Dog Owners for the Win

Maddie Stein Tweet Us @walkarlington@walkarlington April 18, 2018

Maddie Stein is the former interim program manager for WalkArlington. Having never owned a car, she enjoys riding the extensive trail networks in Arlington to get around.

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Owning a dog not only provides companionship but has some added health benefits. Take full advantage of these awesome benefits while walking your dog to Arlington’s free public dog parks.

Owning a dog is great for companionship and cute Instagram posts. It also comes with some awesome health and wellness benefits.

Benefits of Walking Dogs

These are some of the most common benefits of owning a dog.

Motivation to Exercise

Dog owners know that even if you are not in the mood to meander around the neighborhood or the weather is particularly nasty, Mr. Pippins still needs to go outside. A recent study by BMC Public Health, found dog owners walked, on average, 22 minutes more per day than people without dogs. Even on cold or rainy days, dog owners average 20 percent more activity than those without dogs. The American Heart Association also links moderately intense walking with lowered risks for high blood pressure and cholesterol.

Stress Reduction

An increase in physical activity relieves stress and being around a pet can reduce the presence of the stress hormone cortisol which keeps owners calm even under pressure. A good example is service dogs and how they are paired with people suffering from PTSD. Imagine what owning a dog could do for tackling some of the stressors in your weeks?

Neighborhood Connections

Taking Mr. Pippins out, provides a great opportunity to explore your surrounding community and get to know your neighbors. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself striking up a conversation with strangers and making friends with fellow dog owners with each jaunt through the streets.

Walk to Arlington Dog Parks

Arlington County is home to eight dog parks for you and your pup to enjoy. Take a walk to some of our favorite parks.

Shirlington Dog Park

This park runs along S Four Mile Run Drive and the W & OD trail. It’s an easy walk through neighborhood streets or along the trail to get to the entrance of the park. Pups will enjoy romping off leash in a fenced in area with long stretches of grass and a stream for them to cool off in when the weather is hot.

James Hunter Dog Park

The park is located in Clarendon on N Hartford Street and is also easy to get to by walking neighborhood streets. The park was redeveloped and has a well laid out space for your dog to socialize plus a really neat water feature for them to splash around.

Find a Dog Park

To find a dog park closest to you, visit Arlington Parks & Recreation for a list of parks. If you aren’t ready to commit to full dog ownership, visit one of Arlington’s animal shelters and volunteer to walk those dogs to not only help some pets in need but improve your own health and well-being.

Do you have a favorite dog park or place you like to walk with your furry friend? Leave a note in the comments section with places you like to walk.

Photo Credit:

Sam Kittner/

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