According to www.dogpark.com, there are over 1,100 dog parks in the United States and Canada and their numbers are growing. They state that just about every city and town in the U.S. and Canada have one or more dog parks.
The Trust for Public Land released their 2011 City Park Facts. The report discloses a variety of public park-related data from America’s 100 largest cities with dog parks being the fastest growing. USA Today has also quoted and already noted, the fastest-growing park type in the country is now dog parks. There were 569 off-leash dog parks in the 100 largest cities in 2010, a 34 percent jump in five years. Parks overall increased only 3 percent in that time.
Respected organizations like the ASPCA believe that dog parks are beneficial to both dogs and their guardians. According to the ASPCA, “Many behavior problems in dogs are caused by lack of physical and mental activity. Dogs were born to lead active lives. They’ve worked alongside people for thousands of years, hunting game, herding and protecting livestock and controlling vermin. Dogs’ wild relatives lead busy lives, too. Their days are full of hunting, scavenging, avoiding predators and complex social interaction. Most pet dogs, on the other hand, spend the majority of their time alone at home, napping on the couch and eating from food bowls – no hunting or scavenging required. Many become bored, lonely and overweight. They have excess energy and no way to expend it, so it is not surprising that they often come up with activities on their own, like un-stuffing couches, raiding trash cans, chewing shoes and barking incessantly. To keep your dog happy healthy and out of trouble, you’ll need to find ways to exercise their brain and body. If they enjoy the company of their own kind, visits to your local dog park can greatly enrich their life.”
Best Friends Animal Sanctuary here in Utah has 825 articles and references on their website in regards to dog parks and their benefits. Even the Delta Society endorses dog parks because of things like the physical activity is good for the dog and owner. Many disabled and senior citizens are not physically able to exercise their dogs and having a dog park where dogs can play with others and get their energy out and where their owners can meet and speak with other dog owners to exchange information, ideas and make new friends. Dog Parks bring people together. There are even reports about this. One of those reports being:
According to Dan Emerson of Dog Channel.com, proponents of dog parks cite the following benefits: “They promote responsible pet ownership and the enforcement of dog-control laws; give dogs a place to exercise safely, thus reducing barking and other problem behaviors; provide seniors and disabled owners with an accessible place to exercise their companions; and provide an area for community-building socializing.”
According to Wikipedia findings “Pet ownership in the United States increased by over 1 million households between 1990 and 1992, up to 54 million, or 58% of all U.S. households. Of the pet-owning households, 38% included dogs, which translated to 1.5 dogs per dog-owning household or a total of 53.3 million dogs. By 2005-2006, the U.S. Pet Owners Survey showed that the number of dogs Americans owned had shot up to 73 million dogs, a significant increase. The Humane Society noted in 2007 that approximately 60% of U.S. owners had one dog, 25% had two dogs, and 15% had three or more dogs, and 75% of dog owners consider their pets to be a significant part of the family.”