Located on the southeastern coast of Florida, Fort Lauderdale is just south of Pompano Beach and about 30 miles north of Miami. The oceanfront city is a popular tourist location with 24 miles of sandy shores and hundreds of attractions, such as Las Olas Oceanside Park, the Jungle Queen Riverboat, and Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. Because of the warm weather all year long, outdoor activities are plentiful for tourists as well as locals, and many of these include your canine companion.
The city has dozens of parks that are dog-friendly for pups on a leash, as well as some leashless dog parks and beaches where your pooch can run and play freely. The main Fort Lauderdale Beach even has its own dog beach.
Many of the tours and boat excursions allow pets, and almost all of the boat rental establishments do too. But if you and your fur baby want to hit the beach, we found 15 of the best dog-friendly beaches in Fort Lauderdale for you to try.
Fort Lauderdale Canine Beach
In the middle of Fort Lauderdale Beach on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, this dog beach is the perfect place to take your fur baby to cool off in the water. Just north of Sunrise Boulevard, your dog can run around in the sand off his leash from 3 PM to 7 PM on weekends from November until March. At all other times, your pup is welcome to explore and enjoy from 3 PM until 9 PM.
The gorgeous sandy coastline is about 100 yards and has all the amenities you need, including restrooms, showers, water fountains, and doggie waste bags. There is an officer on site to keep the peace and assist pooch parents with any issues. You will have to get a permit from the Parks and Recreation Administration in Holiday Park first, though. There is also a small fee of $7 per dog to help with cleanup and supplies.
Performance Pups Freshwater Dog Beach
Who needs the ocean when you have a huge lake to play in? Performance Pups Freshwater Dog Beach is known as the best dog lake in the city. Located at Tigertali Lake Park, Performance Pups Beach has crystal-clear blue water and clean white sand. This is a leash-free dog park with a fenced area where your pup can swim and play as much as he wants. Pet parents are not allowed! This lake is for the dogs!
That is what makes this experience so special for your fur baby. They are allowed to romp and play in the water with other fur babies while their humans watch. However, you can wade or walk in the water or jump in to get your dog if he is having trouble. If your pooch is not great at listening, you may want to keep his leash on. The fence does not go all the way around the lake, so it is possible for him to escape if he really wants to.
You do not have to go to the beach to let your canine companion play in the water. Snyder Park has several lakes as well as a fenced dog park for pups to play off the leash. This one is more like a real dog park with separate enclosures for both small and large fur babies. This park also has an agility course on each side so all the dogs can get a workout. And there are comfy benches in the shade where pup parents can relax.
After jumping through hoops, weaving through poles, and climbing through tunnels, take your canine companion to East Lake, where dogs can swim. The rest of the park is also fun but you will need to put the leash back on to enjoy the picnic area, disc golf course, and nature trails. And please do not let your fur buddy chase the iguanas that call this park home.
Precious Paws Dog Park
Between Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood, Florida, you can find the fantastic Precious Paws Dog Park. Also known as the Dania Beach Dog Park, this leash-free park is located inside Patrick J. Meli Park, which is a community park in Dania Beach. There are two separate enclosures, one for big dogs and one for little pooches. Both spaces are large and have benches for pet parents as well as a water fountain for everyone.
One of the best things about this dog park is the agility equipment. Both sides have all sorts of hurdles, a see-saw, a dog agility jump, ramps, weave poles, and many more creative fur baby items. You can watch your canine companion get some exercise while you take a break. When your pooch is done working out, take him over to the baseball fields to watch a game or just hang out and enjoy the view. Just be sure to put his leash back on when you go out and leave it on at all times.
Oakridge Park Dog Park
It may not have a beach, but Oakridge Park Dog Park is a ton of fun anyway. And there is a lake just outside the off-leash area where your fur buddy can splash and play while on his leash. You can find this pawesome place just west of the Precious Paws Dog Park in Mapleridge. This is a large place with a lot of open space, giving you the opportunity to play Frisbee or fetch with your pup. Or just watch your fur baby play with the other fur babies.
The rest of the park has 37 acres, and your dog is allowed to roam as long as he is on a leash. If you have the kids with you, take them to one of the two playgrounds. Both are covered, one has wood chips, and the other is artificial turf. You and your pooch can also take a walk on the nature trails, where he can sniff around the lake and even get his feet wet.
Emerald Hills Lakes Park Dog Park
Southeast of Precious Paws and Oakridge Parks, Emerald Hills Lakes Park also has a delightful place to take your fur baby. Whether you have a huge hound or a petite poodle, your dog is welcome to join the other pups running, jumping, and chasing at this nice little park. There are separate spaces so dogs can play with those his own size, and the park has benches and shade for the pet parents. You will also find water fountains and doggie poo bag dispensers.
Outside the gates, your pup will need to have his leash back on, but he can still have fun exploring the walking trail or watching a basketball or baseball game. You can even go over to Leaping Cat Lake to splash around a little bit. Be sure to keep your fur baby on a leash at all times here and bring along your own poop bags to pick up whatever he drops.
Dog Beach of Hollywood
Just a few miles to the south past the Dania Beach Pier, Hollywood Dog Beach is a spectacular way to enjoy the warm waters of the Gulf or the cool waters of the Stranahan River right behind the beach. Just like Fort Lauderdale Dog Beach, this one is open to leash-free pups on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays before 9 AM and between 3 and 7 PM from November through May and from 5 to 9 PM from April through October.
You can get a daily pass or six-month passes from a park employee or ranger at the Department of Recreation and Cultural Arts on 28th Avenue. The Dog Beach of Hollywood is monitored by a park ranger like Fort Lauderdale Beach as well and is there to help if needed. You should bring your own doggie poo bags because this is a popular beach, but there are restrooms, water, and outdoor showers for your convenience.
West Lake Park
Just behind Hollywood Dog Beach, West Lake Park has a lot to offer you and your canine companion while you are in the area. Even though you have to keep him on a leash, there is so much to do he will not mind. And it is important to follow this rule because there are alligators in the lakes here. Speaking of lakes, this park has several of them, including the large West Lake, which boasts three miles of mangroves to explore by kayak.
There are many activities here, but the most popular by far is kayaking. If you do not have one or are new to the sport, visit West Lake Park Kayaking, and they will rent you one or give you a guided tour. Other fun things to do include basketball, fishing, hiking, and picnicking. There are also racquetball, tennis, and volleyball courts. And the marina has food and restrooms for your convenience.
Hollywoof Dog Park
Located at Stanley Goldman Memorial Park right on the lake, you and your fur buddy can stay all day at Hollywoof Dog Park. The park is in North Central Hollywood, just off Interstate 95. Inside the fenced dog park, the grass is nicely maintained and always green, so your dog can roll around in the grass as much as he wants. There is ample seating for pet parents, doggie waste bags, water fountains for dogs and their humans, and plenty of shade.
Besides all that, your pooch can get a workout on the agility equipment here, including a couple of ramps, hoops, tunnels, weave poles, and even a few pedestals for relaxing. Your dog is welcome outside the dog park, too, as long as he is leashed. You can watch skaters at the skatepark, take a walk on the fitness trail, or have a picnic. And Fido can splash around in the water but keep him on a short leash and watch out for gators.
Joseph Scavo Park
In Hallandale Beach, just to the west of Hollywood South Central Beach, Joseph Scavo Park is a large community park with all sorts of great activities. But the most important one to your fur buddy is the dog park. This off-leash pup paradise offers a small and large dog area like most other dog parks so your canine companion can play with pups his own size. It is open to the public from dawn until dusk every day except Wednesdays.
The park also has benches and shade trees as well as water fountains for pooches and their humans. Outside the dog park, you and Fido are free to explore the rest of the park as long as you keep him on a leash. There is a nice playground here for the kids, a walking trail, a fitness trail, picnic areas, and a walking track. Be sure to check the rules to be sure your dog can join you in any of these areas.
Haulover Beach Park
Just south of Fort Lauderdale in Miami, Haulover Beach Park is a popular spot with locals as well as tourists. And dogs are welcome too! First of all, there is an off-leash dog park where your canine companion can play off-leash with other fur babies. There are separate sides for large and small pooches, so your pup can play with pups his own size. This Bark Park also has drinking fountains, picnic tables, shade trees, Mutt Mitt dispensers, and almost an acre of space.
Right across from the dog park, you can swim with your pup between lifeguard towers two and three. The golden soft sand is well-maintained so bring your own doggie bags to keep it that way. While on the beach and in the water, your pup can be off the leash as long as you stay between the lifeguard towers. You will also find restrooms, picnic areas, concessions, and food trucks.
Boca Raton Bark Beach
About 15 minutes up the coast to the north, Boca Raton has a splendid Bark Beach where your canine companion can play in the sand and splash in the water. There is a dog-friendly area between lifeguard tower 18 and 20 where you can enjoy the water with your fur baby. This is only on weekends between 7 to 9 AM and after 3 PM from November through February and until 5 PM between March and October. However, you will need to get a permit or weekend access pass from the Sugar Sand Park Community Center, Swim Center, or the Boca Raton Community Center before you hit the beach.
While the pet hours are in place, you and your pup can visit Spanish River Park, which runs along a large portion of Lake Rogers. There is also a lagoon where you may see some alligators and other wildlife. Keep your dog on a short leash in this area. You can also rent a kayak or have a picnic here.
On the edge of the Everglades Wildlife Management Area inside Markham Park, this large park in Fort Lauderdale has 3.5 acres of space with segregated sides for small and large pups. Let your fur buddy off the leash so he can run and play with the rest of the fur babies. This is a popular place with the locals, so do not expect solitude here at any time. Barkham Park is located in the southwestern corner of the park, right on the lake.
There is a small fee for playing here to cover maintenance, but it is well worth it! Your fur buddy will have a great time here. For even more fun, put the leash back on and head out to visit the rest of the park. There are hiking and biking trails, disc golf, fishing spots, and a boat ramp. You can also enjoy a walk through the garden and watch the model airplanes at the airfield.
Woofing Waters Park
Between Boca Raton and Pompano Beach, just minutes from Fort Lauderdale, Quiet Waters Park is an adventure park that even allows your dog to join in the fun. There is no reason why Fido has to stay behind when you and the family go to the water park when you visit Quiet Waters when they have Woofing Waters! In the northwestern section of this massive water park is a spot just for fur babies and their families.
This section for pups is two acres and features separate sections for large and small dogs. The big dogs’ section has an eight-nozzle water jet line, a shower nozzle, and a spraying hydrant. The small dogs’ section boasts a water jet line as well as a water loop and shower. The pet parents can enjoy a spot under one of the 20-foot umbrellas to watch their pups play. There are also restrooms and a concession area.
Pompano Beach Dog Park
Located in Pompano Beach Community Park, has a 2.6-acre dog park with a large fence for pups to play in until they get worn out. For the dogs, there are segregated areas for both little and large dogs, as well as plenty of trees and a huge grassy area to romp around in. This is the perfect spot for a game of fetch or Frisbee. Besides all that, your dog can also enjoy a drink whenever he likes at one of the park’s dog guzzler fountains, where he can also cool off.
If you want to explore the rest of the park, put your canine companion back on the leash and go check it out. There are picnic areas with barbecue pits, playgrounds, ball fields, and plenty of green space. The lake here is in the middle of the northern end of the park, and your pooch is welcome to get wet if he likes. But keep him on a short leash because gators may be lurking.
The Final Woof
If the weather is not nice enough for the beach, there is plenty of other places to enjoy with your fur baby. Barkyard n’ Brews on 1st Street is a fun place to enjoy a beer and the company of other pet parents.
Another way to enjoy some brew is to take the Fort Lauderdale Brew Tour. They allow friendly leashed dogs, and you get to sample a variety of beers. Or take your dog shopping for dog toys and treats at Auggie’s Pet Supplies where they even have a leash-free dog park, pool, and lots of fun. And on the weekends, you can enjoy shopping at the Yellow Green Farmers Market with your pooch. You might even find him some special toys here!