Ask Val: Dog Parks in Tysons

This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Val Sotillo, Northern Virginia-based Realtor and Falls Church resident. Please submit your questions to her via email for response in future columns. Enjoy!

Question: We are moving to Tysons and would like to get a dog. Is there a dog friendly neighborhood near Tysons?

Answer: Yes and yes! It’s no secret that homebuyers love dogs and now they are starting to influence the decisions they make about housing.

A recent survey by SunTrust Mortgage found that a third of millennials who purchased their first home said they were influenced by the need to have space for a dog. For those with dogs, renting can be more expensive and a hassle; home ownership takes some of the stress off by providing a better living situation.

I mean, who can resist dogs? They love you unconditionally, they can cheer up your worst days and they’re the number 3 reason young people are buying their first homes — ahead of marriage or having a baby.

If you have dogs you know that they need daily exercise, which is more than just a walk, no matter what the weather is like. I’ve personally discovered that having a dog park nearby can help you exercise and socialize your dog.

I took my volunteers Ringo, Pepper and Parker on a field trip to test some dog parks and even when it was a rainy day, they took their jobs very serious!

Fairfax County has many great dog parks. Here are the parks closest to Tysons that we visited during our research:

The Mile Dog Park

Located off of Westbranch Drive and Westpark Drive. I could not find a specific address but that’s the closest intersection. It’s a round fenced park with gravel, which makes it mud free on rainy days. There is plenty of street parking and according to a regular visitor, the park never gets too busy.

There is no separation for small and big dogs. It has benches for owners and the park is clean with many trash cans and free bags for cleanup. I noticed there are no trees around so it must be very sunny during summer.

There were no toys available for dogs so bring your own tennis balls to play fetch!

My awesome volunteers ran a few laps around the park and seemed to love it. Just make sure you bring water with you because there are no fountains available.

A great feature for families: there is a playground right next to the park, so you can take your human child and your furry child out for some fun at the same time.

Vienna Dog Park

The Vienna Dog Park is located at 700 Courthouse Road, SW. The parking lot is off of Old Courthouse Road. If the lot is full, patrons can park up the hill at Nottoway Park basketball courts.

The Vienna Dog Park offers a doggie and human water fountain, fully shaded wood chip surface, many trees, a fully fenced area that’s 5 feet high with double gates and agility equipment.

The park can get very busy on evenings and weekends, but that means that your pup will have many friends to play with!

Life Is Easier When You Know The Rules

Here’s a few tips to help you and your dog enjoy the awesome dog parks Fairfax County has to share:

  • Safety first: do not unleash your dog until it’s safe in a gated area.
  • Always lock your car and don’t leave valuables on sight.
  • Dog parks usually have double gates for safety. Make sure one is always locked before opening the other.
  • Keep your dogs up to date with their rabies shots.
  • Always clean up after your dog.
  • Make sure dogs have clean, drinking water.
  • Be responsible for your dog’s behavior. If he plays too rough, acts aggressive, or he seems threatened by another dog, just remove him from the situation. Dogs get over it quickly!
  • If you bring children to the dog park, expect them to be approached and kissed by the dogs. They think they’re puppies too! If your kids are scared of dogs, it’s better not to bring them inside the park.

I Want A Dog

I’ll be more than happy to help you with that! Dogs bring you joy and happiness, and they can also make you more active and healthy. So think for a minute, if they can save your life, maybe you should consider a rescue!

I’m a strong believer in adopting over buying a dog. Did you know that when you adopt a pet, you make space in the shelter for another homeless animal? So you’re technically rescuing two!

Check out your local humane society. You can adopt, donate or volunteer.

Ringo the foxhound was adopted from Fairfax County Animal Shelter, a rescue with 90% adoption success. All pets are neutered and adoption fees are low. They host children’s birthday parties at the shelter and they include games, shelter tours, pet visits and optional crafts. What a great idea!

Pepper is a rescue from Fairfax Humane Society.

You can also look at Friends of Homeless Animals, a no kill shelter and Wolf Trap Animal Rescue.

If you are considering buying a home with enough space for a pet, I’ll be thrilled to help you. Please contact me at [email protected] to schedule a consultation and we can discuss neighborhoods and options for you. I’ll be happy to visit an animal shelter with you too!

If you’d like a question answered in my weekly column, please send an email to [email protected]. I hope to hear from you soon!

Val Sotillo is a licensed Realtor in Virginia, Washington D.C., and Maryland with Real Living At Home, 2420 Wilson Blvd #101 Arlington, VA 22201, 703-390-9460.

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