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Indianapolis Bark Parks: Wag Your Human

Canine pet parents of Indianapolis have several options for enjoying the great outdoors with their four-legged friends. There are several bark parks to choose from throughout the city, and each offers plenty of room for dogs and their owners to enjoy fresh air and other amenities one would expect from a quality dog park in Indianapolis. Dogs can socialize with other dogs, all while doing so with the freedom of being off leash.

The city of Indianapolis, Indy Parks and Recreation Department offers three public bark parks (or “Canine Companion Zones”) for residents and their dogs to enjoy. The parks are conveniently located throughout the city and consist of locations at Broad Ripple Park to the north, Eagle Creek Park to the west, and the southeastern part of the city at Paul Ruster Park.

The city bark parks require a fee for admission and can be purchased in the form of an Annual Pooch Pass, or for more short term accommodations, a Daily Pooch Pass is available. Annual passes are $75, and also require the purchase of a gate access cards to obtain admission to the park. Gate access cards can be purchased along with Annual Pooch Passes for $10 at the park office. Daily passes are available for $5, and each park requires a separate pass.

The entrance to the Broad Ripple Bark ParkThe entrance to the Broad Ripple Bark Park

In order to obtain a pass and subsequent admission to an Indianapolis Bark Park, certain requirements must be fulfilled beforehand. Proof of your dog’s inoculation history must be presented upon purchase of a pass, and should show your dog is current for its Rabies, Parvo, Distemper and Bordetella vaccinations. Visitors to the park wishing to gain admittance with their dogs also need to submit a completed form and sign a waiver releasing the park of various liabilities.

In order to keep the bark park safe and enjoyable for all visitors, a set of rules and etiquette standards should be followed.  Dog owners should agree upon admittance to the park that they should take care and use appropriate actions to ensure the safety of their own and other dogs in the park. There are risks involved with letting a dog run off-leash, including potential biting from other dogs, dog bites, and exposure to canine disease. As with any other outdoor environment, common sense should be used regarding dog escapes, plants and vegetation that could be act as an irritant to a dog, insects, and wild animals.

In addition to the public parks supported by the Indianapolis Parks Department, Pierson Bark Park is a privately owned dog park located just northeast of Indianapolis, in Fishers, Indiana in Hamilton County. This former farm field turned bark park, offers amenities for your canine companion in the form of a meandering brick path winding throughout the entire park, a fountain aerated pond, a “Dog Bar” watering station, separate small/elderly dog area, and six foot fence to keep your dog safe and secure.

Passed are sold in the same manner as that in the public parks, with day passes costing $7 and annual passes at $139 for the first dog and $49 for each additional dog. Also, the purchase of a $10 annual key card is required along with the annual pass for entrance to the park. Similar requirements are in place for admittance to the Pierson Bark Park, as proof of current vaccinations are required for all dogs as well as agreeing to follow etiquette and safety rules to ensure a safe and high quality experience for all park visitors.

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Mike Woods