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Alimagnet Dog Park

In my house, all I have to do is whisper the words “dog park”, and my Springer Spaniel puppy and my middle aged Westie bolt for the door. They wag their tails and sniff out their leashes. Nothing makes their day brighter then a car ride down County Road 42 and a visit to the Alimagnet Dog Park in Burnsville.

The Journey

Depending on where you’re driving from, give yourself at least fifteen minutes to reach the park. The main road to take is County Road 42, and at any given time this stretch of road is a speed trap packed with stop lights. Go the speed limit; cops love to bust drivers who are even thinking of going a few miles over. Watch the lights carefully. I’ve seen a couple of fender benders along the way that could have easily been avoided. If your dog(s) is/are like mine and get antsy on a car ride, kennel them up before you go. Nothing gets your trip off on the wrong foot like dogs pawing at the back of your head while you’re trying to drive.

Arrival

There is a narrow parking lot just in front of the entrance to Alimagnet. Watch for cars, children, dogs and baseballs in the summer! In the winter months, the lot is rarely plowed well, and black ice is common. In the summer, don’t park facing the ball diamonds. Balls do go over the fence and do break windows.

Be careful when you let your dogs out of your car, and make sure they are leashed up. While anyone driving back to this section of the park knows it is a high traffic area, this doesn’t mean they drive any slower. Keep you and Fido safe by checking for cars.

Entering The Park

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There are two ways to enter the park. One is through a gate facing the main parking lot. The other can be found on the opposite side of the park. To use this gate, simply walk around the fence on the worn trails until you reach the gate. Make sure you follow the signs, and keep your dog leashed until you close the gate behind you. Be cautious of others trying to wrangle their dogs in and out of the park.

Play Time!

Playing at Alimagnet means many different things for many different dogs. If you’re bringing a puppy into the park, be patient. The other dogs are going to be curious,and if you react with fear, you will only teach your puppy to fear other dogs. Alimagnet offers a great opportunity to socialize your dog.

If you’re bringing a veteran mutt, still keep a close watch on things. It is easy to hunker down on a bench or in the pavilion (located in the center of the park, this space is heated in the winter) and let your dog wander freely. While your dog may be accustomed to other dogs, other dogs may not be okay with your dog! Keep an eye on your dog at all times to ensure everyones safety.

There will always be gummed up balls and Frisbees laying around, up for grabs at your own risk. Feel free to bring in toys or those nifty ball-throwing contraptions, be be advised that your dog will not be the only one interested in their toy. If possible, bring an expendable version of your dogs favorite toy to Alimagnet, not the original.

If playing fetch isn’t your dogs thing, and they seem a little bored with the other dogs, sneak through the back gate and explore the acres of wooded trails. There are numerous paths to wander through behind the actual dog park. Yes, there are signs that say you need to leash your dog, but trust me, everyone lets their dogs run free back in these woods. You’ll meet some very nice people along the way. However, I do suggest that your dog be a master of the command “come” before going off leash in the woods. You don’t want to spend hours chasing your dog through the forrest or tackling them when they show an interest in a cross country skier.

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Does your dog like to swim? Alimagnet is built around a small pond. Sadly, if you can keep your dog from swimming in it, you might save yourself from a massive germ attack. The pond is covered in an eerie green moss in the summer. In the stagnant heat the water just sits still, becoming a breeding ground for bacteria. I have seen many dogs use this pond as a bathroom. They defecate or urinate and then splash out of the water, and in a couple of seconds another dog is gulping down the contaminated water. There is a large lake accessible from the wooded trails, and the water is crystal clear for a few feet out. Bring your dog there, and sit back in the grass or dirt while they swim their laps.

Drinking and Eating

Be smart here. If you bring food into Alimagnet, you will attract dogs, even those without manners. As far as food for your pet is concerned, be cautious. When training a dog treats are essential. Keep them secure in a pocket, and be prepared to share with your dogs new comrades if they spot you with any kibble.

The PACK (People Of Alimagnet Caring For K9s) group provides clean drinking water at the pavilion.

Courtesy

You really and truly have no reason not to clean up after your dog does his business at Alimagnet. The aforementioned PACK group provides free pick up bags and garbage cans to dispose of this waste. Pick up piles that someone less courteous left behind to help stop the spread of illnesses to other dogs.

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Is your dog sick? Make sure you do not bring a sick dog or an unvaccinated dog into Alimagnet.

Permits

Technically, you are supposed to purchase a permit to use Alimagnet Dog Park. I don’t know of anyone who actually has done this. So, purchase or not purchase at your own risk.

Frail or Special Needs Dogs

If your dog is small, frail or otherwise unable to run with the larger dogs in the main park, Alimagnet offers a separate, smaller park for your pet. This is a great place for puppies to learn to play without getting trampled!

Heading Home

You will leave the park wet, muddy, slobbered on…so will your dog! Bring plenty of towels to lay out in the car. There is a dog washing station on the far side of the parking lot. The water is freezing with very little pressure, but it gets the big clumps of dirt off. The water is not safe for human consumption.

Alimagnet Dog Park
1200 Alimagnet Parkway
Burnsville MN 55337

Open Daily 365 days/year
5:00am-10:00pm

Resources

www.alimagnetdogpark.org
Experience