Unleash Joy with Your Dog (and Kids!) This Summer

Summertime is great time to get outside and have fun with your kids (yes, even your four-legged ones)!

Dogs love the great outdoors and are always up for playtime, right?!

And what better way to enjoy summertime play with your dogs then at the dog park?

Summertime is great time to get outside and have fun with your kids (yes, even your four-legged ones)! Dogs love the great outdoors and are always up for playtime, right?! We tried this with our family and couldn’t believe how much fun we had!

We just took our almost-one-year-old Labrador to the dog park for the first time and we couldn’t believe what a great experience it was!

With lots of space to run (and tons of new friends to meet), our little Stella had the time of her life.

And truthfully, it was a wonderful afternoon for my daughter and I as well!

stella-with-purina-ball

I’ll admit that at first I was hesitant about taking Stella into a place with so many other big dogs that we’d never met.

big-dogs-all-playing-together

But I couldn’t believe how welcomed we were–both by the other dogs and by their “parents”–and what a wonderful time we all had there. Seriously!

The dogs (and the people there) instantly accepted us as their own. As we threw balls together and took turns playing with the dogs, the “parents” and I had a wonderful instant connection as we chatted about our beloved “furry children.”

Clearly there was a wonderful community built there as I heard folks say things like, “See you again next Sunday!” It was great.

And speaking of community, Miss Stella made it a point to systematically visit each human there, introducing herself and letting them give her a good rub down.

stella-greeting-everyone

The other dogs were very social too! They shared toys together, and enjoyed some friendly competition as they chased the frisbee. Everyone got along swimmingly!

One adorable 6-month-old Husky named Nanuk developed a fast friendship with Stella. He kept coming over to play with her, and she was more than happy to have a friend to wrestle with.

nanuk-and-stella-playing

One of the best parts about the dog park is the sheer space! With acres and acres of lovely green grass, the dog park near our home is huge!

The dogs were in heaven as they ran as fast as they could until they tired themselves out.

My daughter (and a little girl she befriended there) also got in quite a bit of exercise too. They both chased the dogs in the beautiful afternoon sunshine.

Stella-and-Sue-running

It turns out that most dog owners agree that a dog park is a great way to bring the community together.

According to a recent survey, 42 percent of dog owners take their dogs to the dog park several times a week or more.

However, unfortunately, 73 percent of those same people agreed that their dog park could use some major improvements, with the biggest needs being more shaded areas, drinking fountains, and water features for dogs.

Does your community need a dog park or does your dog park need some renovations? Check out awesome resources and how-to guides here on Beneful’s website.

There’s some great information here, including:

Beneful Wants to Help You Build (or Improve) a Dog Park in Your Community

Beneful has been working for over five years to improve and build local dog parks around the country with their Beneful Dream Dog Park Project! This makes me happy because every city needs a place where people and their dogs can freely roam together.

Each month, Beneful selects a new GoFundMe campaign to spotlight here (and on their FacebookTwitter and Instagram accounts), matching donations dollar-for-dollar.

If the dog park in your community could use some renovation (or even if you don’t have a dog park and your community wants one) consider creating a GoFundMe campaign and Beneful may spotlight it and increase the funds raised!

Here’s another way to help dog parks: Simply take a picture of your dog at a local dog park, and upload it to your favorite social media  (be sure to tag @Beneful and use the hashtag #DreamDogPark). Beneful will donate $1 to their Dream Dog Parks initiative (up to $50,000) for every social share!

Susi-and-Stella-together

Win Free Dog Toys, Leash, Bag and Coupons for Free Food!

Beneful is graciously giving away a “Dog Park Pack” to one lucky Your Vibrant Family reader!

Look at all these great things you can win–fun toys, a frisbee, branded bag, leash, poo poo bags, plus coupons for free Beneful wet and dry dog food!

dog-park-bag

Simply respond in the comments with why you love dog parks and/or how you’d love to improve your dog park.

Enjoy these lazy summer day outside with your family and get your favorite four-legged friends to a nearby dog park!

Your dog will love it… and who knows? You might make some new friends too!

Your Turn:

Do you go to the dog park? If so, what do you love best about it? 

How can your dog park be made better, or what would your dream dog park look like? 

Let us know below to enter the giveaway for the free “Dog Park Pack” from Beneful!

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About Alicia Michelle

As a wife and mom to four passionate kids, Alicia Michelle loves encouraging other moms with practical tips for joy-filled living in everyday life, especially in parenting, marriage, faith and health.Alicia is the owner/editor of Your Vibrant Family; the author of Plan to Be Flexible, The Back to School Survival Manual; and the creator/producer of the "7 Days to a Less Angry Mom Online Video Course,", Christ-Centered Christmas Resources and My Memory Box Organizing System. In addition, she is a monthly contributor for several popular family blogs, including Crosswalk.com.Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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