Dog owners know better than anyone the true joy of puppy love. They’d do anything for those wagging tails, wet noses and heart-melting eyes. Making time to play is one of the most important parts of caring for a dog, but when you don’t have the space, it’s tough to get that time in.
Dog parks give people the space they need to exercise their dogs and develop bonds with others in the community. Read on to find out how!
According to the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), 90% of Americans agree that a dog park benefits a community. Here are some of the top reasons dog parks are beneficial for communities of all sizes:
Dogs need anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours of exercise a day to stay healthy. Active dogs are significantly less likely to develop detrimental health conditions such as arthritis, obesity and heart disease than inactive dogs. Physical activity and time outdoors also give dogs much-needed mental stimulation, which is essential to their well-being.
When you consider that dogs often spend most of the day lying around the house while their humans are off working, the necessity of a safe place for outdoor play becomes clear.
Community dog parks provide a secure environment for dogs to run, play and fetch to their hearts’ content. Owners can let their dogs off the leash for a little, giving them the freedom to explore on their own terms.
Community dog parks give people an opportunity to properly socialize their pups. Playing in the backyard is well and good, but exposure to new situations is a critical part of canine development.
Socialization involves safely introducing dogs to as many new experiences as possible in controlled environments, such as playtime with other dogs and interactions with new humans. The benefits of socializing dogs include:
Bringing your dog to the park lets them interact with many different people and get used to other dogs. This experience helps teach them how to play and get along with others, which is critical for their mental and social well-being.
A community dog park benefits more than just dogs — it also provides the people in your community with a great opportunity to get to know each other.
A dog park gives people a casual, low-pressure environment for meeting new friends. This is especially important for older individuals and those new to the area who may have trouble making friends otherwise.
Plus, dog owners love to discuss their furry friends, so everyone already has something to talk about. The humans can exchange stories of their pups, training tips, food recommendations and more while the dogs play.
We know dogs need exercise. So do humans — according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the average adult needs at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. However, very few of us get the activity we need to stay healthy. Part of this issue is the lack of safe spaces, like parks, for activity.
As a result, many dog owners simply let their dogs do their business in the backyard without taking the time to play or walk them. Building a dog park provides dog owners with a safe, engaging way to bond with their dogs and get moving. Moving with your dog has numerous health benefits for people of all ages, including:
People who live within walking distance of a dog park will be able to get a lot of activity just by walking their dogs to and from the park. When you factor in the 30-60 minutes they spend at the park, you end up with at least an hour of activity for both dogs and humans. That’s a significant contribution toward those 150 minutes.
Adding agility equipment to your dog park also encourages people to be active. To get dogs moving through the course, owners need to lead them — and they need to be quick on their feet to get through the obstacles themselves. This provides people with an opportunity to bond with their dogs through shared activity.
According to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), 69 million American households own at least one dog. That’s a lot of dogs. When dog owners look for a new place to live, they need somewhere that meets their dog’s needs as well as their own.
That’s why installing a dog park near your apartment complex or community park is a great way to draw new people in. Be sure to include human amenities to make your park a comfortable place to relax for both people and dogs. The more comfortable someone is, the more likely they are to stay for longer periods of time.
Additionally, creating an agility course in the dog park can attract people who are interested in the sport. Dog agility first became a sport in the United Kingdom in 1994, and it’s been steadily growing in popularity among dog owners ever since. Providing a public place for amateurs to try agility training — or just to bond with their dogs — is a great way to attract repeat visitors.
The best dog parks contain some or all of the following equipment:
Be sure to source your equipment from an experienced distributor for the best service and quality. If you can source human amenities and other park products from the same place, you can reduce the costs and hassle that typically result from working with multiple companies.