There are several benefits a dog park has to offer as far as your pet is concerned. It gives it an opportunity to be free of a leash, an opportunity to be able to roam in a large area instead of being confined to a small fenced-in area or enclosure and it also gives it an opportunity to socialize with other dogs, and with other people as well.
The Association of Pet Dog Trainers will tell you that some dog parks are not suitable for some dogs, and some dogs should not be taken to dog parks. In most cases, however, your pet will be perfectly safe in a dog park, it will enjoy the visit, and you will as well - or at least you should.
It's Not Just Your Dog that Benefits
If you take your dog for a walk because you feel it needs its daily exercise, it can eventually become a hassle. If you take your dog for a walk knowing the exercise is good for you, it tends to become an enjoyable habit.
Just as taking your dog for a walk can benefit you, so will taking your dog to the dog park. You could of course, dump your pet off and leave it, but that is at best a very bad idea. Besides, you would miss out on the fun.
Ten Reasons Why a Visiting Dog Park Is Good for You
1. Fresh Air - This is a given. There are a few indoor dog parks here and there, but most of them are out-of doors. Some are quite large, and are located in a park-like setting. Others may be not much more than a fenced in area in a field. Either way, the air is free, it's fresh, and it's good for you.
2. Taking a Break - Taking a break from your daily routine is usually beneficial, especially when you get out and about. As beneficial as walking your pet on a leash can be for you, letting Fido run free can be even more so, especially if you run along too. Visiting the park not only gets you out of house, but it gives you a break from retracing the same steps in your neighborhood day in and day out. Change is good.
3. No Leash - This only benefits the dog—right? Walking or running without having a dog on the other end of a leash gives both you and your pet greater freedom of movement. Some dogs walk nicely, some like to pull on the leash, and some never learn not to continuously try to follow their noses. Your dog is free of the leash and you are free of the leash. That means less effort and less stress for you.
4. Socializing - Your dog will hopefully learn to socialize with other dogs. This can be a great benefit to both you and your pet if it acts afraid of people or of other dogs when you take it for a walk, or it is overly protective or aggressive. One of the first things obedience classes stress is socializing.
5. Amenities for People - Most don't, but a few parks have amenities for people, such as benches or places to sit in the shade. You're not apt to find a vending machine in a dog park - probably a good thing; but you may find a comfortable place to sit and relax.
6. Watch Your Pet Play - Watching your pet having a good time is good for you, if for no other reason than it makes you happy.
7. You May Learn a Few Things Part 1 - One of the things you may learn on your first visit to a dog park is how much control you actually have over your pet. Many find they have far less control than they thought. This can be a very beneficial lesson for some pet owners.
8. You May Learn a Few Things Part 2 - You may find that while in a dog park, your dog may seem to prefer the company of other dogs to sticking with you, but that's all right. That's what dog parks are for. As a pet owner, you can also learn a few helpful things about etiquette, which can sometimes be helpful in other situations.
9. Meet Other People - Your dog gets a chance to socialize, and you do as well. This can be very beneficial if you lead a somewhat secluded existence or your dog is your only family.
10. Share Lessons Learned - You can often learn some useful tips by listening to what other pet owners have to say, or what some of their experiences have been. You do have to be a bit careful about heeding the advice some may offer, as the advice given may not be appropriate for you or your dog.
A visit to a dog park can benefit both you and your pet. If you enjoy fresh air, exercise, meeting people, and watching dogs at play - consider making it a habit.
- Dog Parks: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly - PDF
- Off-Leash Dog Parks in United States
- Pet Safe: Benefits of a Dog Park
Find more about the author: Kristen Breedlove