Airdrie Puppy Pals offers socialization for local dogs
By: Allison Chorney
| Posted: Thursday, Jul 31, 2014 06:00 am
Dog owners in Airdrie now have a new way of connecting and arranging puppy play dates. Airdrie Puppy Pals not only provides dog walking services but also encourage community connectedness, and safe, healthy, active lifestyles for pups of all ages by getting dog owners together with their pets at the dog parks.
“I launched (Airdrie Puppy Pals) primarily first and foremost for the community,” said Airdrie Puppy Pals owner Nikki Nordick.
“You’d go to the dog park and there would be no one there.”
Nordick said she loves Airdrie and really wanted to do something to get the dog community together because walking not only promotes physical and mental health in you and your dog, but a socialized dog is more confident, secure and generally have less stress.
She started by posting when she’d be at the dog park on the Puppy Pals’ Facebook and Twitter accounts and soon had people asking her to arrange dog park play dates.
“It’s a want. They don’t want to go to the dog park by themselves,” Nordick said.
“Especially people that have younger puppies and want the socialized training.”
The next step in getting dog owners together for Nordick is the Airdrie Puppy Pals Dog Park Poll that owners can take online at airdriepuppypals.com
The poll asks simple questions such as what time you prefer to walk your dog and which parks you visit.
Nordick said she hopes to use the information to schedule dog park meet-ups throughout the city.
“I wanted to make sure (the scheduled walks) are convenient for the community and not just me,” she said.
Airdrie currently has five off-leash parks and thousands of licensed dogs.
Nordick said she has seen an increase in interest in her dog walking group and Facebook page and has even had it recommended to her by people who didn’t know she was the owner of Airdrie Puppy Pals.
She said the city’s parks offer something for all dogs from open spaces to water to swim in to a small-dogs-only park.
One of the things she said she is most excited about is the sense of community that is growing within the Airdrie dog owner community.
“It’s fun, you walk into the dog park and people know (the dogs) right off the bat,” she said. “They don’t have to play on their own.”
She added people will often know you by your dog and friendships develop out of that.
“I’ve made quite a few friends,” she said. “It’s great how the community grows organically.”
Airdrie Puppy Pals is also about connecting dog owners to local businesses that cater to their furry friends.
“It’s about creating ‘what’s going on locally,’” Nordick said.
Local and area doggie events such as the Alberta Kennel Summer Classic at Spruce Meadows in Calgary on Aug. 1 and deals such as coupons and weekly deals at local pet stores on her Facebook page and website.
“There is such a great sense of dog ownership in the community,” she said.
For more information, visit airdriepuppypals.com or their Facebook page.