Best Dog Parks in Tampa Bay

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The winter months are not only the perfect time for humans to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors, but they’re also the perfect time to take Fido out for a day at the dog park. Here are some of our favorites.

Northwest Dog Park
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 the other for small ones. Artificial grass means less mud during the rainy season. Other facilities include a fitness/agility course, water features, shade structures and a dog wash tub.

West Park Dog Park
6402 N. West Street, Tampa
Located near Tampa International Airport, this is Tampa’s original dog park. The playground is five acres surrounded by a 6-foot-tall galvanized chain-link fence with double-gate entrances. The area is divided into two separate access areas for small and large dogs. There are water fountains for the dogs and their handlers, picnic tables, shelters, dog washes, a hitching station and garbage cans. There is plenty of shade and benches where owners can relax while their dogs play. A children’s playground and adjacent baseball diamonds make it an ideal destination for the whole family.

Gadsden Dog Park
6901 S. MacDill Ave., Tampa
This dog park offers plenty of shade and three separate fenced areas that allow owners to evaluate the activity and determine which would be best for their dog. There are also water bowls and kiddie pools for the dogs and picnic tables for the 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 huge park, or off-leash at one of the two fenced dog parks, including a separate area for small dogs. There are a number of benches and plenty of 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, next 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, trash bags, trash cans, and gorgeous views of the Tampa Museum of Art, the Riverwalk, and the Tampa skyline . The only thing it lacks is shade, so save this park for the cooler winter days.

Julian B. Lane Waterfront Dog Park
1001 North Boulevard, Tampa
Tampa’s newest dog park 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 owner seating. There is no shade, but the water features help keep dogs cool.

Kotfila Deputy Memorial Dog Park
705 Raymond Street, Tampa
This separate dog park is located under the Selmon Highway 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. Homeowners will love the bench-style seating and tons of shade provided by the overpass.

Company dog ​​park
2671 Enterprise Road. E., Clearwater
It feels less like a dog park and more like an open park where dogs can feel free to explore off leash. The entire area is fenced, but includes two open play areas and shaded off-leash trails. There is also a separate area for agility, water stations, shade, waste stations, and owner seating.

John Chestnut Park Paw Playground
2200 E. Lake Road. S, Palm Harbor
Located in beautiful John Chestnut Park, the Paw Playground serves both large and small dogs in a fully fenced area. Facilities include cooling stations complete with dog-level showers and water fountains. A nearby playground makes it an ideal place for families. Dogs are welcome throughout the rest of the park, including trails and boardwalks, but must be leashed once outside the Paw Playground.

Fort De Soto Dog Park
3500 Pinellas Bayway South, Tierra Verde
Fort De Soto has a little something for everyone, including the pet. This is the only dog ​​park where dogs are allowed on the beach in a designated area. There are also two fenced areas near the beach for large and small dogs with water stations (the beach entrance is at the southwest end of the dog park). Nearby picnic stations and numerous hiking trails (where dogs must be kept on a leash) make this an ideal destination for a day out with Fido.

Honeymoon Island Dog Beach
1 Causeway Blvd, Dunedin
At the southern end of this popular island, dogs have their own private beach to run and play in the sand and waves. Pets must be kept on a 6 foot leash at all times. Dogs are also welcome on the island’s multitude of nature trails and picnic and play areas (on a leash, of course). Start with a short hike, then head to the water to cool off before heading home. (Note: Dogs are not allowed on the beaches on the northern end of the island.)

The dog bar
2300 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg
Perhaps more of an owner’s playground, The Dog Bar in St. Pete allows owners to sit back and relax with a cold beverage while their dogs burn off energy. The expansive indoor space includes plenty of seating, televisions, a ping pong table and skeeball, corn hole, and board games. The outdoor space includes an off-leash playpen with separate areas for small and large dogs, pools, dog ramps, tunnels, and lounging beds. A dog park supervisor is on hand to ensure the safety of each dog. However, these benefits come at a price. Membership fees are $50 per year for the first dog and $25 per year for each additional dog. A $5 day pass and a $30 10 punch pass are also available.

Whichever park you choose, be sure to supervise your dog at all times and obey the dog park rules, which are usually posted near the front door. This will help ensure a fun and safe day for you and your furry best friend.

By Karen Ring

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