Edina is home to two off-leash area (OLA) dog parks. VanValkenberg Park on Lincoln Drive, open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, and Strachauer Park Hockey Rink located on Beard Ave. which is open seasonally from April through October from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week. Visiting dogs must wear a permitted OLA collar available for purchase through the city. Permits ensure that all visiting dogs are properly vaccinated. (See the city’s website for a few additional rules about entering the OLA parks in Edina.)
Going off-leash can be good for dogs and their owners. Your pet gets a chance at a bit of freedom to roam and explore which can sometimes provide greater opportunity for exercise and can definitely provide more opportunities for socializing with other dogs. It’s also nice for both of you to get a break from your regular dog walking routine. Plus, watching your pet play can be fun for you, and you might even make a few new friends of your own (human or canine) while visiting an OLA.
Letting your pup off its leash can also expose any potential training deficits. It’s important to bring a well-trained dog to an OLA, one that will listen and obey your commands in order to remain safe. Being off leash will indicate pretty quickly if you need to re-visit your training techniques.
So get out there and get some fresh air with Fido. We’re sure you’ll enjoy the change of pace. Just don’t forget to clean up after your pup!