Dog Parks in Maryland
Dog parks in Maryland are a great place for dog owners to let their pets run around. Maryland dog parks can also provide great outings for dog owners. They can let their dogs off the leash without worrying about bothering other people, and they can socialize with other dog owners. Of course, the dog park also is a great place to watch dogs play and interact with each other, creating some fun memories and Instagram-worthy pics.
There are a few different types of dog parks. One type of popular dog park style is the wide-open space. Although this might consist of grass or another natural terrain, sometimes it will be landscaped with wood chips, which can help block out harmful weeds. Others might be landscaped with decomposed granite, which is soft on dog joints and can be easily brushed off.
Another type of dog park is called the training station. This kind of dog park is like an outdoor gym, with the park split into different circuits that resemble a dog show. Hurdles, platforms, jumps, and hoops create a fun obstacle course for dogs to get training and exercise. Of course, such a dog park design should also include fountains and pet cooling stations to help each and every pooch keep hydrated and cool.
Doggy playgrounds are rising in popularity. Although some of their features make them seem similar to the training station dog park type, the focus of the doggy playground is more on fun. Tunnels, ramps, and even teeter-totters are just a few structures you’ll find in this type of dog park. Since there are so many different ways for dogs to release energy without having to run far and wide, the doggy playground can sometimes be a more compact dog park—like something you’d find in your local neighbourhood.
Dog Park Safety
The first thing you should do is make sure the perimeter of the dog park is secured, if there are fences and gates—especially if your dog has not yet mastered commands like come and stay. Remove the leash and halters so they won’t get caught in another dog’s mouth during playtime. Pay attention to your dog the whole time and monitor their behaviour, watching their body language for signs of stress or aggression. If a fight occurs, do not get in the middle of it. Instead, distract the dogs with loud noises or use a hose (if available).
Some other safety rules are important even before you head to the dog park. Make sure your dog’s vaccinations are up to date against diseases like canine influenza, parvovirus, and kennel cough. Make sure they are also up to date on any parasite medication they take. It’s a good idea to acclimate your dog to socialization first, perhaps in a smaller setting with dogs you know are well-behaved, and teach them basic commands so they can be reined in if necessary.
With these safety tips in mind, let’s look at some of the Best dog parks in Maryland.
Dog parks in Baltimore City
If you’re looking for a dog park in Baltimore, try out the Canton Dog Park. A casual glance around Canton will tell you it’s one of the trendiest neighborhoods downtown for upwardly mobile young professions—a demographic known for being the largest percentage of dog owners. This dog park, with separate play spaces for big and small dogs, can be a great place to meet other dog owners from Canton or Fells Point. Canton’s dog friendly culture is evident from the nearby Dogtopia of Canton Doggy Day Care and the Hair off the Dog Grooming Salon and Spa.
In the heart of Baltimore City there is also the Patterson Park Dog Park. This is one of the best free dog parks in Maryland. There are two separate enclosures for big and small dogs, ample bench space, a water fountain for hydration, and a nice soft astroturf ground. Set in Patterson Park, it’s centrally located to also enjoy the meandering trails that wander through Baltimore’s largest urban park. Nearby B’more Licks is a pooch friendly ice cream parlor.
Dog Park in Carroll County and Baltimore County
South Carroll Dog Park cannot really be counted among Baltimore county dog parks, since it’s actually in Carroll County. Regardless, it’s an excellent place for dog owners in both counties to bring their pets for an afternoon romp. The extensive dog park is right next to the South Carroll Senior and Community Center, with bathrooms and ample parking space.
If you’re looking for a dog park in Rockville Maryland or dog park in Bethesda, you’ll find some off-the-leash fun at Cabin John Dog Park in nearby Bethesda. This peaceful, wooded area is fun for dogs and their owners to explore, with different areas for small and big dogs. Much of the area is landscaped with mulch, which is great for paws but can get muddy. If you enjoy the natural scenery, this woodland dog park can be the perfect afternoon outing.
Dog Parks in Anne Arundel County
Right on the shore where the South River meets the Chesapeake Bay, you’ll find the Quiet Waters Dog Park. This Annapolis dog park has separate big dog and little dog areas, with a small beach for dogs who like to swim. You can also bring your dog around the surrounding trails as long as you keep it leashed. Just down the street, there is the Bark N’ Bean, a dog wash and coffee bar. Take note that the dog beach and dog park are not adjacent to each other, but about a two minute walk apart.
Anne Arundel county dog parks include some of the best indoor dog parks in Maryland, which are actually doggie daycares. For dog owners who don’t have time to take their pooch out during the work week, The Pup Camp in Severna Park is a highly acclaimed doggie day care, boarding facility, and dog wash. Dogs are separated by size and temperament and can enjoy some indoor, climate-controlled playrooms. There is also a second location in nearby Gambrills. Another acclaimed groomer in the area is The Sudsy Puppy in Severna Park.
Searching for a zipline in Olney, MD? Check out the Adventure Park at Sandy Spring Friends School. This fun aerial park in the woods has 15 different course trails of varying difficulty for visitors 5 and up. Each trail has its own zip line and different bridges connecting the various platforms. One of the more memorable aspects of this zipline park in Maryland is its night climbing opportunities when the obstacle course is illuminated with a magical glow. Take note that this seasonal park is closed during the winter months but opens up again each March. Complement your climbing with some other activities like axe-throwing and a food truck.
Dog Parks in Frederick, Maryland
For dog owners in Frederick, there is the City of Frederick Dog Park in the heart of downtown. This Frederick dog park has ample benches for owners to sit on, and fountains and bowls to keep their pets hydrated. Right across the street is Baker Park, where you and your dog can continue your outing (albeit leashed) along the sidewalk that winds along Carroll Creek. To the south of Frederick there is also the Ballenger Creek Dog Park, with four enclosed areas: two for dogs of all sizes, one for medium sized dogs, and one for small dogs.
Howard County Dog Parks
Looking for a dog park near Columbia, Maryland, or a dog park in Ellicott City? Worthington Off Leash Dog Park should be on your radar. This dog park is a paid park with a $5 entry fee for the day or $40 for the year. But a quick glance through the hundreds of reviews on Google will tell you that it’s worth it for access to this very spacious dog enclosure, with separate areas for big and little dogs.
Howard county dog park options also include Columbia Dog Park, located in Cedar Lane Park. This dog park has been acclaimed by pet owners as having tons of space with fun play equipment like tunnels and bridges. There are separate areas for big and little dogs. Take note that there is a daily $10 entry fee, or you can buy a $40 annual pass which includes up to three dogs per owner.
Montgomery County Dog Parks
Black Hill Regional Park has a half acre dog run by Little Seneca Creek, which is really more of a scenic, tree-lined lake; it’s a great option for pet owners looking for a Dog park in Germantown, Maryland or a Gaithersburg dog park. Dogs are also allowed in the greater park area, as long as they are under your control. Black Hill Regional Park is a wonderfully peaceful space for picnicking, boating, and walking around the lake.
Montgomery county dog parks also include several Rockville dog park options. Many of the developments in the area have their own dog parks, such as the sprawling King Farm, which has its own extensive dog park. For Rockville residents and those living around and in DC, there is also Bark Social, where Beer Garden meets Dog Park: this pooch friendly play space has a restaurant serving cocktails and pub grub.
Barking Good Reviews
There are lots of wonderful dog parks throughout Maryland, in each and every county. Remember when visiting any dog park to be mindful of the safety tips mentioned above: make sure your dog is up to date on their vaccinations and pest medications, and keep your eye on your pet to monitor their behavior. It’s also a good idea to make sure the dog park you intend to visit is free, because some of them do have an entry fee. Check the parks and recreation website for the county that park is in to see if you must purchase a pass ahead of time, or if cash is accepted at the gate. Another helpful suggestion is to read reviews of each park ahead of time to see what dog owners and locals are saying before you bring your pooch.