Dogs and their owners are wagging more and barking less these days because a growing number of master-planned communities are laying out the welcome mat for pets.
Developers eager for buyers can read the facts: More than 60 percent of American homes have at least one pet of which 45 percent are dogs, and more than one-third of all dog owners have more than one dog. The result is an estimated population of approximately 77.5 million fuzzy faces residing in more than 45 million households.
The advantages of dog ownership are legendary. In addition to the ever-popular “unconditional love,” dog ownership provides companionship, amusement and recreation, which in turn, can lead to health benefits such as lower blood pressure and the reduction of stress. It’s tough to leave all that behind.
Recognizing the dedication that dog owners have to their pets, more and more residential developers are offering increasingly sophisticated facilities and programs for man’s best friend.
Harbour Ridge Yacht & Country Club, Palm City, FL
For example, at Harbour Ridge Puppy Play Times are conducted every day from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm at the community’s dedicated Puppy Park. The park is “the” place to be at the end of the day of napping, and includes an agility course for canine recreation and comfortable accommodations for socializing “parents. ”
Since the community has no restrictions on canine size, playtime is split between small (under 30 pounds) and large dogs, with each having an hour to romp and run in the protected park. Send me more info.
Palmetto Bluff, Bluffton, SC
Palmetto Bluff promotes community participation in animal welfare with its annual Dog Weekend. This year’s event included Yappy Hour, a Hike with Your Hound, and the community’s version of American Idol, dubbed “American Fido.”
The winner of the competition was Millie, a 3-year-old Yorkshire Terrier who performed ballet. The event brought people from neighboring Hilton Head communities and raised $600 for the Palmetto Animal League.
Palmetto Bluff is virtually imbedded within a 20,000-acre natural wilderness that is rife with wildlife, and dogs are welcomed throughout the award-winning community, which features miles of dedicated walking trails.
In addition to its off-leash puppy playground Calder Park, pets may accompany their “people” at The Inn at Palmetto Bluff, an Auberge Resort, where doggie amenities include a pet bed, food & water bowls, biscuits prepared by the chef, bottled water, and a comprehensive list of pet activities. Dogs are also welcome at the Inn’s outdoor dining venues. Send me more info.
The Reserve at Lake Keowee, Lake Keowee, SC
The Reserve at Lake Keowee offers a “Doggy Playland” with wide, open space for socializing and frolicking, and an obstacle course for “fitness.” Events at the dog-dedicated Turkey Ridge Park have included the Pooch Parade fundraiser to benefit the Humane Society.
Located on 18,500-acre Lake Keowee in Sunset South Carolina, the lakefront golf course community has five miles of pet-friendly trails and 1,400 acres of conserved “green space.” Send me more info.
Hampton Lake, Bluffton, SC
Hampton Lake has a waterfront “Dogpaddle Park.” The enclosed puppy recreation area offers all the playful challenges a dog could dream of from sand pits to earth mounds and a grassy field in which to run, and run, and run.
There are ample watering areas and a 6' fire hydrant with a handheld shower to cool pets off or wash paws, and owners can relax under a picnic shelter with tables and benches that will accommodate an al fresco lunch or a laptop.
Hampton Lake recently hosted a pet-party fundraiser to buy a new patrol dog for the local police K-9 team. The 900-acre lakefront community has abundant recreational amenities including nine miles of dedicated nature trails for enjoying walks with man’s best friend. Send me more info.
Dogs and people are social animals. Dog-friendly communities not only accommodate the critter’s inherent nature to interact with its peers, they offer residents an opportunity to gather on a communal level without excluding their best friends. For more dog-friendly resources, visit Dog Friendly Companies and The Pet Realty Network.