By Terri Nighswonger
I recently asked a question on our RVing with Dogs Facebook group about RV parks with fenced pet areas and received several interesting responses. I haven’t stayed at any parks with a fenced area for dogs, but many others have. My dog does very well off-leash, so I’m happy with some green space, poop bags provided for pickup and a trash can. But our Facebook friends had some different ideas…
Ed Mays said he doesn’t stay at an RV park unless it has a dog park.
Others are like Debbie Peterson Jenson, who said her vet recommends not going to dog parks so she and her dog walk a lot.
Dawn Ellen Miller agreed. “We don’t let our dogs play with random dogs in parks (my dogs play rough and there’s too much chance of injury). If the park is empty, though, we might indulge in some off-leash play.”
Others weighed in on how many dogs parks were available during their travels.
“I would say at least half do [have a dog park],” said Bill Henry. “We very rarely use them because they are either off in one corner or are just a fence around a patch of dirt or weeds. Most seem like an afterthought just so they can advertise they have a dog park, even if it isn’t usable.”
Deborah Mason said she thought maybe 25–50 percent of parks they stayed at had them, not including state and national parks. “The biggest one was actually at LaPine State Park in Oregon. It had a huge fenced field, a couple of benches and a poop station. Many times we’ve seen the folks with the little dogs abandon their trip to the dog area because we were headed in that direction with our dog(s) who are both in the 55-75 pound range. They get along with most dogs but the ones with the little ones don’t want to risk meeting us. Oh, well.”
Christine Kramer thought around 25 percent had a fenced dog park based on their experience RVing between Ontario and British Columbia. “KOAs are usually good for fenced dog areas. Others sometimes advertise them but, in fact, do not have such an area. We are fanatic about picking up after our beagle and find most people at dog-friendly parks are the same. However, there seems to always be someone who doesn’t bother.”
Others agreed that KOAs were good places to find a dog park area.
“We stayed at the KOA in Grand Island, Nebraska, yesterday on our way to Wyoming. Their dog park was great! Clean and grassy! Our dogs had it all to themselves!” posted Janet Baker.
Tina Lipscomb also likes KOAs, “Not to play but because off-leash ‘business’ is so much faster.”
Here is a list of the top dog parks from tripsavvy.com if you happen to be in these areas.
- Garden of the Gods RV Resort: Colorado Springs, Colorado
- Evergreen Park RV Resort: Dundee, Ohio
- Riverside Campground & Cabins: Big Sur, California
- Lake Whippoorwill KOA: Orlando, Florida
- Escondido RV Resort: Escondido, California
- Normandy Farms Family Camping Resort: Foxborough, Massachusetts
From large dog parks to boarding, dog-friendly trails, dog pampering and more, these top RV parks are the cream of the crop but if you are headed to a destination and don’t know what is available, be sure to call ahead, find out the rules and see if there are any breed restrictions.
Right now, my dog could use a good space to chase a ball, but we will have to wait for some time at the beach.