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Unleash the Fun: Exploring Charleston’s Most Dog-Friendly Parks

Tuesday, December 5th, 2023

Charleston, South Carolina, known for its historic charm and Southern hospitality, is also a haven for our four-legged friends. With its mild climate and welcoming community, Charleston offers a plethora of dog-friendly parks where your furry companions can stretch their legs, make new friends, and enjoy the great outdoors. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the most dog-friendly parks in Charleston, ensuring both you and your canine companion have a paw-some time.

  1. James Island County Park: A Paradise for Pups Nestled on James Island, this sprawling county park is a canine haven. James Island County Park features expansive green spaces, walking trails, and even a designated off-leash dog park. The Bark Park, as it’s aptly named, is divided into small and large dog sections, allowing for safe and enjoyable playtime. With its lakes, marsh views, and open fields, James Island County Park is an ideal spot for a day of outdoor adventure for both you and your dog.
  2. Palmetto Islands County Park: A Natural Retreat Located in the heart of Mount Pleasant, Palmetto Islands County Park is a hidden gem for dog lovers. The park boasts scenic trails surrounded by lush foliage, providing a refreshing escape for both you and your furry friend. The off-leash dog park is a popular spot for socializing, with separate areas for small and large dogs. The park’s picturesque lakeside setting adds an extra layer of serenity to your pup’s playtime.
  3. Hampton Park: Historic Beauty Meets Canine Playtime Nestled in the historic district of downtown Charleston, Hampton Park is not only a beautiful destination for history enthusiasts but also a delightful retreat for dogs. The park’s expansive green lawns and well-maintained walking paths make it an inviting space for leisurely strolls with your pup. While dogs should remain on a leash, the serene atmosphere and charming surroundings make Hampton Park a favorite for locals and visitors alike.
  4. Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park: Coastal Bliss for Dogs Overlooking the picturesque Charleston Harbor, the Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park offers a scenic setting for a day out with your dog. While dogs should be on a leash, the waterfront views and well-maintained pathways make for an enjoyable walk. The park’s central location, with nearby pet-friendly restaurants, ensures that your pup’s day out is complemented by a variety of dining options for both you and your furry friend.
  5. Wannamaker County Park: Adventure Awaits Situated in North Charleston, Wannamaker County Park is a vast expanse of greenery that beckons both two-legged and four-legged visitors. The park features a designated off-leash dog park with separate areas for small and large dogs. With wooded trails, open fields, and even a lake, Wannamaker County Park offers a diverse range of environments for your dog to explore.

Conclusion: Charleston, SC, has embraced its canine residents and visitors by providing a variety of dog-friendly parks. From off-leash play areas to scenic walking trails, these parks offer the perfect blend of adventure and relaxation for both you and your furry companion. So, leash up your pup and explore the charm of Charleston’s most dog-friendly parks, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

The Benefits of Walking Your Dog

Tuesday, July 13th, 2021

When you say, “It’s time to walk the dog,” many people assume that your pup needs to go do his “business”. Yes, walking the dog is essential to keeping the household carpet unblemished, but taking a stroll with your pooch provides many other benefits.

How does walking keep my dog healthy?image 12

Walking your dog is a simple task that has a positive impact on many aspects of overall health such as:

Weight and Body Condition. Obesity is a major health issue, but barring medical complications, it has a reasonable solution: burn more calories than consumed. Regular exercise, like walking, is a good way to burn those excess calories and keep the pounds off – for both you and your dog.

Joint Health. Immobility is another common health problem. Joints, even old ones, need to work. People and pets get stiff when sedentary for too long, and keeping joints in motion improves their function.

Digestive and Urinary Health. Regular walking helps regulate the digestive tract. Some dogs, like some people, prefer to “go” on a schedule, and providing your dog with routine trips outdoors prevents constipation. Also, when urine sits in the bladder for long periods of time, bladder infections are more likely to occur, so regular emptying keeps this part of the anatomy happy as well.

Of course, it is important to consult your doctor and your veterinarian before embarking on an exercise program.

Can’t my dog get all of those benefits with a good run around the yard?

There are plenty of benefits to walking that go beyond physical health including:

Mental Health. Dogs do not like to be bored and if you give them something constructive to do, like taking a walk, they may be less likely to do something destructive, like chewing the couch. Walking exercises the mind as well as the body. Watching wildlife, exploring new paths, seeing other people with their pets, and so on, are great mental stimulation for your dog that he just cannot get in the same fenced area all the time. Walking also releases excess energy and helps dogs sleep better at night.

Emotional Health. You are the center of your dog’s universe and he craves your attention. What better way to spend quality time with your dog than taking a walk? Spending one-on-one time with your dog will deepen your bond and help deter annoying, attention- seeking behaviors such as excessive barking or whining.

Personal Health. Many people need outside motivation to work out, and may depend on an exercise buddy to get them off the couch. What happens when your exercise partner gets stuck at work or stuck in traffic or has another commitment? Your dog is only committed to one thing… you! That makes him the perfect exercise partner. He is always available and willing to accompany you on a walk.

Dog walkers: healthier people with healthier dogs

As you can see, regular walking has health benefits for both you and your dog and will help prevent obesity, which is a significant problem in both species.

Nearly 75% of Americans are overweight and childhood obesity is on the rise (close to 20%). In a 2008 study based in Seattle and Baltimore, adults who regularly walked their dogs were less likely to be obese than their non dog-owning neighbors. In addition, walking for 30 minutes a day will reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, osteoporosis, colon and breast cancer, and type-2 diabetes.

“It is estimated that about 50% of dogs in the United States are overweight and 25-30% of dogs are obese.”

Canine obesity is a problem, too. It is estimated that about 50% of dogs in the United States are overweight and 25-30% of dogs are obese. The fact is, obese dogs do not live as long as lean dogs. Plus, they suffer more heart problems and joint ailments that affect their quality of life. While it is true that dogs may exercise themselves if left in a fenced-in yard, like us, they have a tendency to plop down in the shade instead of romping, especially if there is no one to play with. However, if given the chance, they will gladly go for a walk with their owners!

How much should we walk?image 13

According to the World Health Organization, children 5-17 years old should accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous (aerobic) exercise every day. Adults 18-64 years old should engage in moderate exercise for 30 minutes 5 days a week and engage in strengthening exercises at least twice weekly. Seniors over 65 should also participate in moderate exercise 5 days a week, engage in strengthening exercise 2 or more days a week, and add flexibility and balance routines at least 3 days a week.

Walking your dog is a great start to fulfilling these recommendations for you and your family, and leads to a healthy, happier dog!

How do we get started?

Many people make a New Year’s resolution to exercise. What can you do to stick to your resolution? Make a reasonable exercise plan that does not overwhelm you by including your best exercise buddy. Formulating a reasonable walking schedule that does not over tax your body or crowd your busy schedule will help you stay on target and including your dog will motivate you to get going.

“Keep the routine interesting by walking in different areas that provide visual interest for both you and your dog.”

Start out slowly by taking a few 10 minute practice walks around the neighborhood. When you – and your dog – are ready, increase the time and distance. Try to walk for a total of 30 minutes each day – it doesn’t have to be all in one outing. You can take a 10 minute walk in the morning before work and add a 20 minute stroll when you get home. On weekends, you can vary the routine, perhaps doing three 10 minute sessions. Regardless of the schedule, strive for 30 minutes of daily exercise.

Keep the routine interesting by walking in different areas that provide visual interest for both you and your dog. Or substitute a game of fetch or a romp in the park if you feel up to it. The goal is to make exercise a priority that holds a scheduled spot in each day so that you feel less likely to avoid your plan. It will not take long for your dog to get used to the routine and he may remind you when it is time to exercise. That is just one reason why canines are great exercise companions!

Dog owners who like to mark their progress can download a walking calendar or exercise app or use one of an electronic tracking device that record daily steps and caloric history (calories consumed vs. burned). Sometimes seeing the numbers provides additional motivation to walk a little further or validates your efforts when you reach your goal.

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Dog Friendly Activities in Charleston, SC

Tuesday, July 13th, 2021

There are 67 dog friendly activities in Charleston. Use the links below to get an overview of each one, see pictures, print directions, and even read reviews from other dog owners. Coming from out of town? Get a discounted rate on pet friendly hotels in Charleston.

James Island County Park, Charleston, South Carolina from ...
Dogs Having Fun at James Island County Park

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5 Ways To Keep Your Dog Healthy This Spring

Monday, February 12th, 2018

Longer days, warm weather, and weekends spent frolicking with your furry friends all mean one thing–spring is here! As we emerge from our winter hibernation and prepare our yards, gardens, and home for the upcoming months, we don’t want to forget our pets. Increasing temperatures also mean the return of several health threats to our dogs and cats. Use this simple guideline to help make the blue skies and sunshine as fun and safe as possible.

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Cold Weather Pet Safety

Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

You’re probably already aware of the risks posed by warm weather and leaving pets in hot cars, but did you know that cold weather also poses serious threats to your pets’ health?

Here are some tips to keep your pets safe during cold weather:

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6 Summer Snacks For You and Your Dog

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

As summer approaches, nobody wants to spend a lot of time in a hot kitchen, so what do you do when you want something quick and healthy that you and your dog can share?

Check out our collection of quick and easy dog- and people-friendly recipes that are perfect for picnic outings or cooling down on a hot day. Read More…

Why Are Dogs Scared of Fireworks? 11 Things To Know

Sunday, July 3rd, 2016

Do fireworks scare your dog? He’s not alone. While they’re fun for humans, the loud, unexpected sounds of fireworks cause stress and anxiety for a lot of dogs. Before July 4th rolls around, here are eleven things to know about why your dog gets anxious and what you can do to help.

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Dog Rules for Charleston Beaches

Saturday, June 25th, 2016

We often get asked about local beach rules concerning dogs.  Below is a list of local beaches with relevant dog information and hours.

Folly Beach Dog Rules

While dogs are allowed on Folly Beach year-round, from May 1 to September 30 dogs are not allowed on the beach between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. A maximum fine of $500 can be issued to anyone who breaks this rule. Dogs must be on a leash while on the beach and under control by their owners. As always, dog waste must be picked up by pet owners.
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