If you’ve ever come home to chewed up shoes or furniture, your dog was probably left alone with too much energy. Just a couple of weeks ago, I was walking back home from a long day at school when my cellphone rang. Zero was barking and my land lady had gotten five calls complaining about it. My heart sank. I speed walked the rest of the way, and found Zero asleep on the couch.
To make sure that won’t happen again, if Zero is going to be alone for more than five hours, I’ll take him for a long (read as: 45 minute plus) walk before I leave. Since I live in a very dog-friendly building, sometimes I can get away with texting some of his friend’s “parents” to see if they’re up for a puppy play date. This works out amazingly because there is a large field area just behind our building that they can play in. Dogs get much more tired by playing than just walking.
If you don’t happen to have dog friends for your dog to play with then I suggest to look into local dog parks. These magical places are where dogs can really let loose and can run, play, and bark at all the dogs they want. Now, I just want to mention that not all dog parks are created equally. Lots of dog parks in big cities are quite terrible. Some are just a fenced in square that might have had grass at one point and some are even paved. These are the types of dog parks most people dislike and are what most people think of.
The dog park I bring Zero to is doggy heaven. Bruce Pit is an off-leash dog park that has acres and acres of different kinds of trails. You can go from walking through a tall forest to sand dunes. It’s quite lovely. This is where Zero goes to get tired, meet and play with hundreds of new dogs and meet tons of new people. Big, open dog parks are magnificent. Though some dogs, just like people, will not get along with certain others, so make sure you’re always paying attention to what your dog is up to. Also, make sure you’re not tiring your dog out too much; especially young puppies.
Training tip: Dog parks aren’t for everyone! Ensure your dog doesn’t get too stressed.
Kimberly Ward is an aspiring Young Adult author. When she’s not playing with her dog, she is usually reading YA novels (for research and obviously not pleasure), playing video games, browsing social media, and photographing the world around her. If she cannot be found she is most likely in her meticulously placed hammock on her balcony.