Posts Tagged ‘dog park’

Woof on the Roof: Rooftop Dog Parks

Wednesday, June 5th, 2019

Bright Parks, Big City!

City dogs may be a sophisticated bunch, but just like their friends in the ‘burbs, they need space to play! A walk through the concrete jungle is fun, but what’s an urban dog to do when the hankering to fetch a ball takes hold? City dwelling dogs are on the rise and apartment communities are catering to them in a big way. Property management companies know that pet friendly amenities are a huge draw for prospective residents. They are catering to this furry niche by offering doggy welcome gifts, events and dog spas. But even if Rex is living the high life in a penthouse apartment, space can be hard to come by. Thankfully, rooftop dog parks are the perfect antidote! They provide a much needed outlet for our furry friends while also giving residents a safe, secure place to relieve their pets 24/7.

Space: The Furry Frontier

Property management companies have to get creative when it comes to offering pet perks. One of the smartest tactics in urban communities is converting underutilized rooftop or terrace spaces into bark parks. We’re often asked about the amount of space needed for a rooftop dog park. The short answer: it depends! Even when dealing with limited square footage, most communities will have room for a pet relief kit and a grooming station. For larger areas, additional amenities like seating, fountains, shade, and agility components can turn your rooftop into a first class dog park with an amazing view! When designing your park, amenity placement is key. You’ll need enough room between components for dogs to safely run and play. It’s also important to consider any resident events you plan on hosting such as Yappy hours. Park Chelsea at the Collective, a 429-unit luxury building in Washington DC, chose play components with custom portable bases to provide flexibility. This allows their residents to rearrange the agility course for an added challenge and to store the equipment when more room is needed for events.

Surfacing Solutions

One of a dog’s favorite things about going to the park is running on grass! Since real grass isn’t exactly a great fit for rooftops, we have another option that is attractive year-round and offers the ease of low maintenance. Our popular Turf Pods are a portable system designed specifically for hard surfaces like cement, asphalt, or decking. With antimicrobial agents that reduce odor and elevated tiles that provide aeration and drainage, these are a perfect solution. Turf pods come in standard 36”x 48” squares that snug together using the park’s perimeter/wall and can be moved for easy cleaning underneath and to help manage wear.  Unlike traditional roll turf, the pods don’t require professional installation and are a much more affordable option.

Features for Fido

Rooftop dog parks can go from “meh” to “wow” with the addition of the right features. Agility equipment keeps dogs engaged while burning off excess energy, and all dog parks benefit from a dog waste station to help keep the area clean. A fire hydrant is the canine equivalent of the office water cooler and adds a cute aesthetic to any dog park. If you and your pooch are easily parched, a human and dog drinking fountain is sure to cool you both off on hot summer days. There are so many options to turn an empty rooftop dog park into a place all dog residents will be barking to go!

Safety First!

Safety should be the top priority for all dog parks but is crucial component for a rooftop. It’s vital to have fencing or a barrier that is at least 5’ high. Double slats or a solid wall are also recommended so that smaller dogs can’t slip out. A double gated entry is also a good idea to ensure that dogs are safe on their way in and out of the park. A safe dog is a happy dog, and with just a few steps, your rooftop dog park can be a safe and inviting place for dogs to have the time of their lives!

Dog Agility 101

Monday, May 20th, 2019

Whether you and your pooch are just looking to have some fun at the dog park, or want to compete in agility competitions, first impressions to dog agility training are key. Dogs who are properly introduced to agility components are more likely to use them again and have fun! No matter what age, breed, weight, or temperament, agility can benefit your dog in so many ways! From increased focus, helping with behavior issues such as lack of confidence and/or anxiety, and creating a stronger bond between yourself and your dog through teamwork!

Start Slowly with Enthusiasm!

Fido’s first exposure to agility components should be extra fun and super positive! Now is not the time to worry about them perfecting their weave pole speed, or teeter totter skills, but rather a time for them to become acquainted with the idea of engaging with the components. Let your dog’s curiosity lead the way during the introduction; they will probably sniff the heck out of it, and possibly pee on it, which is a part of the “getting to know each other” process. If they interact with the agility components on their own (like walking though a Bow Wow Barrel without a prompt), give positive reinforcement through praise, pets, and treats. If your dog seems hesitant about the agility components, don’t rush them – rather praise and treat them when they go near the equipment. You want to encourage your dog to view these components as fun, and that they are rewarded by engaging with them.

Next Steps

Once your dog feels comfortable with agility components, its time to get moving! Trying out agility components may or may not happen on your dog’s first exposure; you be the judge of whether they’re ready or not. Depending on where you are (a dog park with agility components, your own backyard, or a dog agility facility), you’ll have to gauge potential distractions. Try to avoid a busy time of day when other dogs may distract your pup from using the agility pieces. Let’s break it down:

  1. Start with simple components, like a step up table or a single wall jump.  
  2. Use your dogs biggest motivator (treats, a toy, a tennis ball, verbal and physical praise, etc) to entice them through, over, under, or around the agility component.
  3. The first time around, you may want to leash your dog to help guide them (for example, if they were going to walk over a ramp or an A frame.  This will help your dog understand what they’re supposed to do, though you won’t need the leash for long. You may also guide them through the obstacle with treats or a toy.
  4. Once they’ve completed an agility event, praise and treat them like they are the best dog on earth (which they are)! Try each agility component for several minutes before moving on to the next. Be sure to take play breaks so their concentration doesn’t get overloaded. Learning new things is better when it’s fun!

Repeat Customer

Once your dog has a firm understanding of agility components, how can you help keep them interested and wanting to use them regularly? Depending on your dogs’ level of skill and interest, there are many ways to get keep them involved in agility. Got a naturally gifted canine athlete?  Join one of the many agility clubs across the country like USDAA, NADAC, or AKHA! These are serious and competitive organizations that can take a good agility athlete to the level of competitions. If you love how agility improves your dog’s behavior and crazy energy, but his skills need some improvement, find a local agility class. These are wonderful environments that will allow your dog to hone his skills, have fun and make new friends! Just think of how your pup will impress everyone at the dog park after a few classes! If you have a dog that isn’t at the level of classes or competition, keep going to the dog park and encouraging them to use the agility components. They may just surprise you with how fast they learn and progress!

Shy Dogs & Dog Parks

Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

Shy dogs have a special place in our hearts! Anyone who has ever loved a dog will tell you that they absolutely have their own personalities and funny quirks.  Though their temperaments vary from pooch to pooch, shyness is a fairly common trait. It’s especially noticeable in dogs who have experienced abuse or poor socialization early in life. Rescue dogs are even more susceptible due to trauma associated with being in a noisy shelter, going from foster home to foster home and essentially a lack of stability.  For a shy pup, the dog park can be an overwhelming and scary place at first. Thankfully there are ways to safely introduce Fido to the dog park to ensure that they have a life filled with fun visits and play.

Signs your dog may be timid or shy:

If your family has recently adopted a dog and you’re unsure about their temperament, body language can help give you some insight into how they feel. If your dog exhibits some or all these traits, they may need some extra TLC and training:

  • Ears are flat against his head
  • Often in a cowering posture
  • Shies away from interactions with other dogs and/or people
  • Tucks his tail between his legs
  • Panting or shaking
  • Excessive yawning (a sign of stress)
  • Skulking, pacing, hiding, or escape attempt
  • Whining or barking
  • Raised hackles
  • Avoids eye contact
  • Nipping, biting, or sneering
  • Submissive urination

Dog Park Introduction Techniques

Basic Obedience: For safety purposes, every dog should respond to basic commands before visiting a dog park. Obedience training can be your best friend’s best friend here! If a shy dog knows exactly what you’re asking/expecting, he may be less likely to panic during a stressful situation. Start at home with simple commands such as “Sit,” “Stay,” and “Come”, and be sure to use lots of positive reinforcement!  Once your dog has mastered those commands indoors, try taking them outside where there are more distractions. Working closely with your dog will boost their confidence and give you peace of mind as well.

Additional Training: Sometimes a timid pup can overreact when they feel threatened or nervous.  This can be something such as anxious barking, but can also be more problematic if they resort to fear-based responses such as nipping or biting.  Fortunately, most reputable trainers offer classes and/or one-on-one sessions geared towards shy dogs.  These classes build upon basic obedience and focus on confidence building and strengthening the dog/guardian bond.

Doggy Playdates: If your dog is timid around other dogs, consider an at home playdate before introducing him to the dog park. The best BFF candidate is a calm and gentle dog who is confident around both people and pets. Not only is this a big step in socialization, but your dog will learn appropriate behavior just by being around a laid-back canine. If you don’t have any dogs like this in your life, ask a local dog trainer!  Many of them would love to bring a “canine mentor” to a training session or allow your dog to test out a day at doggy daycare where they can learn those same skills in a managed environment.

Practice Park Activities: Teach your dog games like “Fetch” and “Hide and Seek” at home or in your backyard. This not only gives your dog a chance to learn while playing, it also trains them for activities you’ll likely engage in at the dog park. Giving treats or using a clicker can help him focus on the positive and stay out of worry-wart mode.  It may sound simple but for a timid dog, just learning that they can initiate an interaction with a predictable outcome can make all the difference.

Putting it All Together: When it’s time to load your pup into the car and head to the park, start slowly.  That means doing some background research first: does your local park have a shy/senior dog section?  What are the slowest and busiest times (so you can plan accordingly)? Are there any reviews of the park from other park users that might be helpful? Can your dog trainer meet you there to provide an extra set of eyes?  Do everything you can to set your dog up for success, but be patient! It might take a few tries, or visiting a few different parks for the stars to line up.  And it’s possible that Fido just isn’t a dog park kind of dog, and that’s fine too!

Hopefully these tips will make the dog park a happier place for both you and your pup.  Woof!

 

 

Earth Day: Our Green Products and Practices

Friday, April 20th, 2018

The Pacific Northwest is well known for several things: abundant rain, fantastic coffee, grunge music, wearing socks with sandals, a love of green products (Happy 4/20!) and the great outdoors. Thankfully you won’t see many of us sporting socks with open-toed footwear, but the folks here at Dog-On-It-Parks love nature and believe in going above and beyond to be eco-friendly. We are proud to have a dedicated team that recycles all our manufacturing scrap, as well as using recycled materials in our manufacturing process. Every day we choose to make products that are safer for dogs and better for the environment.

Kermit Had It All Wrong:

It IS easy being green! When selecting materials, we always consider both durability and eco-friendliness, and aluminum is a clear winner in both categories. It is corrosion and rust proof, extremely durable, lighter weight than steel (makes for easier installation!) and can be recycled an unlimited number of times. The HDPE (high-density polyethylene) plastic in our products is also an ecological superstar. HDPE releases no harmful fumes, doesn’t contain BPA, phthalates, heavy metals or allergens, and uses 100% post-consumer waste products. Did you know that over 115 million milk jugs are recycled each year in the making of recycled plastic and that it tales about 21 milk jugs to create just one pound of HDPE?  A few examples of our products that use both materials are our Hound Hurdles and Collie Crawl.

EcoDog:

Like the name suggests, our EcoDog line features materials you can feel good about.  Made from 100% recycled content, these products help keep plastic out of our landfills. We are proud knowing that the aluminum and heavy-duty HDPE used in EcoDog were once consumer waste, and now have a new life in our dog agility components!  Keeping in line with the natural theme, all the products are green with black accents and portable bases that don’t require concrete footers. These are ideal for seasonal dog parks as the components can be stored in the off season, and also for off-leash areas who want the flexibility of re-arranging their agility course.

Planet Friendly Fountains: 

It may come as a surprise to learn that stainless steel is a green product! Due to its ability to be recycled, as well as producing a low carbon footprint, stainless steel is the preferred material for green building throughout the world. Dog-On-It-Parks is proud to offer fountains that are manufactured with “Green Building” friendly stainless steel, containing 75% recycled material. We have 15 water fountains to choose from including dedicated dog-only units, eco-friendly bottle fillers, ADA Accessible options and much more. Even better? They all have affordable and easy flat rate shipping across the lower 48.

Good Human!: 

America’s 83 million pet dogs produce approximately 10.6 million tons of poop every year. Holy crap! Thankfully most pet owners take responsibility for picking up their dog’s waste, but depending on what kind of bag they use, they could be unknowingly harming the environment.  Many dog waste bags claim to be biodegradable, but the materials within them do not fully break down as they require very specific landfill conditions. Our Good Human poop bags are made from 100% recycled content and have minimal packaging for a small carbon footprint. They are also FTC Compliant per the new Green Guidelines. You care for the environment by picking up your dog’s waste, why not use a bag that helps Mother Earth even more?

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.

 

 

Grants: Help Make Your Dog Park Dreams Come True!

Tuesday, March 27th, 2018

We believe every pup deserves a place to romp and play, and that every community should have a park that fits the needs of residents and pets alike. We also know the journey of seeing a dog park to completion can be a long one; between securing land and funding, the process can take years.  Fortunately, there are some dog park specific grants and contests to help make the road a little less bumpy. These organizations are committed to helping communities just like yours create dog parks that will make tails wag and people smile. Keep reading for both national and regional opportunities, and be sure to check the application requirements and deadlines.  Good luck!

Nutro Room to Run

The Nutro Room to Run program supports public, non-profit dog parks and off-leash areas. Since 2010, the program has helped enhance over 120 dog parks and committed more than 4,000 volunteer hours across North America. Projects included landscaping and adding trees and other shade structures, as well as adding benches, agility equipment, signage and more for the enjoyment of pets and pet parents. Check their website for more info.

Doris Day Animal Foundation

The Doris Day Animal Foundation (DDAF) is a national nonprofit founded in 1978 by legendary performer Doris Day. Forty years later, their mission continues: to help animals and the people who love them.  As a grant-giving charity, DDAF funds other 501(c)(3) organizations across the US, including community dog parks. They evaluate applications quarterly, with submissions accepted during January, April, July, and October. Click here for grant guidelines and information.

PetSafe Bark for Your Park

  • Through the annual Bark for Your Park competition, PetSafe helps 25 communities across America build and revitalize dog parks. Like applying for grants, there is some information required to enter, so you’ll need:
  •  A letter from a civic leader showing support for your project
  • Photos of your future location or current off-leash dog park
  • Blueprints of your ideal dog park (be sure to include agility components!)
  • A summary of how your community would benefit from the park 
  • Ways your community has shown support for a dog park.  Interested in more info?  Click here. 

Beneful Dream Dog Park Project 

Beneful demonstrates its passion for dog parks by lending a paw to support more than a dozen communities each year. Through its Beneful Dream Dog Park Project, the team provides financial support, hands-on volunteerism and a variety of new resources to share the dog park love. Get the Beneful scoop here. Please keep in mind that eligible parks must be free and open to the public!

The Stanton Foundation

Calling all Massachusetts residents! As part of its mission of encouraging positive dog/human relationships, the Stanton Foundation supports the development of enclosed dog parks in the Commonwealth of MA. This support takes the form of a series of grants to support park design, construction, and capital improvements. Click here to view contribution and application requirements.

Ode to a Fire Hydrant

Monday, January 29th, 2018

 

Have we mentioned before that we really love what we do?  If not, here goes: We love dogs.  We love dog parks.  We love being able to help improve the quality of life for people and their pets.  Seriously pinching ourselves over here.  That being said, we also think dog parks are fun, so designing dog parks and pet products is pretty darn fun too.  That’s why we launched our “Ode to a Fire Hydrant” poem contest last month.

We asked our customers and fans to put on their creative thinking caps, and write some prose about the relationship between a dog and a fire hydrant for a chance to win a FREE custom Fire Hydrant.  We refer to a Fire Hydrant as the “office water cooler” of the dog park and were curious if there were any other analogies. Sure enough, everyone delivered!

Read on for some dog park-themed poetry…

Winning Poem from Burton Carol Management: 

Roses are Red, Violets are Blue,

Residents with four legs, truly matter too.

That is why we create, an area to play,

So our furry loved ones, can enjoy the day.

Complete with fire hydrants that are red, causing people to smile

Our fenced in  Bark Parks, keep pets happy for awhile.

So choose one of our properties, where our furry pets rule.

And visit one of our dog parks, which are incredibly cool!

___________________

Runner Ups:

Roses are red,

Violets are blue,

I am Scruffy,

I eat, sleep & poo!

Our dog park needs a fire hydrant,

So I can piddle too!

If we win,

We’d definitely say thank YOU!

___________________

Roses are Red

Violets are Blue

Dogs need to run

Pups need to play

Isn’t that their job?

Just to make our day!

By: Friends of Ellicott Island Bark Park

___________________

Roses are Red

Violets are Blue

Dog-On-It Hydrants

Are better than Scooby-Do’s

_________________

Roses are red

violets are blue

My dog chews on everything,

Especially my shoes.

She really can’t help it,

As soon as she’s smelt it,

That shoe she must have,

Good luck trying to grab.

She runs and she plays,

My shoes I must save!

She’s fast and she’s wily,

My silly girl, Riley.

***Disclaimer, this is based on the true story of our shoe snatching shelter dog.***

______________________

If you’d like a chance to win free dog park products, be sure to follow us on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, and sign up to receive our monthly newsletter!

 

                                                                                                       

 

 

What Trends Lead to Successful Dog Parks? Guest Blog by CADdetails

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

When considering a move to a new city, dog owners will often seek out the nearest dog park within their vicinity. Luckily, they may not have to look far since during the past five years, the number of dog parks in the U.S. increased 20%1. Even though there may be a park close by, there is one growing concern when it comes to dog parks. Owners are finding that just because they are there – it doesn’t mean they are good.

When dog parks were first introduced in city plans, they were designed to be a large open space that was fenced in and safe for owners to let their dog run around in while off-leash. The concept for a dog park was that the dog would use this space to release their energy after being confined to a small space all day. For some cities allowing a large gated area for the dogs to play in seemed like enough. For others, a large bare space didn’t seem adequate and thus began the competition to find what makes a dog park stand out from the rest.

One of the reasons why dog owners decide whether to visit a dog park is the location. Successful dog parks are typically located along a trail system where owners have a chance to not only walk with their dog but also give them a chance to play. It’s also more likely to become popular if there is parking provided since some owners may live outside the immediate vicinity or may use the park as a pit stop for their pet before or during travel.

 

Upon arrival at a dog park the owner must feel safe unleashing their dog. Luckily, it seems standard for most parks to offer a double gated area to ensure that owners have an area where they can enter and shut the gate behind them. They can then safely unleash their dog before opening another gate which allows them to enter the park. While the double gated area ensures the safety of the dog, many park users prefer a separate entrance and exit. This way owners bringing their rambunctious dog into the park aren’t crossing paths with those who are coaxing their dog to leave.

Regardless of whether or not the park has a separate entrance or exit, one of the deciding factors is adequate drainage. No one wants to take their dog to the park to have them become muddy or uncomfortable. This is why it is important to consider the surfacing for the park. Although grass is still the most desirable surface covering, other substitutes such as Woof Fiber (EWF), decomposed granite or synthetic turf are also acceptable as long as it suits the climate and park size.

Even if the gate and surfacing has met approval, there are still a lot of other factors that influence an owner’s opinion of the park such as the amenities offered for the owner and their pet. While running around may be a thrilling experience for a dog, the owner’s needs should also be considered during their visit. This is typically achieved by offering areas where owners and their pets can bond such as specific agility training exercises, or entire courses to help a dog develop confidence and show off their skills.

One of the remaining and undoubtedly most influential factors that decide whether or not a dog park is successful is the way it handles waste management. Recently parks have been implementing bins that are exclusively intended for animal waste. This trend is due to the fact that dog waste currently makes up as much as 80% of the garbage found in bins and containers in city parks2. This is why it’s imperative for waste bins to be easily accessible, labeled and kept within an appropriate distance that encourages use but doesn’t hinder the usability of the park.

Whether your park focuses on achieving the best location, gates, equipment, or waste management practices, the one quality that makes a dog park truly successful is if it’s built with dogs in mind. Unlike children who eventually outgrow a playground, dogs may spend their entire life visiting the same park. So even though it may be difficult to continuously change it once it’s built, it’s important to ensure that it is well maintained and that it evolves just as much as the dogs that visit.

Sources: 1) LA Times , 2) CTV News

Emily Matlovich is the writer for CADdetails’ blog Design Ideas for the Built World. The blog is an extension of CADdetails.com, the leading provider of manufacturer-specific building product information, high-quality CAD drawings, 3D models, BIM files, specifications, images, projects and related documents from over 500 of North America’s top manufacturers. All of their high quality, digital content is available for download 100% free of charge.

Dogs: Our Four-Legged BFF’s

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

Sitting on a bench next to your dog…what could be better? To Fido…nothing!  While your mind is on the house and car and kids and work…his mind is on the feeling of being next to you. Just enjoying the casual scratch of his ears and listening to all the sounds and smelling all the smells the world has to offer. Dogs are incredibly therapeutic; their calming presence reminds us to slow down and their curiosity is a good reminder to appreciate the small things. They love us unconditionally, are pure in their intent (especially if it involves treats!), and spread love and joy with a happy wag of their tail.

BFF

 

Dogs add almost an immeasurable value to the family unit. With childhood obesity becoming an epidemic in the United States, getting a dog could be a way to help your little munchkins stay fit and healthy. If your child wants a dog that means they will be outside playing with their furry friend and taking their dog on walks, not to mention the regular trips to your local dog park! All of this can mean less time playing video games or watching television, and instead developing new and healthier habits.

Young girl with golden retriever walking away into sun

Pets can also provide a sense of security in a family, especially by “alert barking” when they let you know they’ve heard something out of the ordinary or become protective of you when strangers are near. Many dogs have gone above and beyond to protect the ones they love. There was a recent story of a dog who saved its seven-year-old human from a rattlesnake by allowing itself to get bitten while the girl made her way to safety. Who doesn’t need a hero in their family?

Hero

Now you don’t have to pay extravagant prices for special pups when you’re looking for a furry friend. While many people do pick out a breed they are fond of and purchase their pets through reputable breeders, that is not the only avenue. Adopting or rescuing a dog is incredibly rewarding (just ask the guardians of our office dog Rory!), and you save a life while doing so. Visit your local humane society for more information on the adoption process, as each rescue organization does things differently.  It may involve a home visit, a meet and greet with all family members including your current pets, as well as an adoption fee or recommended donation.

Here at Dog-ON-It-Parks, we encourage you to take a moment and give your pup a hug…but only if they enjoy it!  Even better, take them for a walk or visit your local dog park to show your appreciation.  Dogs have the ability to enrich and change our lives for the better…that’s what makes them best in show!

 

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


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