Bend Dog Parks

Bend Oregon definitely prides itself as a dog town. Most breweries and eateries offer outdoor seating where you can sit with your dog. There are some great locally owned pet shops that carry quality merchandise for your furry best friend. And out of the 81 human parks, there are 8 off-leash dog areas. In all honesty, eight off leash dog parks is not a lot. Most other towns I have lived in or visited have well over ten parks where your pup can run wild and free. However, the quality of these 8 dog parks greatly surpasses those I have been to elsewhere. Wide-open spaces, usually fenced-in, in safe neighborhoods, and maintained by the wonderful people at PAC and Bend Parks n Rec. Below you will see a list (in no particular order) of the off-leash areas in Bend, with some notes as to what to expect when visiting them.

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  • Big Sky– 5 acres, both fenced and unfenced, broken up into several sections. When you first enter the off-leash area from the main gate, you will be in a High Desert trail environment. Walking through the second gate will bring you into some more desert trails, and a nice big grassy field with some picnic tables, a water spigot, and plenty of room for some Chuck-It. Through yet another gate you will find the unfenced area where you can walk the trails and reach the pond and canal. This area requires a leash. Dogs are not allowed to swim in the pond or canals, though that does not stop many pups or their people from doing so. If you continue along the canal you’ll reach a large empty stretch of land, again on leash please. (UPDATE: this area after the pond is now private property, but all the “No Swimming” signs have been removed!) This park is not often very busy, but it is surrounded by a lot of human activities (soccer, lacrosse, biking). If you go during the hours of 8am & 10am you might run into a very large dog group, so if your dog is easily overwhelmed you might want to wait until the afternoon.
  • Bob Wenger at Pine Nursery– 18.8 fenced acres, including a small dog area (which I have never been in). This park is nice and spread out, allowing you to walk a variety of paths and giving your pup different sights and smells. Most of the park is High Desert walking trails, with benches along the way, one of which features an amazing view of the mountains to the West. The trails open up to a very large grassy field, with partially open fencing along the perimeter to help you keep an eye on your pup. There are some picnic tables and a couple water spigots throughout the park, as well as poop bag stations and trashcans. This park has several entries/exits which allow you to access the greater paved trail that goes around the entirety of Pine Nursery. Your dog must be on leash whenever outside of the off-leash dog area. The visitors of this park vary, including the regulars that attend almost religiously, and the tourists who just Googled “dog park” and voila! Most people in this park are great, but this is the park I have experienced the most issues at. Humans on cellphones not paying attention to their dogs, dog walkers dropping their pack off and letting them have free rein, and nonlocals who bring their not-so-friendly pooches along just to get some energy out.  I have also run into quite a few dog-free bicyclists in this park. *Note- the dog park shares a parking lot with the pickleball courts, which can get very busy*
  • Discovery– 1.6 acres fenced. I’m going to be blunt, I never come here. It was originally created by West Bend Property Company, and was recently taken over by Bend Parks n Rec. It’s Snoozeville to me and my pack. I would probably go more often if I had an elderly Havanese that enjoyed strolling at a snail’s pace. The human park is very nice and peaceful, but the dog park is lacking. The good news is, it is very rarely busy, and it’s a new park so there is a lot of opportunity for growth and improvements.
  • Ponderosa– 2.9 fenced acres with a separate small dog area. This is my most frequented park, mostly because it’s in my ‘hood. It’s a much smaller scale Pine Nursery, with desert-like walking trails that lead into a small opening where you can play ball. Rather than having a nice grassy clearing for ball play, the entire park is dirt, except for the small dog area. The small dog area is all grass, with some small trees and benches. It has a chain link fence separating it from the big dog area. A lot of the little dogs love to run up and down this fence line barking at humans and dogs on the other side, and a lot of the owners do not correct this behavior, so if you have a dog that loves fence fighting this may not be the park for you. Most of the park is shade, which is great on hot days, but makes things very chilly on cold days. There is a water spigot, and it is surrounded by a human park, complete with two skateparks, a soccer field, a playground, and some paved walking paths. This park is mostly used by those who live in the neighborhood, but you also see some out-of-towners. A lot of cellphone use at this park, and a lot of people sitting at benches while their dog is on the opposite side of the park. Also, for some reason, a lot of people bring human food to this park and eat it at the picnic table in the middle of the dog play area.
  • Riverbend– 1.1 acres fenced with small dog area and dog access to the river. Bleh. I apologize if it sounds like I’m talking smack, but if you live in Bend and have taken your dog to this park, you probably share my view. It’s an afterthought. It’s at the end of the lush, grassy Riverbend Park, tucked away at the other end of a rocky parking lot. The terrain is all tiny rocks, which makes poop scooping a game, cracking toenails and paw pads a cinch, and the rocks become scorching hot on sunny days and icy and treacherous in cold months. There are a couple benches, but absolutely no shade. And no drinkable water, unless you count the river, which isn’t technically drinkable. The small dog area is not worth the visit. The river access is reached by leaving the dog park and entering another gate across the path. Access is only granted to those that love launching into water from the rocks above. Imagine if you’re friends told you they were taking you swimming, and then you arrived only to realize you had to jump from a rock cliff into the water below. This is where all tourists bring their dogs. Close to Old Mill, hotels, and a very popular human park, it offers quite a bit of convenience to those who are visiting. I have come across more unattended dogs at this park than any other (unattended meaning they are left alone in the fenced park without their human) I do not know where the human goes, but my guess is for a nice relaxing float in the Deschutes. I realize I have nothing positive to say about this park except that it is connected to the River Trail, which is a fantastic LEASH walk.
  • Awbrey Reservoir– 5 acres, slightly fenced. Yes, slightly fenced. The park is surrounded by some wooden post fencing, but it is not closed in by any means. Please be aware that the parking lot is attached to a semi busy road, and the park runs along 12th, which people love driving super fast on. This park is connected to Hillside Park, and yes it is on a hillside. It is sprinkled with unpaved walking trails that allow you to wander the hill and lead you to a great view of town. There are a couple picnic benches, where I have actually seen families having sit down dinners. There is no water spigot in the park, but there is a drinking fountain in the parking lot equipped with a lower fountain for dogs (dog bowl is not included). This park is mostly inhabited by neighborhood locals, and most of the park’s visitors do weekly cleanups of poops and trash. It’s not really a place to play ball, but it is nice for a relaxing sunrise/sunset stroll.
  • Overturf– 4.6 fenced acres. This park is perched up above a children’s playground and surrounded by newer homes. It has a forest feel, with tall trees covering most of the sky, and dirt trails throughout. The hill gives dogs a good workout, and just outside the dog park you’ll find Skyliner Summit Loop, where you can enjoy a peaceful walk after your pup gets to play with some pals. The park is never crowded, and most guests are neighborhood locals. There is no water spigot or drinking fountain, and people have been kind enough to bring water jugs. If you remember, bring a gallon of H20 along on your next trip to Overturf.
  • Hollinshead– 3.7 acres unfenced. This park is good for more mellow dogs who like to lay in the grass, stroll and take in the sniffs, and possibly play some light ball. The area is surrounded by a much larger human park, and it’s difficult to tell where the off-leash area begins and ends (especially for dogs who can’t read) so you have to be aware of the off-leash posts and make sure your dog stays where he is supposed to so you don’t get accosted by the nondog people. Right next to the dog park is a barn, where a lot of Bendites get married, so please make sure your pup isn’t off eating wedding cake or running away with a bride. This park also has some great LEASH walking trails around it.

Hopefully these tidbits prove helpful, and hopefully we can continue to improve these parks and open others up to off-leash play! Please do your part and pick up poops and trash while visiting Bend’s glorious parks!

Hound for the Holidays

If you are lucky enough to spend the holidays with your dog, here are a few treats to keep them happy while you stuff yourself full of non-dog-friendly foods and drinks! More can be found at Rover.com

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  1. Dog Nog
  • 7oz plain greek yogurt
  • 2oz baby food (organic sweet potato & chicken)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 egg (free range)
  • Peanut Butter Buddy Biscuits (use as a topper)

Combine yogurt, baby food, water, and egg in a blender until frothy. Top with a dog treat such as a Peanut Butter Buddy Biscuit

2. Frozen Pup Cakes

  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 ripe banana
  • splash of unsweetened almond milk (or water)

Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Add almond milk (or water) to get the desired consistency. Pour mixture into muffin tins and freeze until fully solid. Pop them out of the muffin tray and serve em up!

3. Sweet Potato Treats

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (make 2 cups sweet potato puree)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Peel and cube 2 medium sweet potatoes and bring to a boil in a pot of water. Simmer on low for 15-20 minutes (until soft). Drain and puree. In a separate bowl mix flour, oats, and cinnamon. In a separate larger bowl whisk egg, puree, and peanut butter. Mix wet ingredients with dry. Pour onto a flour surface and roll dough out to 1/4-3/8″ thick. Cut out cookie shapes using your choice of cookie cutter shapes. Dough will be slightly sticky. Flour helps! Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Let them cool and harden, then serve!

It’s always nice to treat your pet, but make sure they don’t over indulge this holiday season! Keep human dinner scraps clear from your furry friends reach! If you choose to share your bounty with your pets, make sure you set aside unsalted & unseasoned portions for them!

 

Road Trippin’ with your Pooch

The summer is winding down, but that doesn’t mean it’s over! With all this smoke ruining the summer days, Adventure Pup has been traveling to clearer skies, which got us thinking about the necessities for road trippin’ with your pooch!

Here is what we have learned to makes trips easier for you and your furfriends:

  1. Make sure your pup is up to date on all vaccinations! Contacting your vet is always a great idea before a road trip. They can let you know what vaccines your pup will need for the wide open road and all the outdoor adventures to follow. Also make sure they are up to date on all flea, tick, and heartworm medication.
  2. Pack a bag for you pup! It’s always easier if your pup has his own luggage with food, water, bowls, toys to keep them busy and happy, treats, poop bags, a comb (for brushing, but also in the chance your pup picks up a tick- yuk!), a dog blanket and towel (dogs enjoy having something that has a familiar smell), dog-friendly bug spray, and any medications your dog may need.
  3. Make sure you have a first aid kit! Most of the items in a human kit will work for dogs, but it is always best to have a separate kit for your dog. The American Veterinary Medical Foundation has a great list of supplies you may need for your dog.
  4. Make sure your dogs tags are up to date and that they are always wearing a clear form of identification. It always helps to have them microchipped! Even if your dog has never left your side, it’s better to be safe than a dogless human.
  5. The safest way to travel with your pup is to crate them, but not everyone has the luxury vehicle for that. Seat belting them in with a harness is always a safe alternative.
  6. If you are traveling to a specific destination, please plan ahead for your pup as well. Make sure your accommodations allow dogs, or that you have properly secured a reputable dog boarding facility for your arrival. A lot of good boarding facilities require information and a trial before they allow you to board your dog, so having something booked ahead of time will ensure you don’t run into issues.
  7. Try to stick to your dog’s routine. They depend on it and it will help them deal with the changing scenery if they are at least able to use the restroom at their usual time of day.
  8. To keep your pup happy and occupied you can give them a stuffed Kong and take breaks where they can get out, stretch their legs, sniff and pee, and play with a good toy for five minutes. You can even take the opportunity to work on new tricks with your pup at rest stops!

 

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Surviving the Smoke

As the fires continue to burn throughout Oregon we ask ourselves, “How much more can I stand this campfire smell?!” Well if your pup could talk, he would be asking himself the same thing!

A dog’s sense of smell is about 10,000 times more powerful than ours! Dogs have up to 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses, compared to our measly 6 million. And the part of a dog’s brain that is devoted to analyzing smells is about 40 times greater than ours. That’s a whole lotta campfire stench!

Not only are their senses of smell sensitive to the smokey air, but when a dog exercises they pant in order to keep their bodies cool. This means they are taking in gasps of air for an extended period of time. When you take your pup out to exercise in these smokey conditions, they will begin to pant and inhale the unhealthy air into their lungs. This air could effect even the healthiest of dogs, but is much worse for elderly pups, dogs that are overweight, and of course those with health issues.

Please be aware of the air quality in your town, and be sure to limit outdoor romps and hazardous air exposure.

“Pet owners who must walk or exercise pets outdoors should look for times of the day when smoke and dust settle as much as possible. On really severe days, designated with a red air quality warning, maybe only a quick outing in the yard is best. By all means, though, avoid intensive exercise during these periods of poor air quality.” -Dr. Robert Dyke of WSU’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital 

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Summertime Fun!

Whew is it hot out there! I bet your pet would appreciate these summertime tips on how to stay cool!

  • Always make sure your pup has access to plenty of WATER! It’s great to take your pup with you to the local breweries, but don’t forget they would enjoy a cold beverage too! All dog friendly places offer dog bowls, so if you do not see one available, just ask a friendly employee! Or you can bring your own Gulpy Dog Water Bottle! Bring Fido has a great list of dog friendly places!
  • Keep a wet bandana around their neck! This is especially helpful for those pups that don’t like to swim. It helps keep their body temps down 🙂
  • In leu of the wet bandana, you can delicately dump some cool water on your pup’s neck, back, and belly. Be sure not to get water in their ears!
  • Remember what it felt like to be a kid and run around barefoot on the blacktop, pretending it was hot lava? Well dog’s feet can feel heat too! Avoid having your pup walk or stand on blacktop for long periods of time, their paw pads can become cracked and irritated by the heat. Coconut oil is a great way to moisturize those baked pads! If your dog doesn’t mind, you could always get some Ruffwear booties!
  • The shade is your friend! Please do not tie your pup up in the sunshine. Dogs can easily overheat and need access to shade and WATER!
  • Early morning and evening walks are the best time of day for a dog walk. The air is cooler and the sun is lower in the sky.
  • Frozen treats are fun to make, and even more fun to eat! Check out some easy recipes found on Rover’s site!
  • DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PUP IN THE CAR! Yes it sounds obvious, but I’m sure you see dogs locked in their cars as much as I do. And it is now legal for citizens to break into your vehicle to free your pets, so avoid having your windows broken or your dog overheating and leave Fido at home while you run your errands. Dogs don’t like chores anyways.

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