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App Review: The Google Maps of Dog Parks
Paws up for Dog Park Finder

If you’ve ever had an urge to look up every dog park in a 20-mile radius, then Dog Park Finder is the app for you. It’s a comprehensive list off-leash areas and on-leash dog walks, mapped out for your convenience.

There are plenty of apps that promise you a directory of doggy delights, only to fall far short of their promises. (I spent hours with the My Dog app before deciding its best feature was its travel tips section.) Dog Park Finder puts sparsely populated applications to shame, delivering long lists of parks and walks in just about every zip code. The information all comes from DogGoes.com, a site that reviews pet-friendly and pet-unfriendly places, and it’s amassed an impressive amount of data. Not only does Dog Park Finder map out these spots, it also includes handy information such as park fees, the name of the management organization, whether there are any bathrooms and whether the park area is fenced in, not to mention user reviews so you can decide if it’s the right venue for your dog.

Dog Park Finder also includes a useful feature I have yet to see on other dog directory apps: It tells you which beaches, trails and other areas specifically forbid dogs.

I would highly recommend this app for anyone looking to find a few (or a few dozen) more parks and trails in their area. Or, if you’re like me, you can just spend hours moving the map around and fantasizing about far away dog parks.

Price: Free

Platforms: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch

Get the App

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Lauren Davis is a Berkeley-based freelance writer and editor of The Comic Book Guide to the Mission. She lives with her four-year-old Boxer, Skoda, who doesn't mind playing guinea pig as long as there are treats involved.
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Submitted by jumpnjill | June 8 2011 |

This app is Great ! I tried many dog park apps and this is the best most of the other apps have very few of the parks listed but this app is updated, and I love it when I travel with the dogs, to find a place to stretch my fur kids legs,and the app is free.

Submitted by Terrier mom | June 8 2011 |

I don't take my dogs to dog parks. I don't trust the other people to have well-socialized dogs, to understand dog body language, to obey the rules, or to be able to manage their dogs.

Many of my dog-handling friends whose dogs are well-mannered and well-trained (we all attend training classes; most of us compete in performance or conformation events) feel the same way.

There are times I don't even feel safe in ON-leash areas because some idiots want their dogs to "have fun" running around loose, regardless of local leash laws.

Submitted by Jade | July 10 2011 |

I live in an apartment and have to go to dog parks for my dog to run and socialize. Sometimes I leave when I don't like what is going on, but that's why I stick close to my dog, practice recalls, and watch the behavior of the rest of the dogs. Not everyone has the land to exercise their buddy privately, and not everyone has dog-handling friends whose dogs are well-trained and available for play sessions (and yes, I have attended multiple training classes). My only other option for my dog to be off leash outside of my 700 square foot apartment is to ignore leash laws in my densely populated neighborhood and let him run as he wills, obviously not really an option.

Is it fair for my dog to NEVER, EVER be off leash? To NEVER really run? I hate being in an apartment, but until I can buy or rent some land, the dog park is worth the risk and I am just gonna have to keep my eyes open for potential trouble.

Submitted by Anonymous | June 8 2011 |

Too bad it is only available for Apple products... Hopefully they'll get on board and make an Android OS version as well for those of us who are not Apple product fans! The overall concept is a very handy one for those of us who travel and while I do not, as a general rule, like dog parks because you often find people with aggressive, untrained dogs, when on the road for days or weeks at a time, dogs need to stretch their legs off lead. I have found if you go when they are first open or just before they are going to close you can usually have a good romp undisturbed by others.

Submitted by lauren | June 9 2011 |

I hear you! I have an Android phone as well, and I'm looking for more doggy Android apps.

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