The Purina Beneful Dream Dog Park Project team announced plans to help more than a dozen communities in their effort to improve or build local dog parks. The team will provide a mix of financial support, hands-on volunteerism and other resources.
Beneful is collaborating with crowdfunding site GoFundMe to raise funds for and awareness of dog parks. People seeking to build or improve a dog park can post their project to GoFundMe. Each month a different project will be featured by Beneful. The first project to be featured seeks to expand the Frenchtown Dog Park in south St. Louis. Beneful will provide matching donations up to $7,500 until June 30 to help the organization reach its total goal of raising $15,000.
“Beneful has been supporting dog parks since 2010, and in the past six years, we’ve learned a lot about the positive impact dog parks have on communities by experiencing it first-hand with our own four-legged friends,” Brent Gleckler, Beneful brand director, said in a press release. “That’s why we’re thrilled to provide continued financial support, grow visibility of dog parks with GoFundMe, and share our expertise through this year’s expanded Dream Dog Park Project.”
The public can access planning, fundraising and building resources on the Dream Dog Park project web page.
By building and improving dog parks, a community may benefit the physical and mental health of both pets and people. A study published in the journal Landscape and Urban Planning identified dog parks as the most frequent location for dogs to get exercise and socialization in the four parks studied. What’s more, human study participants considered the parks as important their own socializing and for building a sense of community.
However, these interactions can be both positive and negative. How dogs interacted with each other influenced their owners perceptions of each other in a study published in Leisure Sciences. If the dogs got along, their respective owners tended to build good relationships too. On the other hand, a negative perception of a dog often extended to the owner and lead to tensions.