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Creating Your Own At-Home Dog Park

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Living in the country with a large yard bordered by woods, I have to admit that artificial turf isn’t something that I’d considered for our dogs. Even though we lost most of our yard due to drought last summer (and this year have had to conserve our well water as well), I hadn’t considered artificial turf in place of the real thing.

Until I interviewed DIY Network’s Jason Cameron.

Cameron, pet parent to a three-legged rescue dog named C.J., worked to design the Beneful Dream Dog Park 2012 in Alabaster, Alabama near Birmingham. The television host and contractor has artificial turf in his own yard and completely carpeted the Dream Dog Park with the surface. Although it was attractive to me that he said it’s becoming more affordable and has a lifespan of 10 to 20 years, one thing he mentioned really perked up my years:

Ticks don’t like synthetic turf.

Cameron added other features to the park that he believes are also do-able in residential yards as well such as stones–whether real stones or artificial boulders–and a bridge to give dogs a unique vantage point:

“Someone could build this themselves,” he said, pointing to the arched bridge. “They use treated lumber and stain it and customize it to whatever they want.”

In terms of designing a dog park, Cameron had some other tips: “Think about the park in terms of playing with your dog. Don’t close it off–leave plenty of room between agility equipment.”

The Beneful Dream Dog Park also includes a walking path which Cameron believes is a great feature. “For people working on getting their dogs to walk with them in the park, a rubber path is very comfortable.”

Whether constructing a dog park or modifying your own backyard, though, the process is the same. Cameron says, “It’s all about thinking about the dog and from a dog’s perspective.”

Disclosure: I was a guest at the opening of Beneful Dream Dog Park but I was not paid to write about the dog park and all opinions are entirely my own.

Paris Permenter
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