Even better than watching Internet dog videos is seeing your dog(s) have playful outdoor experiences. Six years ago, Edina established its first off-leash dog park in Van Valkenburg Park. And the city’s four-legged friends aren’t the only ones that appreciate this outdoor freedom.
Animal control officer Tim Hunter patrols the city’s two established off-leash parks: Van Valkenburg Park (open year-round) and Strauchauer Park (open seasonally).
Hunter says the parks offer a space to fulfill two vital doggy needs: exercising and socializing. “A dog that isn’t allowed to run around develops pent-up energy,” which may cause a number of negative behaviors like excessive chewing, separation anxiety and even aggression, Hunter says.
Owners seem to love the dog park experience too, with more than 1,000 off-leash permit holders in Edina. “Every dog park seems to kind of create its own organic community,” says Hunter. “People who frequent the park at the same time often become friends, and so do their dogs.”
Interested in a permit for you and your best friend? Here’s what you need to know:
All of Van Valkenburg and one area of Strauchauer are considered off-leash areas (OLA). An OLA collar can be purchased online at edinamn.gov or at Edina City Hall. Permits with collars are $25 for residents and $50 for non-residents. See a full list of park hours, locations, permit details, and OLA regulations here.