Posts Tagged ‘agility equipment’

Dog Parks Are For People Too!

Monday, April 9th, 2018

Dog parks are parks for people…with dogs!  Consider this: It’s a late Wednesday afternoon, and as soon as you get home from work, you greet your excited pup and head off to the dog park together. Though you’re tired from a long day, you want your 4-legged friend to have some time to exercise, enjoy the sunshine, and socialize with his furry pals. It’s important to you that your dog reap all the benefits of the dog park on a regular basis, but did you ever consider that it’s benefiting you as well? Read on…

Fresh Air – Truth: Most of us don’t get enough time outside in the fresh air. Between our jobs and hectic schedules, it can be challenging to get some quality outdoor time where you can feel the breeze on your face. While your dog plays, take a few moments to appreciate the great outdoors and take some deep, calming breaths. You’ll be amazed how a few lungfuls of oxygen can help with everyday stress. 

A New Hobby – More and more dog parks now feature agility equipment. If you and your pooch are looking for an exciting new hobby, train your dog to go through an agility course! You can work on improving time through the course, ignoring distractions, and working on advanced agility moves. Your dog will work hard mentally and physically, and you will get a kick out of how talented your dog really is. And just for some giggles, check out these dog agility bloopers.

Exercise – You know that exercise plays a vital role in the overall health of your dog, plus it makes him plain old happy. The same can be said for you! When you take a trip to the dog park with your best friend, take the opportunity to engage with him. By getting your heart rate up, you are taking care of your cardiovascular system and releasing endorphins at the same time.

Feel Good Hormones – Researchers have discovered that when we spend time with our pets, our bodies release a feel-good hormone called Oxytocin. This hormone played a key role in the bonded relationship we began with dogs thousands of years ago. So, while you’re playing fetch with your dog at the park, you’re releasing a hormone that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, and helps strengthen your bond with Fido that much more.

Socializing – Like us, dogs are very social creatures. They enjoy being part of a pack and love to greet every other dogs. They even “exchange business cards” by sniffing each other’s rear ends as they meet each other. Humans need socialization too, though it’s best you leave the rear ends of new friends alone.  If you make going to the dog park part of your lifestyle, you’ll inevitably start seeing some of the same people and get to know them and their dogs. Strangers become friends very quickly when you have dogs around to help break the ice.

A Change of Pace – Many of us are living hectic lifestyles in which we feel overworked and stressed. On top of that, we often spend too much time staring at electronic devices.  There is something to be said for unplugging. Dogs are the best teachers when it comes to living in the moment. Next time you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders, head to the dog park and take 30 minutes with your best friend to unwind, unplug, and de-stress. You’ll feel refreshed and recharged when you head home!

Be the Wise Owl – Are you an amateur dog expert? If you have years of experience in training and caring for your own dogs, chances are you have invaluable tricks up your sleeves.  There are lots of new pet parents at the park, or even other folks like you, and it can be a fantastic opportunity to share resources and ideas.  You all may have answers when it comes to reputable veterinarians in the area, favorite chew toys, and basic obedience tips.

Giving Back – If you’re looking for a way to get involved in your community, dog parks are an excellent place to start. Many off-leash areas are run by volunteers who help with maintenance, clean up, and events. By volunteering, you’ll get to know similar minded people, and truly make a difference in your town. And if your community doesn’t have a dog park yet, consider starting your own group to fundraise and help improve the lives of people and their pets.

 

 

The Essentials of a Good Dog Park – Guest Blog by ResMan

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

While multifamily properties are high in demand for a wide mix of renters, they have an unexpected demographic to cater towards. As more residents move into these developments, their pets are coming with them. Residents in the multifamily setting enjoy convenience and helpful amenities, but when looking for a new community, a good dog park is quite the deal breaker.

To accommodate residents and their furry friends, properties must adapt to be more pet-friendly. Making this shift will make your development more attractive to renters and keep current tenants (and their beloved pets) happy. We sat down with Nora VandenBerghe, the Sales & Marketing Manager of Dog-On-It Parks to learn just how to set your community apart with pet-friendly playgrounds.

Why Are Dog Parks Essential in Multifamily?

Dog parks have the versatility to entertain all age groups, making it the perfect meeting ground in the multifamily arena.

In 2015, the millennial generation surpassed the baby boomer generation as the largest cohort in history with 75 million members.

This generational shift means a shift in lifestyles, attitudes, and mindsets. Since millennials are waiting longer to have kids, they in turn, become parents to their dogs and are willing to spend more money on their dogs than ever before.

According VandenBerghe, “Our culture in general is becoming more pet friendly, as the pet service industry is the second largest revenue-generating industry behind consumer electronics,” says VandenBerghe. “This year the industry has raised about 62 billion in revenue.”

The point? This is a gold mine industry your development can take advantage of. According to Pet Food Industry, 57 percent of millennial households own a pet and 39 percent plan on owning a pet in the future. Dog parks have an incredible experiential value for residents that rival other popular amenities. In addition, there is a great social aspect associated with pet parks since dogs act as great icebreakers and conversation starters. What’s your puppy’s name? How long have you had her? Is she a social dog? It’s a great way to meet fellow neighbors and build a connected community.

Hartford 21 POD system - Hartford, CT

How Can a Dog Park Fit Into My Property?

Avoiding the 15-minute drive to a local dog park and simply walking outside to play with your dog is a definite luxury, but most developments have limited space to build a full on park. This is where you can get creative. Dog parks are a lucrative investment for developers. VandenBerghe points out that it’s actually cheaper to build a dog park than a children’s playground… and it serves a larger audience.

Companies like, Dog-On-It Parks, work with developments from start to finish when creating a dog park. Either they can help to build one from scratch or implement one after the complex is already built. By working directly with property managers, they find the best place to build a park, and they can get pretty innovative. VandenBerghe says she has seen it all. Communities are beginning to convert tennis courts, parking lots, parking garages, and open green-belt areas into dog parks.

What We’re Seeing in Dog Park Trends

Planning a good dog park is just as important as planning well-developed apartments. You must think of safety and how to accommodate dogs and people of all shapes and sizes. The best dog parks are those that provide amenities and equipment that make it fun for both the dogs and their owners.

Every dog park is unique to the community, so capture the atmosphere of your development and reflect it in the park. This is the fun part. Dog-On-It Parks manufactures all equipment within the U.S. and customizes the equipment to each customer. They strive to reinforce your brand on their products by customizing the products, creating a color theme to match the community, and engraving names and logos on the equipment.

The tail-friendly equipment is endless, but the most popular equipment pieces are one that incorporate agility. This gives residents something to do alongside their dogs, instead of sitting in the background on their phones.

VandenBerghe says, dogs are naturally curious, therefore agility structures entice them to explore their surroundings. Although dogs are curious, they are also extremely cautious. Keep structures low to the ground, sturdy, and slip resistant.

Along with agility equipment, water features are always a huge hit in parks. Try to find a water line nearby to build your park around. This adds a fun and convenient element. According to VandenBerghe, “We build pet fountains to play in, spray fire hydrants, and water stations so residents don’t have to lug water to the park.”

Get as creative as you want with your dog park, but keep in mind these fundamental aspects all dog parks should have:

  • Leave plenty of open space for running so the park doesn’t become overcrowded on a busy day.
  • A sturdy fence is one of the most important pieces of the whole park.
  • Plenty of seating for owners to take breaks on is critical. If there is no natural shading in your area, provide some type of roofing.
  • The busiest time to visit a dog park is in the warm months, so be proactive about residents needs.

City Market at O St - Washington, DC

How Dog Parks Benefit Property Managers

Investing in a dog park offers many benefits to your property, but the biggest are new potential residents and increased resident happiness — leading to retention.

“When we’re showing the building to prospective tenants, nine out of ten times we’ll be asked if we’re pet friendly,” says property manager Mary Swanson. “It gives us an advantage because we have a few more amenities than some of the communities in our area.”

An apartment with pets can be chaotic if property managers do not provide ways to accommodate the pets. Providing an outlet for pets to exercise on a daily basis reduces the chaos sprung from restless animals within the units. In other words, less noise complaints caused from neighbors annoyed by the barking dog next door.

VandenBerghe stresses that there is also a lot of responsibility placed on the property manager. Managers need to do their best to educate owners about dog park rules and city regulations. Just like a playground, liability falls on the manager. Be proactive about possible issues that can arise and know how to handle them.

For example, waste clean up is the top issue in dog parks. VandenBerghe suggests providing waste pick-up stations around the park stocked with bags for residents to easily use. Ultimately, it is up to the pet parent to know if their dog is a good fit for a park, but some owners may not know what behavioral signs to look out for.

VandenBerghe says she has seen managers bring in pet trainers to educate residents or check regulations with animal control to make sure dogs are healthy enough to interact with other dogs.

Since a dog park is a great socializing scene, take advantage of this as a property manager! Create monthly socializing events centered around the dogs, such as puppy playdates or Yappy Hours. Dog parks are a great way for property managers to build a strong community. Everyone loves to bond over common interests and this is especially true for pet lovers.

Colonial Grand Apts

Dog Park Etiquette: The Do’s and Don’ts

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

As dog park enthusiasts, we know that running and playing off-leash improves the quality of life for our furry friends. Here are some etiquette tips to help ensure a fun, safe, and happy visit.

  • Take for instance your first act upon arrival to the park…you unclip the leash and pull out your cell phone or even a favorite book.  Stop right there.  Put your phone away!  Dog parks not only provide healthy exercise for your pup, but can also help us humans make better decisions by choosing to embrace the outdoors, time with our pets and being present.

 

  • Keep a close eye on Fido! One moment of playfulness can turn sour pretty quickly, especially near the entrance as new dogs come in and others are leaving. It’s especially important for your furry friends to have manners with other dogs, so if you notice rude behavior such as humping, body slamming, stalking etc, it may be time for a break.

rude-dog-012

  • Barking excessively is also something to be aware of. It can be stressful for the other dogs, which can also lead to aggression.  And let’s be honest, even the most avid dog lover may get a little fed up with the one dog who insists on “shouting” the whole time. Take Barking Buster home!

barking_in_dogs_1

  • While some dogs greet their fellow canines quite nicely, they may still need some help saying hello to people. Certain behavior while intended to be friendly, can be perceived as uncouth to the person on the receiving end. Jumping and enthusiastic sniffing of nether regions are both common (but rude!) greetings that can potentially make someone else’s dog park visit less enjoyable. Working with your dog on impulse control can be a huge help!

ID

  • Avoid clusters of both people and dogs; a concentrated area of too many pups in too small a space can lead to a pack mentality. Much like cliques in school, one person (or dog in this matter) can end up being picked on.

 

  • Utilize the entire dog park, it gives you a chance to get some exercise along with your dog and they’ll also enjoy all of the new smells. Many dog parks offer fantastic walking trails as well as agility equipment, so each visit can have some variety.

6401 - Greenwood Urban Wetland Park

  • Remember to scoop your poop! To make the setting clean and enjoyable for everyone please clean up after your dog. Stepping in poop is a sure fire way to make your outing way less enjoyable. If you want to go the extra mile, you could pick up poop that has been left behind by other dog owners. You score some doggy karma points and the park is a little cleaner for everyone else.  Win win!

Most importantly, do a little research before you go to the park. Does your dog need to be spayed or neutered?  Are kids welcome? Are there breed restrictions or any fees or license requirements?  Make sure you know the rules beforehand, so combined with your new etiquette knowledge, you and Fido can make the most out of your time together.

Newtown

Thank you for reading! If you have any more questions about dog park etiquette, please don’t hesitate to ask. Woof woof!

A-Frame: A Dog Agility Classic

Thursday, April 7th, 2016

A-Frame Storey Bark Park

The A-Frame is a traditional piece of agility equipment; it’s fun for dogs of all shapes and sizes. Now, not all dogs are natural climbers so it is important not to push them past their comfort level. Using treats, praise and positive reinforcement to encourage your dog can also be helpful! According to Pet Expertise there are four types of treats that work best and are healthy options for your dog. They recommend using regular dog kibble, cheese, chicken, and chopped veggies as healthy alternatives to dog biscuits or cookies.

dog-loves-cheese

There are several important differences between our A-Frame and others. First of all, ours is not as steep. We think all dogs should be able to safely and comfortably play on our equipment! When an A-Frame is too steep and/or too narrow, it’s not only unsafe, it will discourage dogs from using the equipment again if they lose their footing or feel they need to jump off the side. With that in mind, our A-Frame is only three feet high at the peak with an extra wide width of 38”. Another important consideration is the angle of the ramp; traditional (professional) dog agility requires it to be a very steep 98 degrees for large dogs and 104 degrees for the smaller pups. By design, our A-Frame is only 43 degrees, so about half as steep. This helps to ensure that any pooch, whether an agility champ or a novice, can feel like a top dog once they conquer the ramp. One last word of warning, if a dog park company says they are using AKC or USDAA standards for their equipment, be careful! It’s always a much safer bet to install recreation level equipment in a public park.

Our A-Frame is also coated with PawsGrip™, our exclusive highly textured material designed for maximum slip resistance. Other products may have rubber or textured polyethylene. Neither of these are really suited for the use a dog park sees, and the surface can crumble, degrade or crack quite easily. However, PawsGrip™ is made from the same materials used in truck bed liners, and provides a more stable and sturdy texturized surface that is super durable and holds up under frequent use and all weather conditions.

dog_on_it-189

So remember when comparing dog park agility equipment, we don’t just offer the widest range of products you will find, but also the safest and highest quality. Dog parks are essential in bringing your community together and sourcing safe equipment with a lifetime warranty will guarantee a long lived (and loved!) place for all the pooches and their people to play!

6401 - Greenwood Urban Wetland Park

Fact: Dog People Make Better Dog Park Equipment

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

Let’s just start off by saying we’re dog people. You know, the kind of folks who have dogs running around the office (see Exhibit A below), make their own dog treats, cross the street just to say hello to another dog, go to 4-H/agility/drafting events on the weekends, belong to a raw food co-op…the list goes on and on.

Quincy

When it comes to designing dog parks and dog park equipment, we think this makes all the difference in the world. Why, you might ask?

Would a restaurant hire a chef who didn’t actually enjoy eating? Because you can surely “cook” something, but it makes a huge difference when made by someone who truly loves food and has the knowledge to make something amazing. Would you trust hopping into an airplane if the engineer didn’t have a basic knowledge (and more would be better here, right?) of physics and how to get a giant piece of metal with wings to fly at 30,000 feet?

dog pilot

We believe the same school of thought applies to dog park equipment. Our office and design team have collectively 30+ years of experience in dog agility, metal fabrication, playground design and dog behavior.

What that means for our customers is that they get the best everything. All of our dog agility components are tested for safety and durability with our office pups who range in size from 15 pounds (Hello Sprocket!) up to our large breed mob of Bernese Mountain Dogs and Labradors, so we know what works for the little guys, the big dogs and every size in between.
6405 with dogs

Design questions? Yep, we got you covered. As the first company in the US to specialize exclusively in dog parks and dog park amenities, our customer service can’t be beat. We can guide you through surfacing options, whether it’s feasible to include a pet fountain or water feature, irrigation considerations, fencing and best of all, respect your budget.

So when you’re looking for a company to help you with your dog park, consider the following points:
1. Do they offer a lifetime warranty against rust on the agility equipment? Hint: We’re the only company in the US that does and believe us, you want this. Between environmental factors such as rain, mud, salt air and male dogs who, ahem, like to water everything in sight, rust is a huge problem in dog parks.

2. How long have they been in business? Dog parks, and dog park businesses are a hot commodity nowadays which means a lot of new companies have dipped their toes into the water. Sure, it gives people more options but they’re not experts like we are. So make sure you’re working with someone who knows what they’re doing and isn’t trying to sell you more equipment than your park has the space for or equipment that is potentially unsafe.

3. Customization: Does the company offer color and text customization? We know that some customers want bright, playful colors and others prefer more muted, natural options. That’s why we offer agility components in two color palettes and have the option for many other colors including blue, gray, black, yellow and more. Also, nothing screams “This is our dog park!” like custom benches and equipment with the park name. We offer that too!

Tire Jump

So whether you’re just getting started and are looking for a turnkey dog park or have an existing park that could use some perking up, make sure you’re getting the best advice. From us, of course!


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