5 outdoor play dates in Dayton for you and your pup

Just like humans, dogs need outdoor time and exercise to maximize their happiness and well-being, according to Animal Wellness Magazine.

Also like humans, spending time in the outdoors helps your pup with weight control, depression and boredom. Grab a leash and get ready for an outdoor adventure your pup will love.

Here are five great places to let your dogs and pups fall in love with the Dayton outdoors.

1.) Downtown's for the dogs: Many may think that urban areas are no place for pets because animals crave green space, but downtown Dayton is a pretty pet-friendly place thanks to many parks and trails. In fact, leashed and controlled dogs are permitted at almost all MetroParks locations, including RiverScape MetroPark.

Walk along the river with your favorite fur friend for some exercise. In warmer weather, you can also watch the paddlers enjoy the RiverScape River Run.

2.) Explore the gardens: Dogs have an incredible sense of smell, sight and hearing, so why not take your pup on a sensory adventure though Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark? There is plenty of green space for your pup to enjoy, in addition to the sights and smells of the beautiful gardens.

While dogs are not permitted in the Children's Discovery Garden, it is a great sensory adventure for little ones, so be sure to bring the whole family (including the family dog) on this outing.

3.) Hit the nature trails: Get out and active with your best fur friend on the trails. The Orange Trail at Sugarcreek MetroPark is a 1.3-mile loop that features beautiful points of interest along the trail, including the Tree Sisters and the Osage Orange Tunnel. The Adirondack Trail at Hills & Dales MetroPark is 1.46 miles and features beautiful views, play areas and the impressive Patterson Monument. For those who want a more extensive experience on the trails, try the Orange Trail at Germantown or Twin Creek MetroPark.

4.) Plan a picnic: A downtown Dayton gem, Deeds Point has beautiful views of the Dayton skyline, ample greenspace and is adjacent to the Deeds Point Dog Park. Sit down with your pup and take in the view while you enjoy your morning cup of coffee and let your pooch munch on some treats. Next, head to the dog park to meet new people and fur friends.

5.) Say hello and socialize: If you have a new dog or puppy you are trying to train, socializing them with other pets, adults and children is an integral step in the training process. According to PetMd.com, socializing your dog also promotes health and makes them less scared.

Trails and parks are filled with pets and people, many of whom are delighted to greet you and your pup. Visit Eastwood, Taylorsville, Cox Arboretum and Island MetroPark to take a walk with your pet, experience nature and meet new people.

Looking for a companion to hit the trails? There are many wonderful animal welfare and rescue organizations in Dayton that want to connect you to pups looking for forever homes. Visit the Montgomery County Animal Resources Center, the Human Society of Greater Dayton, and SICSA to find the newest addition to your family and outdoor adventure companion.

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