When dogs have room to run and play, it can help keep them healthy, reduce anxiety or boredom, and stimulate their minds. Plus, playing with other dogs helps improve social skills. Being active with pets is good for people, too. Studies have shown higher levels of activity in kids from families with dogs – an important factor in maintaining a healthy weight. Also, older adults with dogs tend to be more active than others, and to stay active longer. In pet-friendly cities, there’s plenty of green space and pets are welcome. Dog parks strengthen and contribute to interaction between dog owners, and community relationships get stronger. This is known as “social capital” – the ties that bind people to their communities and to each other. Pets are an important part of it, so they should be part of urban planning conversations.