There is still time to take advantage of milder temperatures and treat your pup to a day at the park.
Why let the kids have all the fun? Here are a few of our favorite dog parks perfect for letting your four-legged family members run free.
8951 W. Waters Ave., Tampa
This dog park is the brainchild of Westchase resident, Joe Odda. The 1.5-acre park is divided into two dog parks—one for large dogs and one for small. The artificial turf means less mud in the rainy season. Other amenities include a fitness/agility course, drinking stations, shade structures and a dog-washing tub.
Janice R. Miller Bark Park
423 Lafayette Blvd., Tampa (accessible through the Bicentennial Park entrance)
This fenced dog park, which is part of the larger Mobbly Bayou Wilderness Preserve, offers separate sides for small and large dogs. It is known for its friendly dogs and even friendlier pet owners, and is one of the closest dog parks to Westchase.
West Park Dog Park
6402 N. Occident St., Tampa
Located near Tampa International Airport, this is Tampa’s original dog park. The play area features five acres surrounded by a 6-foot-tall, galvanized chain link fence with double gated entries. The area is split into two separate access areas for small and large dogs. There are water fountains for dogs and their owners, picnic tables, shelters, dog washes, a hitching post and waste receptacles. There is ample shade and benches where owners can relax while their dogs play. An adjacent children’s playground and baseball fields make this a great destination for the whole family.
Gadsden Dog Park
6901 S. MacDill Ave., Tampa
This dog park features ample shade and three separate fenced areas that allow owners to assess the activity and determine which would be the best fit for their dog. There are also water bowls and kiddie pools for the dogs, and picnic tables for owners.
Al Lopez Dog Park
4810 N. Himes Ave., Tampa
Dogs are welcome to join their owners on-leash to explore the grounds of this massive park, or off-leash in one of the two fenced dog parks, including a separate area for smaller dogs. There are a number of benches and ample shade, as well as water stations for the dogs.
Curtis Hixon Waterfront Dog Park
600 N. Ashley Dr., Tampa
Located in the heart of Downtown Tampa adjacent to the Riverwalk, this is probably the most scenic dog park in all of Tampa Bay. This fully fenced park features artificial turf, agility equipment, drinking water, disposal bags, trashcans and gorgeous views of the Tampa Museum of Art, the Riverwalk and the Tampa skyline. The one thing it is lacking is shade, so save this park for cooler days.
Julian B. Lane Riverfront Dog Park
1001 North Blvd., Tampa
One of Tampa’s newest dog parks is located along the Riverwalk and has two separate parks for large and small dogs. Both feature artificial turf, dog-activated water features, water stations with built in pet bowls, agility equipment, waste stations and seating for owners. There is no shade, but the water features help to keep dogs cool.
Queenie’s Dog Park at Waterworks Park
1710 Highland Ave., Tampa
This shady space is perfect for getting your dog out on a hot day. There’s also a covered picnic pavilion for the humans. The dog park is adjacent to Waterworks Park, which offers open green space, covered and shaded picnic areas, a playground and a splash pad for children. Nearby Armature Works is a great place to grab a bite to eat after you play, and their outdoor seating areas are dog friendly.
Deputy Kotfila Memorial Dog Park
705 Raymond St., Tampa
This distinct dog park is located underneath the Selmon Expressway, behind the Bell Channelside Apartments. There are separate areas for large and small breeds. Pet-friendly features include artificial turf, agility equipment and water fountains with built-in pet bowls. Owners will love the bench-style seating and tons of shade provided by the overpass.
Enterprise Dog Park
2671 Enterprise Rd. E., Clearwater
This has less of a dog park feel, and more of an open park setting where dogs can feel free to explore off-leash. The entire area is fenced but features two open areas to play and tree-shaded off-leash trails. There is also a separate area for agility, water stations, shade, waste stations and seating for owners.
John Chestnut Park Paw Playground
2200 E. Lake Rd. S, Palm Harbor
Located within the beautiful John Chestnut Park, the Paw Playground serves both large and small dogs within a fully fenced area. Amenities include cooling stations complete with showers and dog-level water fountains. A nearby playground makes this a great spot for families. Dogs are welcome throughout the rest of the park, with the exception of the boardwalks, but must be on-leash once outside the Paw Playground.
No matter which park you choose, be sure to monitor your dog at all times and adhere to the dog park rules, which are generally posted near the entrance gate. This will help ensure a fun and safe day for you and your furry best friend.