15 of the Dog Friendly Parks in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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Philadelphia is located in southeastern Pennsylvania and was named by William Penn, who founded the city. It is a blend of two Greek words, Phileo (Love) and Adelphos (Brother), meaning the city of brotherly love. Penn intended for Philadelphia to be a place of peace and tolerance where nobody would be persecuted. Also known as Philly, it is one of the most historic cities in the US and was the country’s capital until 1800 when Washington, DC, took the title. 

Here you can find the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, which is where the US Constitution and US Declaration of Independence were signed. The historic city is sandwiched between the banks of the Delaware River and the Schuylkill River. With hot summers and mild winters, the 100+ parks are very popular and it has one of the largest park systems in the country. 

Bark Social Dog Park

In northern Philadelphia on the western bank of the Schuylkill River, Bark Social is the place to go when you want to enjoy an adult beverage with other pet parents while your pooch plays. To make it even easier on you, Bark Social has Bark Rangers who supervise the dogs while you chill out and relax. This is a unique setup because you can hang out in the backyard when it is nice out or go inside when it is not. 

There is a wall of different drinks on tap, so serve yourself! Try over 20 different craft beers, cocktails, wine, and seltzers. They also have a menu for dogs with food and drinks so Fido can refuel and refresh while playing. There is so much to do here, you just have to see it for yourself. There is a membership for one dollar a day if you live in Philly. Or, if you just want to try it, you can get a free one-day pass online. 

Columbus Square Dog Park

Columbus Square Park in south Philadelphia boasts a terrific pup play space in Columbus Square. The Columbus Square Dog Park features everything you and your cuddly canine need to have a great time. First, there is an astroturf to keep paws from getting muddy no matter how much it rains. And it is soft enough to have your dog rolling around or taking a nap on it. The park also has a separate area for little, shy, or elderly dogs to play. 

It is not a huge place but it is big enough for getting rid of the zoomies or playing a game of fetch. To make sure pup parents clean up after their pups, the park supplies plenty of doggie bags. There are numerous seating choices in the shade and the sun. During the summer, they have kiddie pools and a hose, but in the winter, bring your own water because it is shut off during the cold months.

Harford Dog Park 

About 20 miles northwest of downtown Philly, Harford Park has designated an off-leash dog park in 1997. The best part is that it has more than 30 acres to explore and enjoy! However, there is no fence, so your fur puppy should be voice controlled to go off-leash. With so much space and streets nearby, it can be dangerous for your pooch to run off. While you are there, check out the nature trail to see the local flora and fauna. 

Your pup will love playing in the creek on hot days or sniffing the scents when the water dries up. Be ready to enjoy running up and down the rolling hills and playing frisbee or fetch. There is so much room to play, you can do just about anything. Bring lunch for you both, and you can have a meal at one of the picnic tables or just have a seat on the grass. 

Horsham Dog Park at Kohler Park

Pack up some treats, toys, water, and doggie bags, and head to Kohler Park, where you can find Horsham Dog Park. It is about 25 miles to the north of Philly and is fully fenced with one and a half acres of fun space. There is a bit of a walk to get to the fenced section. Go past the pond and picnic area to the southwest corner of Kohler Park, and you will see it. 

The park is not huge, but there is a full acre of open space for large dogs and a half-acre area for little pups 30 pounds and under. The terrain is well-maintained mulch, so it is easy to keep your fur buddy clean, and you can keep the park clean using the free doggie bags they have to offer. During the summer, there is water, but bring your own anyway for you and your cuddly compadre.  

Lanier Dog Park

Southwest of Philadelphia at Lanier Community Park, you and Fido will have a blast at Lanier Dog Park. It took over seven years of petitioning to get this special place on the map for pups to play off-leash. Although the park is run by the Lanier Park Dog Owner’s Association, and they ask for a small membership fee, those who are passing through or new to the area can try it for one day. Dogs have to be socialized and fully vaccinated, as well as spayed or neutered. 

Pet parents will find a gorgeous and well-tended artificial grass surface separated for small and large fur babies. What makes this park different is that there is a good distance between the small and large dog sections so they are not constantly barking at each other. There are free doggie bags and benches for the humans and lots of balls for the pups. During the summer, there are kiddie pools too!

Mario Lanza Dog Park

Only a few blocks west of the Delaware River in Queen Village to the southwest of Philly, Mario Lanza Park features a cozy dog park that residents rave about. It is a public park, but it is managed and maintained by QVK9 (Queen Village Canine and is always well-tended and clean. All sizes and breeds play together at Mario Lanza Dog Park, but everyone seems to get along well. There are strict standards for dogs to be vaccinated and socialized. 

There is a doggie bag dispenser and water fountain, but it is a good idea for you to bring your own. The terrain is mostly gravel, but there is some dirt, so do not expect your pooch to stay clean and shiny. But the fun he has is well worth it. And they do have a hose to rinse your canine companion if needed. The park was named after the 1940s and 50s actor and tenor Mario Lanze, who was born right around the corner.

Palmer Doggie Depot Dog Park

If you head northeast from Mario Lanza Dog Park, you will get to Palmer Doggie Depot Dog Park in just three miles. It is also close to the Delaware River and you can find it just south of the Shissler Recreation Center. You cannot miss it. There is a huge sign-out front that says Palmer Doggie Depot. It is not a huge park by any means, but it has room to run for all pup sizes. There is no small dog section, so everyone plays together. 

The ground is cobblestone with some dirt, so it can be a little muddy after it rains or snows. Also, the gate is double-locked for safety, there are several seating choices, and they have a freshwater spigot. However, there is not much shade, so remember to bring sunscreen. The Doggie Depot has events quite often, such as Howl-O-Ween in October and the Doggie Depot Thank-ful Event in November. 

Pop’s Dog Park

Bring your cuddle buddy to Pop’s Dog Park in East Kensington, about 10 miles southeast of Philly, for a fun day at the park with all the other fur puppies. It is a small park with only one section (no small dog section), but because of its size, you will mostly see small dogs here anyway. It is right next to the Black Coyle & McBride Playground and across from Pop’s Skatepark and has a wide open area for pooches to play. 

You will not find any agility equipment or fancy fountains here, but there is water access and a couple of benches. If you have any little humans, they will love the playground next door. It has all sorts of climbing, sliding, and swinging fun. There are several different sets of playground equipment and it is all fenced in for safety. If you have older kids, they may enjoy the skate park whether they skate or just want to watch. 

Pretzel Dog Park

With a name so cute, you just have to pack up your pup and get to Pretzel Park Dog Park in northwestern Philly by the Schuylkill River. You will find this huge pup play space in the northeast corner of the park at Silverwood and Cotton Streets. The name came from the pretzel shape of the sidewalks, and there is a pretzel statue right outside the dog park. It is a great opportunity for a selfie with your best friend.  

When you get here, the first thing you will notice is that this is probably the shadiest park ever. The dog park is covered with mature oak and maple trees that provide needed shade and sniffing opportunities for your canine companion. It is a great spot to let your poochie mingle with the local pups while you relax and mingle with the pup parents. Outside the dog park, put the leash back on and stroll around the larger park for a while. 

Rob Stuart Dog Park

Located right in downtown Philadelphia by Logan Square and the Franklin Institute, Rob Stuart Memorial Dog Park has a special space just for Philly fur puppies. But even if you are not a local, you are welcome here. It is easy to find off of Interstate 676 and Benjamin Franklin Parkway. This is a great park for little fur babies that have big dog anxiety because they have a special section for dogs under 35 pounds. 

The synthetic grass means no dirty pup paws it has so much space to run back and forth your dog will not have to deal with the zoomies that day. There are doggie water fountains for self-serving pupsters and pet parents will find free doggie bags to help make picking up after your furry friend easier. But it never hurts to bring your own water and doggie bags. You never know when you may need them.

Roxborough Dog Park

Roxborough Dog Park is a super pooch playground just a quarter of a mile east of Pretzel Park right across the street from the Kendrick Recreation Center and Playground. You will need to pay a small membership fee and provide shot records, proof your dog is spayed or neutered, and a photo of your dog. It is well worth the inexpensive cost to know that your best friend is going to be playing with pooches that are healthy. 

When you first enter, there are crates of balls and toys for fetch, frisbee, and tug. In the same corner, you will find water jugs and bowls as well as doggie bag dispensers. Located on the corner across from The View Apartments, the spacious park is perfect for all pups, but there is no small dog section so if your tiny tot is big-dog-shy, you may want to go somewhere else. It would not make sense to pay for a membership you cannot use. 

Schuylkill River Park

At Schuylkill River Park in downtown Philly, there are two separate parks for dogs. One is the Big Dog Run, and the other is the Small Dog Run. They are next to each other, but the fences do not connect, so they are completely separate parks. Both have lots of room for running, playing ball and chasing each other. You will also find lots of choices for seating and water fountains for the pups and pup parents. 

The main park is just over the connector bridge that takes you to the river, where you and your pup can walk along the boardwalk. It goes on for miles, so if you want a real workout, leash up your pup and make sure you pack enough water and doggie bags. You will see some stunning views of downtown Philly from here. In fact, you can even sit and watch the dogs below in the dog parks.  

Seger Dog Park

Just a few miles south of downtown Philly, you can find Seger Dog Park inside Seger Community Park. This is an absolutely pristine park with artificial turf, lots of cleaning tools, water access, fountains, and doggie bag dispensers. There is no reason why pet parents cannot pick up after their pup, and it shows in the stunning clean, and green yard. There is a variety of seating choices for the humans to relax and watch their pups play together.  

The fully-fenced pooch park is managed by the Seger Park Dog Owner’s Association, and although they ask for a membership fee of $25 to $50, it is not required, especially if you are just passing through. The money goes to help pay for maintenance, doggie bags, and events like Santa Paws, Howl-O-Ween, and Woofstock. Small pups have their own space, too, so they can play with fur babies their own size.

Sherman Mills Dog Park

Let your cuddly canine stretch his legs at Sherman Mills Dog Park, about a half mile northeast of Pretzel Park at Fairview Park. You have to take the east entrance and head past the baseball and soccer fields until you come to an intersection where you should turn right and go straight to the pooch play yard. It is fully fenced with separate spaces for large and small dogs to enjoy. The grass is almost always green here in Sherman Mills Dog Park, thanks to special landscaping and some gravel areas. 

It is a fairly large park with lots of space to roam around and play chase or fetch. Your fur puppy will have a blast playing with the local poochies, and you will love watching how happy he is. There are numerous benches, but don’t just sit there! Get up and toss a frisbee or ball to your little furball or grab a rope for tug-of-war. 

West Mill Creek Park

Across the Schuylkill River, about four miles to the west of Sherman Mills Dog Park, you can find a great pup park at West Mill Creek Park in Narbeth. This was the first dog park in Lower Merion Township and is very popular with the local pups and pup parents. But visitors are welcome too, so do not worry about not fitting in. The park parents are very friendly and will go out of their way to make you and your cuddle buddy feel like you are one of the pack. 

Perhaps the best part of this park is the creek, especially during the warmer months. Dogs love to splash around and cool off during the summer and sniff all the mysterious new scents when it is too cold to swim. Your fur baby must have a valid off-leash permit on his collar that you can get from the City Hall. They also need to wear a rabies tag. And don’t forget to bring doggie bags and water for both of you. 

The Final Woof

If you are ready to get out of the dog park for a while, there are lots of fun things to do with your canine companion in Philly. If you need some retail therapy or just want to browse, take your little buddy to Philadelphia Mills. It is the perfect place for a hot or rainy day because it is all inside, and as long as he is on a leash, your pup is welcome in many shops like Banana Republic, Old Navy, and the Gap. After, take Fido to the Pet-Friendly Dog Bakery (yes, that is its name) for some delicious treats. He is welcome inside as well as out in the backyard dog park. 

Photo of author
Patty Oelze is a freelance writer who is also in the process of getting her PhD in Psychology. She has been writing about dogs and other critters for about 10 years and has a plethora of animals at her home including several cats, some chipmunks, a dozen raccoons, two foxes, one coyote, and herds of deer. She and her husband have been living in the Missouri Ozarks for years where she enjoys taking care of wildlife, fishing, photography, boating, and of course, writing.

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