Even the best-cared-for dogs can suffer from lack of exercise, poor socialization skills, and boredom. Taking them on walks and playing with them in the backyard can help alleviate some of these issues, but they still may require additional stimulation and activity. One of the best ways to provide this is by taking your dog to an off-leash dog park. Here, they are allowed to run free while playing and socializing with other "like-minded" friends. Check out these reasons why off-leash parks might be a good fit for your dog.
Socialization - Let's face it - although we are wonderful companions for our dogs, sometimes there's nothing like a "hound's day out." Taking your dog to an off-leash dog park allows them to enjoy the company of other dogs while requiring them to mind their social manners.
Exercise - Veterinarian Suzanne Thomas tells us that most dogs are not able to get all the exercise they need by going on walks on running around a fenced back yard. She says, "A proper dog park needs to have enough acreage to provide room for dogs to run and not feel crowded." By providing this kind of environment for your dog, he is more likely to get the physical exercise he needs to stay healthy and fit.
Freedom - Most of us live in communities where allowing our dogs to roam off leash would be dangerous, if not illegal. Because of that, our dogs don't often have the luxury of feeling truly free. Taking them to an off-leash dog park gives them this freedom and allows them enjoy themselves on their own terms.
Reduces Boredom - Just like us, our dogs need mental stimulation to remain healthy. According to WebMD, an off-leash dog park provides this by allowing them to "… zoom around off-leash to her heart's content, investigate new smells, wrestle with her dog buddies and fetch toys until she happily collapses."
Fun for the Family - Taking our dogs to the dog park can be just as much fun for us as it is for our dogs. While there we can experience the total pleasure our dogs are enjoying by being able to run free. We might even be lucky enough to make new friends with other happy dog owners. Letting our dogs wear themselves out at the dog park will also likely result in them zonking out for the rest of the day, allowing us to enjoy our own evening plans!
Dr. Suzanne Thomas, DVM, "The Benefits of Off-Leash Dog Parks, a Veterinarian's Perspective," GigHarborDogParks.org"Dog Park Behavior and Etiquette Tips," WebMD.com
More from Cherri: