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There are lots of things to consider when choosing a home, at not all of them relate directly to the structure of the house itself. Often what is available around your potential new home – as in what the neighbourhood has to offer – can be just as important as well.
If you happen to be one of the millions of Canadians who count a dog as a member of your family then some of those neighbourhood considerations involve meeting their needs to. As people spend more and more on their fur kids – according to government figures Canadians spend over $4.2 billion dollars on their canine chums every year – then their needs are being catered to a great deal more.
One neighbourhood feature that does appeal to many pet parents shopping for a home is access to a great dog park. Sure, Fido can head out into the garden to play, and a leashed walk around the immediate neighbourhood is good for you both, but dog parks, which are increasingly popular, offer even more.
Dog parks have become so popular for all of the following reasons and more:
- Physical and mental exercise for dogs -Freed from her leash a dog can zoom around and explore in a dog park to her heart’s content. Many dogs are so mentally and physically exhausted by a trip to the dog park that they’ll nap for hours afterwards!
- Develop Doggy Social Skills – Like humans, dogs are highly social creatures. And while most do really enjoy human company they also usually enjoy the chance to get out and socialise with other dogs.
- Develop Human Social Skills – One of the best ways to get to know your new neighbours? Via their dogs. It’s far less scary to strike up a conversation with strangers when you know you already have something in common; you’re all pet parents. There are those single folks who tell us the dog park is a great place to potentially meet a new romantic interest as well..
Fortunately for dog lovers looking for their next home in the Waterloo Region, our area boasts some great ones. Here’s a quick rundown of just some of the most popular:
McLennan Off Leash Dog Park
1T4,, McLennan Park Gate, Kitchener
McLennan Park is a great mixed used recreational facility in general, boasting kiddies playgrounds, basketball courts, nice walking and hiking paths and more. Its off leash dog park has become a real hit with locals too though.
The dog park is operated by the City of Kitchener and is fully fenced in for your pup’s safety. Half the lot is wooded, half is open and there are canine amenities like water stations and poop bag dispensers as well as human conveniences like picnic tables and restrooms.
Bechtel Park Off Leash Dog Park
185 Bridge St, Waterloo
Open year round from sunrise to sunset, the dog park in the lovely Bechel Park is a two-hectare (five-acre) fenced space that is sponsored by the Royal Canin Canada Company. And the City of Waterloo takes it seriously too, as they even made this great video to explain what it’s all about:
Kitchener-Waterloo Humane Society Dog Park
250 Riverbend Dr, Kitchener
This fenced in dog play area is on the same lot as the Humane Society’s shelter and so there are always experts close by to keep an eye on things and ensure that all of the dogs and their humans have fun safely and responsibly. They stage a number of community events and fundraisers here too, and if you don’t own a dog yet but think that that is just what your new home might be missing, there is no better place to find that new canine companion than the shelter next door.
Kiwanis Leash Free Dog Park
1000 Kiwanis Park Drive, Kitchener
Although many of the facilities at the Kiwanis Park are closed in 2017 as the Pool is undergoing renovation, the Dog Park is still open and accessible. This is a park that people love because the scenery is so nice – its right on the wonderful Walter Bean Trail and there are actually two fenced and gated sections to the park, one for big dogs and one for the little guys.