It is no surprise that dogs make a difference in the lives of individuals. It has been stated that dogs have been linked to reduced occurrences of psychological conditions, including depression, stress, and grief. Dogs are seen as companions and even best friends for some; therefore dog parks are important outlets for humans, as they provide recreational opportunities and bring together dog lovers of all ages and socioeconomic status.
In recent years, there has been an accumulation of evidence that associates dogs with physical, mental, and social dimensions of human health. Dog parks may provide a safe place for older people or people with disabilities who may not be able to walk their dogs. Dog parks provide areas where dogs can exercise and run freely while their owners can socialize. In addition, spending time with their dogs at the dog park reinforces the dog-owner bond.
According to one study, owning a dog indicated a potentially health improving average effect of 22 minutes of additional time spent walking and 2,760 additional steps per day. Most of that extra walking was done at a moderate cadence, defined as 100 or more steps a minute. The dog owners studied also had significantly fewer sitting events.
Evidence also supports the healthy effect of dogs on older populations, who often find a lack of motivation, feeling sluggish, unproductive, and even isolated. Since dogs thrive on structure and consistency in daily life, they depend on their owner to be walked, exercised, and loved. For some, having a dog means the difference between life lived and a life merely endured. Dogs can help a person, stay safe and be independent: They can be ears, eyes, and mobility enhancements for people with disabilities as well as an early warning system for danger.
Health and well-being benefits also extend to the dog itself. As leash laws continue to become increasingly restrictive, many community public leadership committees are seeing dog parks as a way to let dogs run free and get adequate exercise without penalty to pet owners or potential damage to private property. Dog parks also promote safety because the pet owners are not walking on busy streets. Public dog parks allow dogs to get ample off-leash exercise and social activity with other dogs. When dogs get the adequate physical and mental exercise they need, humans are able to notice a decrease in the level of troublesome behavior from their dogs which will benefit society as well.
Dog parks can facilitate socialization between a variety of breeds. They can also be a wonderful outlet for adolescent dogs that have lots of energy and no place to release it.