Dog Parks Emerging "Must Have" for Pet Loving Home Buyers.

Written by Posted On Monday, 28 May 2007 17:00

Home buyers across the country are adding in rising numbers a walk-to dog park to their new home search parameters. I first reported this trend in my annual survey: "What's In, What's Out with Homebuyers in 2006." Many first-time and repeat home buyers in suburban and urban communities want to include a nearby dog park as a day-to-day way to integrate their favored pooch into their next hood.

Savvy communities are recognizing the need and establishing designated dog parks as a home buyer perk that works. Many dog owners I have worked with have nixed a property that isn't near a dog park. As one buyer said to me, "They're better than children, as far as networking yourself in a new neighborhood; a cute and polite dog can open conversations and a whole lot more."

As a real estate broker, dog parks as a community amenity are an emerging trend, one that can increase property values, lower market times when selling a property and be a deciding factor in a home purchase decision. Plus, if a town is looking to establish neighborhood associations, dogs are a great conduit to get people banding together.

Dog parks have some common elements that the average dog owner/ home buyer look for.

  • Easy walking distance, no more than six city blocks one way.

  • Located on a quiet side street, busy thorough fares spook some dogs.

  • Quality chain link fencing at least four feet high to allow off-leash runs.

  • Well-lit grassy areas and paths for evening and rainy low-dirt frolics.

  • Ample fresh water to fill up the water bowl.

  • Covered containers for dog droppings.

  • Shade trees and bench's for Fido and it's master to get out of the hot summer sun and enjoy lazy week-end afternoons.

  • Wheel chair accessible and Braille friendly.

Some do's and don't for those looking to take any dog park, either at home or when traveling.

  • Make sure your dog is up to date on shots and medications.

  • Puppies under five months should not be taken to a dog park.

  • Supervise your dog once it is off leash, it's easy to get distracted watching other dogs or interacting with their owners.

  • Pick up after your dog, and yourself.

  • Don't snack while you're at a dog park; dogs always are interested in people food.

  • Limit the number of dogs you bring to the park, especially if you're walking or sitting someone else's dog.

    If your dogs are unruly or bothered by an agitated dog, be proactive, leash them and leave.

If you are interested in starting a dog park, contact your village or city hall. Organize other dog owners in your neighborhood. Consider a fund raiser to off set a park's development costs, it will show local city administrators that the community is involved in making a dog park a reality. If you're a potential home buyer, ask your real estate agent to show you area dog parks. Large communities or cities often have more than one.

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