By Jessie McDowell, Content Marketing Specialist
The dog park seems to be my go-to place to fill time or to procrastinate tasks I don’t really want to do (i.e. cleaning, dishes or anything house work). Who can fault you for taking your dog to play and socialize with friends? It is the perfect excuse. This may not be the use a dog park was first intended for, but neither are the other 6 benefits that come to mind when I think of a dog park!
1. Tire your dog out before a big trip
Before every pet-friendly road trip, there is a long trip to the dog park. I have had enough of the 15 licks to the ear and the puddle of drool on my arm that I have to endure on a simple trip to visit my parents. Why my pup wants to breathe right in my face for 6 hours, I will never understand. I much prefer the adorable sleepy puppy that barely moves, tired from a great day playing with friends.
2. Meeting other people who are just as obsessed with their dog as you are
It’s weird, as soon as you step foot in a dog park, baby voices are accepted, everyone speaks like they know what their dog is thinking and cute dog stories are a dime a dozen. Fellow dog lover, you have found where you belong. The dog park is the mother ship for us freaks that genuinely enjoy seeing our dog have a good time and run free.
3. Feeling like you got exercise, even if you were just watching your dog run
I might be the queen of this tactic. Watching your dog run tricks your mind into thinking you had a workout as well. Though most of the time you were just standing there, you did have to throw the ball a couple times, and I consider that a workout.
4. Finding ways to feel your dog is superior to everyone else’s dog
Being a proud pet parent is one of the best feelings ever. When you see a rowdy puppy going berserk around the park and your dog is sweetly playing, “good dog,” smugness comes over you. The idea of “Ha, my dog would never do that,” lets you leave the park with a new-found pride in your awesome dog and even more awesome training skills.
5. Your dog will be able to deal with unfamiliar situations
I love to take my dog everywhere with me. I don’t want to have to wonder how he is going to react when he sees an elderly man, a child, a Great Dane or Chihuahua. At the dog park, you are in a controlled situation, and you can introduce your dog to unfamiliar people and situations. If you start your dog young, they’ll only embarrass you once by running away from a Yorkie (true story).
6. Your dog loves it
Really this is the only reason you need to understand the benefits of a dog park. As pet parents, we love to see our dogs happy. That’s just how it is. If a park makes your dog have slobbery smiles like this: it’s the best place in the world. Did you know you could win a dog park for your community? Join us for the 2014 Bark for Your Park contest, and vote for your community to win $100,000 for a dog park!