Is taking Sparky out for a walk starting to feel like all business and no pleasure? Dog Park Finder Plus can help you locate new and interesting dog parks, wherever you happen to be.
How it works: The app uses GPS technology to track your current location and find dog parks close by. For example, if you want to give your dog an opportunity to run off some of that pent-up, tied-to-a-post energy after your stop at Avenue Road’s Whole Foods, it’ll tell you that you’re just a short walk from Ramsden Park. The left side of the screen plots your nearest dog parks on a map, and the right side has a scrollable list of them. Clicking on any of the parks, either on the map or on the list, will lead you to a screen that provides the vitals for each location, including the address and whether the off-leash area is fenced or unfenced.
Helpful features: The “get directions” tab on each profile automatically generates driving, transit, or walking directions to the park. Users can add their own photos and reviews, share information with friends, and even add new parks or dog-friendly businesses. Currently, however, there is limited user-generated information available for Toronto’s parks, beyond the basics (the Withrow Park review mentions the incident in 2004 where dogs were poisoned by pesticide-laced hot dogs, and a review for Sherwood Dog Park states that it is “always full of poorly behaved dogs”). But without many alternatives, it hopefully won’t take too long before the app marks its territory in this city. According to information in the Apple store, Dog Park Finder Plus, available for the iPad and iPhone for $1.99, covers over 6,000 dog parks and beaches and 12,000 dog-friendly restaurants across North America, which means that it’s also great for canine road trips.