Just like us, our dogs crave social interaction. But with busy schedules and hectic lives, it can be easy to forget that Fido wants friends, too. And according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), a socialized pet is a happy pet and a more enjoyable companion.
Exposing your dog (especially puppies) to new sights, sounds, animals, people and experiences can allow your four-legged friend to become a safer, more relaxed pet, the organization said. But socializing your dog is a long process and can take several weeks of exposure.
One way some pet owners are helping their pets to become more adaptive animals is by taking them to a local dog park. Dog parks allow dogs the chance to get to know new smells and have fun with their dog buddies in a controlled environment.
The ASPCA said there are many benefits to dog parks:
While dog parks are a great way to socialize your pet, there are some stipulations. If your dog has any of the following issues, the dog park might not be the best place for socializing:
But if your pet is healthy and good-natured, then a dog park could be a great place to give them social interaction and challenge them physically and mentally.
Here are a few dog parks in Central Texas you might want to try:
H.O.T. Dog Park
4900 Steinbeck Bend Rd.
Waco, TX 76708
Central Texas Bark Park
In Lions Park
4320 Lions Park Road
Temple, TX 76502
Purser Family Park
100 West Mountain Lion Road
Harker Heights, TX 76548
And if you’re looking for more opportunities to socialize your dog and meet other dog lovers, then come and participate in Hewitt’s Dog Days of Summer Canine Event. Your furry friend will get the chance to experience new sights, sounds and smells and you’ll get the chance to show off your canine companion.Back To Top
Jessa is the Editor-in-Chief of Hooray for Family and the mom of three energetic children. She has a BA in Mass Communication/Journalism from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and is a long-time resident of Central Texas. When she isn't writing and editing, she enjoys playing board games with her kids, teaching Sunday school and channeling her creativity into craft projects.