Designing for the Urban Dog: Minimizing the Effects of Urbanization on Dogs

Date

2020-05

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Abstract

Dog's health, exercise, and social life is an essential aspect of their lives and is greatly influenced by their owner and their surroundings, yet despite this fact, many dog owners don't take the time or know of a place to play off-leash. A study done by Texas A&M found that dog owners living in urban areas are not satisfied with dog parks for many reasons; dog parks being one of the most popular places dog owners take their dogs to play off-leash. These reasons include not liking the physical environment of the dog park, not wanting their dog to catch or spread diseases, confrontation with other dogs, or the dog park being out of the way. The rise in dog ownership in urban areas has created an opportunity to learn more about how dogs and their owners stay active, healthy, and social while living in the urban city. Alongside the rise of dog ownership, there is also a rise in urbanism. More people are choosing to live in condensed cities rather than in the spread-out suburbs. Dog owners who live in the city are facing significant challenges due to urbanism when it comes to exercising and keeping their dogs healthy. There are a limited number of areas that dogs can be off-leash, free to run around, exercise, and be social. The present study hypothesizes that dog owners will be encouraged to explore, play, exercise, and socialize with their dog, if there is an increase of usable, temporary, private dog parks. This paper aims to provide guidance for dog owners who live in urban areas and face the challenges of urbanism places on them and their dogs. The present study has gathered and synthesized data from product designers, veterinarians, dog owners, dog trainers, and one dog behaviorist to create a product that serves to help minimize the effects of urbanism on dogs and their owners.

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Keywords

Dog, dog park, private dog park, pocket park

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