Dog Beach (PSHDB) is a non-profit organization that works to keep the beach clean in order to keep the beach for dogs to play with. They currently have 22 dog bag dispensers stationed on the bike path between the Seapoint and the pier. According to the nonprofit, they are replenished twice a week and visitors to the area use around 3,000 dog poop bags a day.
PSHDB recommends introducing dogs into the water very slowly and at the dog’s own pace. They suggest never forcing the dog into the water and in some cases the dog may not be able to enjoy the water. However, you can still enjoy the sand and socializing. In other cases, some dogs may naturally swim, but they advise owners to monitor even the best swimmers by not throwing the tennis balls too far into the sea.
Dog parks are alternative exercise goals when pet owners live in a smaller space that doesn’t have space for dogs to play or the ability to play off a leash. Check the parks’ websites for information on operating times and closing days.