Dog parks have been proven to be a safe area for dogs to socialize with other canines freely. Pet owners get to lounge on benches and interact with other humans while the dogs romp and play with one another. Although there are several famous Dog Parks in the Denver, Colorado area, the Elk Meadow facility just recently was shut down because of extreme levels of E. coli from dog waste. Parking issues also lead to the closure.

Size of the Elk Meadow Dog Park in Evergreen leads to the unsanitary conditions

The Elk Meadow Dog Park is 107 acres of running and playing space for dogs to enjoy and owners to congregate and relax.

After the closure of the facility, due to dog waste, pet owners can’t imagine how the problem can be resolved. The main reason for the closure is excessive dog excrement, and owners question why everyone just doesn’t pick up after their pets. With the number of dogs frequenting dog parks, the concern is E. coli and bacteria as a result of extreme amounts of dog waste.

Recent studies about dog park visitations and issues with disease and parasites

It would be the perfect and responsible thing for every pet owner to do and pick up after their own dog but it can sometimes be difficult to do as the animals run around, romp and play. Lab tests show that dogs who visit these facilities are more likely to have positive results for cryptosporidium and giardia parasites than dogs who are not taken to the parks.

Michael Lappin, the Kenneth W. Smith Professor of Infectious Disease at Colorado State University told the Denver post that “When you have a higher concentration of dog feces in a contained area, you can expect to increase the likelihood of exposure to these agents. Even if the feces are cleaned up promptly, there are still the presence of these microbes in the environment.” If these disease agents persist, it can present an increased exposure risk for all the dogs.

Animals that are healthy and on parasite preventatives pose a minimal risk.

It always helps if the parks are maintained, and dog owners pick up after their pets but some other tips to follow when visiting a dog park are:

  • Ensure your dog is up-to-date with vaccines
  • Dogs should be dewormed
  • Avoid bringing young pups, senior or ill dogs to a pet park
  • Wash your hands after taking your pet to a dog park
  • Follow proper pet waste disposal
  • Monitor your dog to make sure there are no aggressive tendencies when interacting with other pets