Posts Tagged ‘dog park advice’

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

Pet-Friendly Housing

Friday, March 6th, 2015

There’s been a huge trend with multifamily communities becoming more pet friendly, but what about the pet guardians who are renting? We thought it might be helpful to create a list with some tips for pet parents.

dog-cough

1. A Healthy Pup is A Happy Pup: As with any public place where dogs interact with one another on a regular basis, it is important for pet owners to ensure that their pups are all up to date on their shots. Oftentimes multifamily communities can have pretty tight quarters when it comes to designated pet relief areas. Keeping your pup properly vaccinated can help prevent the spread of disease or illnesses through pet waste and/or coming into contact with other resident’s pets. Many communities now require proof of vaccination with the rental agreement, but even if your community does not, your pup’s long term health is important too, right?

poop_fairy

2. Scoop Your Poop: As mentioned above, failing to pick up after your pet can result in the spread of disease from a neighbor’s dog to your furry friend. Although your coprophagic dog might convince you otherwise, poop from the new French Bulldog next door does NOT make the best treat in town! Pollution issues aside, it’s just not neighborly to leave your pet’s waste behind for Tammy in 3B to step in on her way to work. So make sure you know where the pet waste pick up stations in your community are located and even better? Carry extra bags with you – your neighbors will appreciate it!

just-paying-my-way-through-obedience-school

3. Mind Your Manners: Mark Twain said it best, “Heaven goes by favor; if it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in”. But…only if your dog is well behaved! A little obedience training can go a long way in not only strengthening your relationship with your dog, but also lets your neighbors know you’re a responsible pet owner. Dogs, much like humans, need parameters around acceptable behavior. Once they know what’s expected (positive reinforcement with praise & treats can help!) and can behave appropriately, everyone benefits.

barking

4. Respect Thy Neighbor’s Sleep: Even if you are a dog owner yourself and understand occasional barking, it’s never fun to listen to a dog singing you the song of his people while you’re trying to catch up on much needed beauty sleep. Making sure your pup is entertained during the day (doggy daycares or dog sitters/walkers are a great solution!) and giving them plenty of exercise in the evening will help to burn excess energy and reduce nuisance barking. Woof!

doggy-bath

5. Pet Friendly Perks: In today’s competitive housing market, many communities are offering some great perks for both you and your pup! Keep an eye out for a community that truly welcomes your pet and offers features such as dog grooming stations, pet relief areas, water fountains and best of all, a dog park on site.

Citra at Windermere

6. Dog Parks Are A Must: Finding an apartment community with its own dog park is a win-win. You have the opportunity to meet other residents you might not normally have connected with and if the park has some fun agility equipment, your dog can get some much needed exercise! Having easy access to an off leash area will make life much more enjoyable for your pup and if your community plans events at the dog park such as Yappy Hour, Howl-O-Ween or even obedience training, it can be just as much fun for you.

We hope these tips help make apartment living even better for both you and your furry family members! Feel free to contact us anytime for expert guidance on all things dog park.

Dog Park Design Considerations: Large & Small Dog Areas

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

Great Dane
As dog parks continue to grow in popularity, the debate on whether or not the dog park design should separate the little guys from large dogs has started to gain a lot of attention, so we’d put in our two paws, err, cents worth. Here at Dog-ON-It Parks, we have designed and outfitted dog parks in all shapes and sizes. Our verdict? Space permitting, we feel it’s safer all around to have separate large and small dog areas.

The separation helps ensure that both the dogs and their owners are able to enjoy their time at the park and also provides an opportunity to meet the needs of all park users, regardless of the size of their pets. This alleviates the need to have requested time slots for big or small dog play time and can also help to maintain the peace, so to speak. An important consideration in establishing separate areas is also providing clear communication in regards to the size restrictions for each area. Posting dog park rules and signs like these is an easy and affordable way to help make sure everyone is on the same page.

dog park car

The magic words “Go for ride?” are sure to excite any pooch, especially if they know where they’re going and sometimes that excitement may be too much for a dog new to the park, or just a dog that is a little less confident. And when you add size to the equation? It’s even more challenging.

Large and small dogs often have different play styles and different breeds have distinct (and often humorous!) personality traits which can factor in as well. Even unintentionally, big dogs can end up injuring a smaller pup because they just aren’t aware that there’s a little guy running around with them. Also, if a scuffle does happen to break out, having a more even playing field from the get go can possibly save a dog’s life.

This concept is also ideal for shy or timid dogs. The smaller area is often calmer and less overwhelming than the larger area would be with four big dogs hurtling towards you and your pooch to greet you. Starting out in the small and/or shy dog area of the park is a great way to introduce your pup to the dog park in a more neutral environment, so they can have a positive experience.

Sometimes due to space or budget considerations, it isn’t feasible to separate the pack so here are some suggestions to promote a safe and fun environment for everyone:

1. Always supervise your dog.
2. Make sure your pooch has a strong recall. Practice makes perfect, and if your dog is less than enthusiastic about coming when called, work on this skill at home with some high value treats. Pretty soon, you calling their name will equal “On my way!” instead of “Nope – I’d rather play!”
3. This is a biggie. Please, please make sure that your dog is properly socialized before visiting your local dog park. You are responsible for your pet’s success and safety. Not sure if your dog is ready? Try visiting the park during off hours where there aren’t as many dogs present to see if it’s a good fit.
4. Know the park rules before you go. Many dog parks don’t allow small children, food, puppies and dogs in heat, among other local rules that may vary from city to city.
5. Have fun!

mainstream

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