HOUSTON -- Some dog owners are concerned about a popular Houston dog park after they say their dogs got sick from the water.

It's Johnny Steele Dog Park which is located right next to Buffalo Bayou.

Mike Patsch is one of those dog owners who is only as happy as his 3-year-old orange pointer named Charlie.

"He's as close as I've got to a kid," Patsch said as he ran Charlie around today at a dog park in Midtown. "He's just a great dog. He's well-behaved and I don't even have to walk him on a leash, so for him being happy and healthy is all that matters."

Charlie's health was a different story after Patsch began taking him to Johnny Steele Dog Park.

"When it opened up last year, it was exciting to have it. Then a month or two into it, the water started turning all kinds of funky colors," Patsch said.

Charlie got extremely sick and, as a result, they haven't been back since.

"He loves the water, but I can't take him to the park because he'll make a beeline for the water," Patsch added.

Dogs playing in the water at Johnny Steele Dog Park. Some pet owners are worried that the water at the park is making their dogs sick.
Dogs playing in the water at Johnny Steele Dog Park. Some pet owners are worried that the water at the park is making their dogs sick.

He's not the only dog owner complaining about the water.

Shelby Flick says her 2-year-old Chocolate Labrador named Murphy got an ear infection after she went not too long ago.

She admits she didn't wash his ears enough after that, but "I don't think that it's filtered very well."

Those in charge of Buffalo Bayou said there's a natural filtration system where water is pumped up to the small dog park pond, then flows down and aerates in a channel to the large dog park pond.

Officials with Buffalo Bayou Partnership said that they have gotten complaints about a dog getting sick from this park and they're concerned.

But Johnny Steele isn’t the only local dog park concerning dog owners. A local vet says dog parks with water are particularly hazardous.

"Dogs can frequently drink the water and so oftentimes we see pets with diarrhea secondary to the water consumption," said Dr. Laurel Douglass of the Sunset Boulevard Animal Clinic.

Douglass says it's OK to take your dogs to any dog park because it's great for the interaction.

She says the best thing to do is bathe your dog with "good, clean water after swimming in the dog park" and clean your dog’s ears with an ear cleanser. That will help dry the ear canals and keep them healthy and clean.

Patsch wants the city to look into exactly what's in this water and how it's being filtered.

Flick says she will go back "because that's like his Sunday Funday. He's happy."