Why a Visit to the Off-Leash Park is Great for Your Dog
Imagine being cooped up all day in a room or even a house…with no bathroom breaks, no exercise, no social interaction or stimulus. Hard, isn’t it?
And yet, many dog owners leave their dogs in a closed space for long periods of time, each day, every day of the week. In fact, some go as far as to leave them in a crate for long periods of time. Dog owners forget that our dogs, like us, need time and space to breathe freely and romp about. Time to interact socially and get some exercise. Dogs that are constantly cooped up, are socially inept (training and behavioral issues, etc), dispirited, and often even unhealthy.
This, of course, is not the majority, but it still happens too often. If you are going to be away for hours at a time, and on a regular basis, you should arrange for your dog to get some fresh air, exercise, a potty break, and social interaction by other means. While you are away at work, find a reliable and trustworthy way to have this done.
Dog walks in the outdoor fresh air are a great activity to change up the routine of being cooped up. And there is nothing like going to the off-leash park!
Dogs should be allowed to experience freedom from the leash if they are to be happy and active – which is how our dogs are meant to be! Off-leash dog parks are a great option that lets your best friend experience life to the fullest from all aspects!
- More freedom: While dog walking gives your dog a taste of the outdoors, a well-earned potty break, and exercise, your friend is still tethered to a leash and limited in the exploring and/or social interactions they can have. In an off-leash dog park, your dog gets the full freedom to run around and frolic about as he/she wishes to! Exercise is enhanced. Social encounters with other dogs are enriched, and opportunities like swimming become a new experience and treat.
- More friends: Let’s not forget that dogs are descendants of wolves – pack animals. And although this nature of theirs has become somewhat muted over the course of their evolution, a little time enjoying the company of other dogs can actually boost your dog’s spirit a lot. With each visit to the off-leash dog park, your dog will make more friends, which is something that is just as important to dogs as it is to humans. Moreover, your dog will learn what fun they have at the park and actually look forward to it, just like you look forward to fun social interactions.
- More fit: Dogs that are allowed to have a good time in an off-leash dog park tend to be healthier and fitter. The running, jumping and playing that they engage in helps to tone their muscles and keep their body as it should be. Dogs that are not given much opportunity to enjoy life this way have a higher likelihood of becoming obese with all the health side effects that come with that.
- Better mental health: Dogs, just like humans, can also suffer from mental health issues such as depression. This is most commonly seen in dogs that are constantly tethered or cooped up, without having much opportunity to play and have fun. Off-leash dog parks are excellent for a positive state of mind.
Please note, that if you are going to take your dog to the off-leash park (or have them taken by a professional), there are some things you should make sure of:
- Verify that your dog has all his/her shots and that they are valid.
- Make sure they are licensed with the city or state and have their tags visible.
- Make sure they have good recall i.e. when you call them to come to you, they will – this is important from both a safety and health perspective.
- Make sure you dog is social and will not look for or get into fights with other dogs. That is not good for anyone and ruins the experience.
To conclude – get out there and have fun. Both your dog and you will enjoy it!