Dog Parks and Their Issues


Hannah McDonough, Editor

Being a dog owner includes many responsibilities. As well as feeding and bathing your dog, you should exercise them. Sometimes a backyard isn’t enough space for a dog to run around and a leash doesn’t let them run. This is why dog parks are important. But what if you can’t exercise your dog because there are no nearby, quality dog parks?

According to AustinLocal, there about 18 public dog parks in Austin. 11 of those are off-leash, and yet a smaller portion is fenced in. And only a few of those are nearby.

You have probably driven through neighborhoods and seen dog parks. Most of the time, those are private dog parks where residents have a key to get in. Not all neighborhoods have these residents-only parks. This is where the need for public parks come in. Austin has a lot of public dog parks, but they are spread out throughout the city. We don’t have to go far to get to dog parks, but they are usually on-leash parks that aren’t meant specifically for dogs.


It is in the nature of dogs to run around and play. A leash restrains dogs, so sometimes, going on a walk isn’t enough. Dogs need a place to escape the leash and owners need to know that their pet is safe. A fence will help ensure that dogs can’t run away or walk into roads.

In addition, these areas should have grass and less concrete. Believe it or not, some dog parks actually have a lot of concrete! During playtime, dogs can easily fall and hurt themselves.

Also, some dog parks should have big dog and little dog sections. When dogs play, it sometimes looks like they’re wrestling or fighting. That’s usually okay… But things can get out of hand. Big dogs generally have the advantage: They are bigger and aren’t as likely to get hurt when playing with smaller dogs. Little dogs, however, can easily get hurt or tackled by these other dogs. Dogs should be separated based on size so that playtime doesn’t turn dangerous.


So are there any off-leash parks nearby? They aren’t super close, but you can find some nearby. Emma Long Metropolitan Park is an off-leash park about 22 minutes away from Canyon Vista. There are other things to do at Emma Long, like camping and fishing, but your dog can join in on the fun!

Red Bud Isle is another off-leash park about 30 minutes away. Just like Emma Long, you can do many other things, but you don’t have to leave your dog at home. According to RootsRated, it’s one of the best places to let your dog off-leash.

But what about fenced-in dog parks? One good dog park is Round Rock Dog Depot, it is 23 minutes away. But who wants to drive that far just so that their dog can have a fenced in area? For that matter, who wants to drive 22 or 30 minutes to go to any off-leash area?


In the end, we need more quality, nearby dog parks in our area. Without them, how should we exercise our dogs when the leash isn’t enough?