There are a lot of things to consider when moving to a new neighborhood. Finding a nice home or apartment that’s comfortable is key. Yet, folks also want to ensure that their potential new home is conveniently close to their workplace, is located in a highly rated school district, and provides easy access to shopping, dining and entertainment options.
However, many people are also considering another factor when researching new places to live: proximity to dog parks.
According to recent statistics from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), over 38% of U.S. households own a dog. When dog owners are looking for a new area to live, they want a place that not only appeals to their needs but their canine companion’s needs too. That’s good news for communities who are eager to welcome new residents into the area.
However, attracting new residents to the neighborhood is not the only way dog parks benefit communities.
Here are a few of the key benefits local dog parks bring to their communities.
Dog Parks Provide Lots of Open Space
Dogs differ in so many ways. Some are big while others are small. Certain breeds have ears that are pointed while others have floppy ears. Even fur types differ between breeds. Yet, despite all their differences, most dog breeds share one common trait: they love being outdoors.
Sure, they love spending time with their humans indoors (especially if they’re allowed on the furniture). But nothing beats spending some time outdoors in the wide open spaces.
Having access to a local dog park allows households to treat their pooch to some prime outdoor time. Here, they can stretch all their legs, breathe some fresh air and sharpen their senses of smell, hearing and sight.
Having access to a local dog park is especially beneficial for community members who live in apartments. Although many apartment buildings have pet policies that welcome dogs, they often do not have a dedicated outdoor space for these furry tenants. A local dog park solves this problem for apartment owners and residents alike.
Even households that have a yard can benefit from a nearby dog park. Yards are great for quick outdoor activities, but they don’t give dogs a golden opportunity to play, jump and run like they really want to.
This leads us to the next benefit…
Dog Parks Promote Physical Activity
Dogs love to run, jump and play catch. Then they love to do it again and again!
Community dog parks let dogs be dogs and enjoy lots of physical activity. Getting ample amounts of exercise time is essential for domesticated dogs. They spend most of their time indoors sleeping while their owners are at work or school. Too much inactivity can be detrimental to a dog’s health. Without a good amount of exercise, dog’s can develop such health conditions as obesity, arthritis, and heart disease.
These issues can be avoided when households take their dogs to the local dog park for exercise every day. Not only are trips to the park beneficial for canine health, they’re ideal for human health, too! Dog owners can soak up the sun (a good source of vitamin D), stretch their musicals by throwing balls or toys for their furry friends to catch, and burn off calories by walking, running or playing with their pooches.
Not only do dog parks help keep canine and human community members more active and healthy, they also help create a stronger sense of community.
Dog Parks Help With Socialization
Physical activity isn’t the only way pet owners help keep their dog’s healthy and happy. Properly socializing dogs is also important for their wellness. As we mentioned, all of that alone time a dog experiences every day can affect their physical health. It can also affect their mental health as well.
Spending time at the park allows dogs to spend time socializing and building strong bonds with their owners by playing and exercising. It also allows them to socialize with other dogs. As much as dogs love their owners, many of them also enjoy spending time with other canines.
Trips to the park not only build bonds between dogs and their owners. They also provide residents the opportunity to meet their neighbors. Taking their dogs to the park is a wonderful way for neighbors to connect with each other. This in turn leads to new friendships which helps build a better sense of community that spreads throughout the entire neighborhood.
Clearly, local parks offer lots of benefits to dogs and their owners. Yet, they benefit everyone in the community by encouraging members to spend more time outdoors, stay active, and connect with their neighbors.
Not sure where the nearest dog park is located in your neighborhood? You can locate local dog parks in seconds with our Explore PA Local Parks tool!
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