It was brought to the Dog Park Committee’s attention that the surface area (pea gravel/stones) appears to be somewhat harsh on some of the dog’s paws. Please know that the surface area for the park was researched extensively and other surfaces were explored. The current surface was chosen based on safety, sanitary, and long-term economical reasons. All of the following surfaces were considered:
Dirt/Grass: It has been proven that this surface would not allow for proper drainage in a heavy rain and it would take a lot of time for the surface to dry. In addition, the dogs tend to dig holes with this surface, which could prove to be a safety hazard not only to dogs but to humans as well.
Wood chips: This was not the best option, as it would need to be replaced often. In addition, it would absorb urine and fecal matter and therefore has been proven less sanitary than other surfaces.
Pea Gravel: With the research conducted by the Committee on other dog parks around the country, this was the most sanitary and sturdy means of surface area.
If your dog is having difficulty with the current surface area there are several things you may do:
Buy some booties for the dog. While this has worked for some in the past, it may take a while for some dogs to get used to wearing them.
Purchase an over the counter application (i.e., Mushers Waxor TUF- Foot) available at most pet stores to help toughen-up the dog’s pads. Please note: Check with your vet before applying anything to your dog’s paws.
Slowly increase the time your dog is at the park. This will limit exposure and slowly let the paws acclimate to the surface. Perhaps 10-15 minutes the first day, and then add 3-5 minutes each day as the dog can tolerate.
If your dog is currently experiencing some tender/torn pads, PAD-HEAL is a “healing goop” which helps increase the healing process. Again, check with your vet before applying anything to your dog’s paws.
We hope this response has helped to explain why the pea gravel was chosen as the best surface area for the Montville Township Dog Park.