According to the U.S. Census Bureau, roughly half of American households have pets, many of which are dogs. As pet owners, we do the best we can to keep our dogs happy and healthy, which includes play time and walks outside of the home. If you have a dog park in your community, even better! Here are six benefits of a nearby dog park.
The 6 Great Benefits of Having a Dog Park in Your Community
1. Dogs Get Improved Socialization
Socialization with people and other dogs is vital to your dog’s development and well-being. Letting your dogs play in a safe space with other dogs helps to teach them good manners, relieve stress, and reduce anxiety. They’re social animals, after all.
2. You and Your Dog Get Better Bonding
A dog park gives you a chance to bond with your dog and work on different training in a safe and enclosed area. For example, you can strengthen off-leash reliability without worrying about your dog running into the street. Being at the dog park regularly teaches your dog to focus on you, no matter the distractions.
3. Your Dog Gets Exercise
Obesity is a problem among pets, especially dogs. The lack of exercise from minimal walks or no yard—combined with overfeeding—can cause your dog to get out of shape quickly. Fortunately, the dog park offers wide open spaces for running, fetching, and playing to get your dog some exercise.
4. Puppies Have Freedom
As leash laws get stricter due to property damage and attack risks, it’s hard to let a puppy or young adult dog get the freedom they need to just “be a dog.” A community dog park is a dogs-only space that’s enclosed for puppies to roam and play without the risk of cars or busy sidewalks.
5. Dogs Get Mental Stimulation
Dogs need physical and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. Otherwise, they may develop nuisance behaviors like barking, restlessness, anxiety, rough play, leash pulling, or destructive habits like chewing on things they shouldn’t. Releasing that pent-up energy can help your dog relax at home.
6. The Community Becomes More Active
Having a dog park in the neighborhood encourages the whole community to get outside and become more active. If there are a lot of dog owners nearby, it also builds a strong sense of a dog-friendly community and for people to come together.
Are Dog Parks Safe?
Dogs are social creatures and like to play with other dogs. A dog park satisfies this need, but it’s vital that you take some precautions.
Dog parks are a wonderful local resource, not just for your dog but for you, your neighbors, and the whole community. If you don’t have one within walking distance, consider taking a ride to a nearby park with your dog for some playtime.
Featured Image Credit: Roman Seliutin, Shutterstock