Grande Prairie is an excellent city to raise a family of furry friends in. There are many dog parks and off-leash areas throughout Grande Prairie, and if you’re training a new puppy how to walk on a leash, there are many beautiful trails as well!
There are four dog parks in Grande Prairie; one is at South Bear Creek which is located on the south side of the city on 100st and 67ave. The bear creek dog park is equipped with doggie waste bags, picnic tables, garbages, trees and is completely fenced in. It is the most popular dog park so if your pet loves playing with friends this would be the best park.
The other three dog parks are not fenced in but are recognized by the city of Grande Prairie as neighbourhood off-leash dog parks. These are designated areas in a corridor/under-utilized green space that an owner can take their dog for a walk on a leash, enter the designated/signed walking corridor and allow their pet to be off-leash. Owners are then able to leash up their pet and continue on their walk. These areas have litter receptacles and dog waste bag dispensers available for public use and are very large areas to fetch. One of these off-leash areas is located in royal oaks on 108 St. & 117 Ave. Another off-leash dog park is in Crystal Ridge and is located at 9610 126 Ave known as the north-east park. The fourth off-leash dog park is also located in Crystal Ridge and is known as west location and is at 124 Ave right behind the Great Canadian Superstore.
Dog parks are great for training your pets while they have distractions to teach them to pay attention to you. Dog parks are excellent for socializing your pet, so they don’t develop behavioural problems towards other animals. Playing fetch is really good for releasing your pet’s energy, but you should not use tennis balls because the fibres wear down the enamel on the teeth and can cause serious problems like root or nerve exposure or damage.
There are walking trails around almost every neighbourhood in Grande Prairie, and almost all of them are paved. At Muskoseepi park there are several paved trails that go around the reservoir and branch into trails that can lead to long walks across the city, so be sure to grab a map when you go! If you enjoy long walks and your pet is very high energy you could walk from Muskoseepi park all the way to the south Bear Creek dog park. Crystal lake/Lakeland has an asphalt trail that goes around most of the lake and is a lovely path for biking or walking with your pet. Look out for oncoming pets/traffic!
If you’re looking for a path with more nature or greenery, there are many natural/hiking paths around Grande Prairie, and almost all are branched off of asphalt trails- so go explore!
On very hot days place the back of your hand against the path/sidewalk/road. If it is too hot for you to touch, it is too hot for your pet’s feet to walk on. If you still would like to walk your pet you could walk them on grass, a natural path or you can buy booties to put on their feet to protect them against the heat of the path preventing burns on their skin pads. If you find the pads of your pet’s feet are getting dry or worn speak to your vet about creams and other options to protect your pet’s paws.
Dog parks, trails and off-leash areas are breeding grounds for intestinal worms that are passed in the feces. Regular deworming and vaccination is advised if you take your pet to the dog park as there is no stopping them from coming in contact with other dogs with worms or transferable diseases in these areas.
Keep your dog on a leash when coming and going from the site.
Pick up after your dog. Waste bags and garbage cans are provided at the park. Bring water for your dog and follow the Animals and Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw.
For more information on trails and Dog parks in Grande Prairie click here.
Written by: Lisa Fox, RVT