A new study shows that dog owners are more likely to meet their weekly physical activity goals, to walk recreationally, and to pursue physical fitness in general!
The study published in the International Journal of Science says that dog owners were four times more likely to meet the weekly physical activity guidelines of 150 minutes of walking per week (2.5 hours) than non dog owners. Children reported more minutes of walking and outdoor play, a boon in the battle against childhood obesity. The study included a total of 700 participants, mostly adults, about half of whom owned dogs.
A Case For Laws That Support the Human-Animal Bond
Researchers say that the data supports more allowances for pets in public spaces and civil legislation that encourages the interaction between pet owners and their dogs
“Our findings justify the provision of dog-supportive environments for walking and pet-friendly housing. Failure of planning and policy makers to provide these may significantly damage population levels of physical activity.”
Carri Westgarth, Robert M. Christley, Christopher Jewell, Alexander J. German, Lynne M. Boddy, Hayley E. Christian
NYC Changed Laws to Allow Dogs At Outdoor Cafes
New York City health rules are still fairly strict about where dogs can and cannot go. Rightfully so. We’re a big city and officials would be remiss if they didn’t recognize the health risks involved with allowing dogs greater access to parks, the insides of restaurants, and the chance to ride public transportation outside of a carrier. Still, plenty of NYC business owners have opened outdoor seating to pets (and NYC laws now allow for this) or do things like stash a bag of treats behind the counter and put a water bowl out on the street in front of their business.
Places To Dine and Walk With Your Dog in The Upper East Side, NYC
We’ve kept our eye out for great places to walk your dog and for great area restaurants that allow dogs in their outdoor seating area. Just scroll down for the resources!
Does East Side Animal Hospital offer dog walking?
No, but we do have some contacts for you if you need them. For those of you that would like your pet socialized all day, you can have him or her board with us. We have a dedicated staff that spends all day with our boarders and an outside, enclosed play area where dogs can have supervised play with other boarders.
I've never walked a dog in a big city like New York. Anything I should know?
Dogs that are not used to the city may have an aversion to the grates embedded into the sidewalks, the loud noises, and of course, the congestion. If you’re new to walking a dog in NYC, here are some tips:
- Fire trucks can terrify your dog, especially if he or she has never before heard one echoing through our streets. Make sure that your dog’s collar is securely fastened or walk your dog in a harness.
- Always put your hand through the loop at the end of your dog’s leash and then hold onto the leash for added protection.
- Keep your dog on a short leash. Longer leashes can trip up pedestrians. By law, dog leashes cannot be longer than 6 feet in NYC.
- Be extremely careful at intersections. Bike traffic and taxis pulling into the curb can hit your dog if you let him or her step into the street.
- Look both ways when crossing a street. Cyclists and joggers often move against the direction of traffic.
- Clean up after your dog. It’s the law. If your dog has loose stool, take a plastic bag and newspaper with you. Place the newspaper under your dog when he or she defecates. Afterwards, use the plastic bag to pick up the newspaper and then tie up the bag with the newspaper in it and discard. Remember that about 1 out of every 5 dogs with diarrhea in NYC tests positive for giardia. If your pet has diarrhea, use the link at the top of this post to call us and schedule an appointment.
- Dogs from out of town may be overwhelmed by the number of other dogs that they meet on the street. Please exercise caution when approaching other dogs. For more information on how to walk your dog in NY, be sure to click the link on dog walking etiquette found at the bottom of this post.
Can I walk with my dog off leash in NYC parks?
Sometimes. For a full list of all parks in New York City that allow for off leash play, click the link and scroll to the bottom of the page.
Are there special rules for walking my dog in a NYC park?
Yes! Here is a list of laws, rules, and recommendations from the NYC Park Services.
- New York State law requires that dogs be vaccinated against rabies, and the New York City Health Code requires every dog owner/attendant carry with them proof of current dog license and rabies vaccination while in public. Dog owners may be fined for violation of these laws. To obtain an application for a dog license, please visit the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Dog Licenses website , or call 311. (You may also obtain an application from East Side Animal Hospital.)
- Dogs must be on a leash (no more than six feet long) at all times, except in dog runs and designated off-leash areas at the prescribed times.
- You must pick up after your dog and dispose of the waste in containers provided throughout the park.
- You must prevent your dog from chasing birds, squirrels, and other animals.
- Dogs are not permitted in playgrounds, zoos, fountains, ball fields, on basketball/handball/tennis courts, in swimming pools/facilities, bathing areas, and New York City beaches unless otherwise designated.
- Dogs are not allowed to enter any bathing facilities, including New York City beaches. However, as a courtesy, leashed dogs are allowed on the sand at Wolfe’s Pond Beach, South Beach, Manhattan Beach, Midland Beach, Cedar Grove Beach, Coney Island Beach, and Brighton Beach from October 1 until May 1. Dogs are not allowed on the sand and boardwalk at Rockaway Beach from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Dogs are not allowed on the boardwalk at Orchard Beach from May 20 to October 1. Leashed dogs are allowed on the boardwalk/promenade at South Beach, Midland Beach, Brighton Beach, and Coney Island Beach. Leashed dogs are allowed on the boardwalk at Manhattan Beach from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m only.
- Do not leave your dog unattended.
- Do not tie your dog to benches, fences, or light poles.
- Always leash your dog on roadways.
- Keep aggressive or unsocialized dogs leashed and separated from other dogs at all times.
- Do not put yourself between fighting dogs. Throw water, toss a blanket, or create a loud noise.
- Guard against animal theft by considering the use of a microchip ID for your dog. (For more information about microchip IDs for dogs, please contact East Side Animal Hospital.)
- Keep an eye on your dog at all times. Only you are responsible for your dog’s actions. Please remember that other park visitors may be afraid of your dog. Do not allow your dog to run and jump on other people or dogs without an invitation.
- Do not allow your dog to drink from park fountains, unless a special dog fountain is provided.
- Do not let your dog enter water bodies except for those specifically designated for dogs.
- Be good to the grass. Heavy use in a given area compacts soil and damages the turf. Keep walking – you’ll see more and do less damage.