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The Best Dog Water Parks in the United States

Haley photo


April 04, 2023

Dog Enrichment

The Best Dog Water Parks in the United States thumbnail

Do you have a water-loving dog looking to burn some energy? There are countless dog parks to visit throughout our country — but some of them become far too hot in the midday sun to be safe for your pets to play. That’s why we’ve put together a list of some of the best dog water parks throughout the United States! At these locations, your pup can frolic, splash, and swim to their heart’s content.

This page is about public dog water parks and other businesses with water activities, and also includes Sniffspot private dog parks. Sniffspot is the largest network of private dog parks for rent in the world. Each of the thousands of Sniffspot dog parks are hosted by locals on private land with 100% private bookings to maximize safety for guests and their dogs. Sniffspot offers various types of dog parks, including fenced fields, water parks, indoor dog parks, dog beaches, and more. Click here to learn more about Sniffspots near you!

Some Pros and Cons of Dog Water Parks

We dive more into safety details and frequently asked questions about dog parks in general at the bottom of this article in our FAQ section. In the meantime, here’s the high level of what you need to know about dog water parks:

Pro: Water features can keep your pup cool while they play

Summer sun and heat are no joke in many parts of the United States. Some traditional dog parks — especially those with asphalt or gravel surfaces — can become sweltering at midday, making it unsafe for your dog to run around without hurting their paws or even being at risk of heatstroke.

Dog water parks don’t have this problem since your pup can be in and out of the cool water as they please.

Pro: Many dog water parks are enclosed to keep your pet from running off

Recall training is tough work for any pet — and some breeds of dog have a genetic predisposition to roam. It isn’t safe for your pup to run off into the wilderness (or throughout the neighborhood) unattended… but we all know that off-leash time can be great enrichment and allow for natural behaviors like sniffing.

The solution? Secure fenced areas! Fenced dog parks, like most dog water parks, provide your dog with an opportunity to stretch their legs without causing you any worry that they’ll escape or get in harm’s way.

Con: Dog water parks are often crowded and can prevent dogs from interacting naturally

While fences are great for keeping your dog from running off, they also have their drawbacks.

For one thing, most fenced-in dog parks are relatively small in size due to the financial and labor costs of fence setup. This is especially true for dog water parks which are even more difficult to build!

For another, fenced areas can cause some dogs to feel trapped in situations they aren’t comfortable with. It’s possible for nervous pups to be physically cornered with no way to escape an interaction they don’t want — which can lead to a “fight” response when “flight” isn’t an option. Be extra on the watch for this at dog water parks that have obstacles like rock walls or fountains.

At Sniffspot, we generally don’t recommend taking your dog to small fenced-in dog parks with other people and pets you don’t know. If your dog is incredibly social and tolerant, they might be a good fit — it’s important to know the risks ahead of time.

Private parties offered by many dog water parks can be a way to address this con by allowing your dog to be around fellow canines they're already familiar with.

Con: Not every dog is a natural swimmer

Believe it or not, not every dog is born knowing exactly how to swim. Many pets have to be taught how to stay calm when their feet leave the ground and to paddle rhythmically — it’s possible for dogs to drown if they aren’t well prepared. Life jackets can be a potential solution to this, giving nervous dogs more confidence and owners peace of mind.

Con: Most dog water parks charge entrance fees

Because dog water parks are usually operated by pet businesses (like boarding or daycare facilities) and aren’t publicly run by local city or county governments, they often charge entrance fees. These payments go towards maintaining the facility and turning a profit.

Know Before You Go: Public Dog Park Checklist

What to bring with you to a dog water park

Here are a few things to bring with you when visiting any dog park in the United States.

Pack some dog waste bags

Keep your parks clean! Always pack a few extra poop bags in case you need to pick up after your pup — and consider scooping any left-behind piles you come across, too. This will make the environment safer for everyone who visits.

Bring your own fresh drinking water

Some public dog parks offer water bowls or fountains for your dog, but it’s a good idea to pack some of your own just in case. Never leave your dog’s hydration up to chance, especially on hot days.

Have your pup wear a collar or harness with ID tags

If your dog will be playing with other dogs, it’s important to pay close attention to what they’re wearing. You don’t want anyone’s teeth or paws getting caught in loose fabric or buckles! That said, it’s always a good idea to bring a well-fitted collar or harness along with your dog’s identification tags.

Bring along a leash or two

Along with a collar or harness, bring a leash — yes, even if the dog park you’re visiting is a designated off-leash area. This way you can keep your dog under control while walking to and from the entrance. You might also consider packing an extra leash in case you need to grab hold of another dog or intervene if a conflict arises — and it’s a good idea to read up on leash laws in your local area before venturing out.

What to do before going into a public dog park

Research the park ahead of time

Read reviews and be on the lookout for any common issues, like unruly dogs or left-behind waste. It can be hard to find reliable information about some public parks (one reason Sniffspot’s private listings might be a better option) — so when in doubt, don’t risk it. Your dog’s safety and comfort are too important.

Watch the dog park for a few minutes before entering

Take inventory of the other dogs and owners. Is everyone under control? Are the dogs enjoying their play time? Is the area large enough that dogs can take breaks and get space from their playmates if they start to feel overwhelmed? (Tight spaces can prevent your pet from engaging in natural social behavior.) Ultimately, is there anything about the situation that makes you feel uncomfortable?

Make sure you have basic knowledge of dog body language

This will help you make sure your dog is enjoying their time and keep everyone safe! Know what signs might indicate that your pup is stressed or overwhelmed — and be ready to step in if needed. You can read more about interpreting your dog’s body language in this article.

What area of the country has the best dog parks?

Sniffspot conducted a 2022 survey of dog owners across the country to better understand the state of public dog parks.

The common stereotype is that the east and west coasts are the most dog-friendly regions of our country — but survey results show that public dog parks in the coasts are actually the dirtiest and most dangerous in the country. We found that more than 1 in 7 dog owners report their dogs having been attacked in a public dog park.

The midwest seems to have the safest dog parks in terms of injuries while the east coast has the cleanest public dog parks.

Dog water parks are mostly located here

The Best Dog Water Parks in the United States

New dog parks are being created every year. While it’s impossible to create a fully comprehensive list — the country has too many off-leash spaces to count, with a growing number including water features! — we’ve compiled some particularly popular dog water parks below.

Find off-leash dog parks and places to swim near you

Can’t find a public or private dog park near you? Consider looking on your county or city’s website, reaching out to local dog trainers, or searching Sniffspot listings by your location. (Pro tip: You can filter Sniffspots by whether or not they have water!)

Love My Dog Resort and Waterpark

  • Address: 6427 54th Ave North, St. Petersburg, Florida
  • Hours: 10 am - 4 pm
  • Off leash? Yes
  • Activities: Off-leash play, swimming, boarding, daycare
  • Entrance fee? $10 for 30 minutes

Love My Dog Resort and Playground aims to provide a fun and secure environment for furry friends to frolic, cool off, and socialize. With features like doggie sprays, water tunnels, a doggie fire hydrant, and two wading pools, this dog water park offers plenty of opportunities to tire out your pup.

Sociability note: This dog water park is small in size, which means your dog might not be able to make space from other pets if they aren’t interested in playing. You should only visit if you’re confident your pup is social and tolerant with unfamiliar dogs.

Canine Cove, Dog Water Park

  • Address: 16830 Chesterfield Airport Rd, Chesterfield, Missouri
  • Hours: 7:30 am - 6 pm
  • Off leash? Yes
  • Activities: Off-leash play, swimming, boarding, daycare
  • Entrance fee? Open to boarding and daycare clients

Petropolis is a boarding and daycare facility in Missouri that features a Canine Cove dog water park. They have a splash pad designed to provide a fun and stimulating water experience for your furry friend — and it’s monitored by a team of professionals to watch out for safety concerns.

Sociability note: This dog water park is small in size, which means your dog might not be able to make space from other pets if they aren’t interested in playing. You should only visit if you’re confident your pup is social and tolerant with unfamiliar dogs.

The Splash Bark by SDK

  • Address: 27246 SD Hwy 115, Harrisburg, South Dakota
  • Hours: 5 - 8 pm most days
  • Off leash? Yes
  • Activities: Off-leash play, swimming, boarding
  • Entrance fee? $15 for one hour with membership options

The Splash Bark was built in 2020 and includes both an indoor dog water park and dry areas with tunnels, climbing features, and more for pups to enjoy. The facility also provides a Tiki Bar for owners to purchase drinks and has a fenced-in patio for bathroom breaks or to hang out on fair weather days.

Sociability note: This dog water park is small in size, which means your dog might not be able to make space from other pets if they aren’t interested in playing. You should only visit if you’re confident your pup is social and tolerant with unfamiliar dogs.

Paradise Ranch Pet Resort Water Park

  • Address: 10268 La Tuna Canyon Rd, Sun Valley, California
  • Hours: 9 am - 5:30 pm
  • Off leash? Yes
  • Activities: Off-leash play, daycare, boarding
  • Entrance fee? Open to daycare and boarding clients

Paradise Ranch Pet Resort boasts that they’re like an amusement park for dogs — especially because of their water park featuring fountains and pools for interactive fun. Daycare and boarding pups have the opportunity to splash around with staff and fellow dog friends.

Sociability note: This dog water park is small in size, which means your dog might not be able to make space from other pets if they aren’t interested in playing. You should only visit if you’re confident your pup is social and tolerant with unfamiliar dogs.

Pet Coral Water Park

  • Address: 924 Del Prado Blvd. S., Cape Coral, Florida
  • Hours: 7 am - 6 pm on weekdays
  • Off leash? Yes
  • Activities: Off-leash play, swimming, boarding
  • Entrance fee? Varies by package

Pet Coral Water Park takes advantage of the warm, sunny Florida weather — it’s an outdoor park with a swimming pool for exercise and plenty of other fun features to keep dogs entertained.

Sociability note: This dog water park is small in size, which means your dog might not be able to make space from other pets if they aren’t interested in playing. You should only visit if you’re confident your pup is social and tolerant with unfamiliar dogs.

Country Kennels Dawg Water Park

  • Address: 25817 Washington Ave, Murrieta, California
  • Hours: Open swim 1 pm - 5:30 pm Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday
  • Off leash? Yes
  • Activities: Off-leash play, swimming, boarding, grooming, training
  • Entrance fee? $20

Country Kennels Dawg Water Park features an in-ground saltwater pool, a diving dog, multiple waterspouts, and more in the California sun. Custom hills, tunnels, and other obstacles make for great exercise while pups chase around their friends — and the entire area has sprinklers to help keep the ground from getting hot and hurting your dog’s paws. This dog water park is open to the public during certain hours and can also be reserved for special events ahead of time.

Sociability note: This dog water park is small in size, which means your dog might not be able to make space from other pets if they aren’t interested in playing. You should only visit if you’re confident your pup is social and tolerant with unfamiliar dogs.

Amaysn Acres (private Sniffspot dog park with ponds)

  • Location: Kansas City, Missouri
  • Size: 9 acres
  • Fenced: Partially

Amaysn Acres is a huge private Sniffspot complete with a fishing and swimming pond. Walking trails meander through the woods and allow your dog to run freely, investigate smells, and take a dip if they get too hot.

Fully Fenced Turf with Pool (private Sniffspot dog water park)

  • Location: Richardson, Texas
  • Size: 0.11 acres
  • Fenced: Yes

This Sniffspot might be on the small side compared to some expansive options, but what it lacks in open space it makes up for tenfold in amenities! The yard is surfaced with dog-safe turf to prevent your dog’s paws from getting muddy or sore — and the pool is open to guests as well.

Breathtaking Dog Oasis (private Sniffspot dog park with pond)

  • Location: New Albany, Indiana
  • Size: 4 acres
  • Fenced: No

An entire third of this four-acre property is a massive pond for your dog to splash around in! Surrounding the water is plenty of soft green grass to provide a cushion while your pup runs and help minimize muddy paws on the drive home.

Joanna’s Private Dog Adventure Space (private Sniffspot dog park with creek)

  • Location: Frankfort, Illinois
  • Size: 9 acres
  • Fenced: No

This unfenced private dog park has a creek running through the property where your dog can wade, swim, and cool off during a midwestern summer. Guests note that this spot can get a little muddy sometimes, but the cleanup is worth the joy of watching their dogs zoom around.

Meracle Acres (private Sniffspot dog park with ponds)

  • Location: Dousman, Wisconsin
  • Size: 50 acres
  • Fenced: No

Meracle Acres is a huge private dog park with 50 acres of woods, trails, and ponds dotted throughout the property. The hosts note wild animal sightings sure to keep your dog on their toes, along with patches of grass, sand, and all the other midwest terrain you could dream of.

Note that this area is not fenced, so you’ll want to make sure your dog has a solid recall before you visit.

Sauvie Island (private Sniffspot dog park with a river)

  • Location: Portland, Oregon
  • Size: 40 acres
  • Fenced: No

This huge expanse of private land is alongside a beautiful river, with flat walking areas to make taking in nature enjoyable for you and your pup. You can choose to take a two-mile loop around the property or a shorter route only on the beachfront.

Note that this area is not fenced, so you’ll want to make sure your dog has a solid recall before you visit.

Luoma Cedar Forest and Water Park (private Sniffspot dog park with water features)

  • Location: Olympia, Washington
  • Size: 17 acres
  • Fenced: Partially

The hosts of this private dog park say it’s a magical cedar forest with many small trails encircling natural springs, streams, and even a waterfall. The lower part of the property includes shoreline for saltwater playtime — and there is also a large, grassy pasture. No neighbors in sight once you head down the lane.

Country Canine Getaway Pond (private Sniffspot dog park with a pond)

  • Location: Holtwood, Pennsylvania
  • Size: 5 acres
  • Fenced: Yes

This fully fenced area includes a large pond where your dog can swim, wade, and enjoy all of the smells. Five acres provide plenty of space to frolic!

Search all dog water park Sniffspot listings

Sniffspot has tons of private dog parks with some sort of stream, pond, or other water feature — and because they’re private properties hosted by vetted hosts, you’ll never have to worry about incidents with other dogs or people.

Browse all dog water park options by clicking this link and filtering by water!

FAQ About Public Dog Parks in the United States

Are dog water parks good for dogs?

It is important for dogs to have off-leash exercise and plenty of opportunities to explore. But the free and open nature of public dog parks can have drawbacks.

Many dog behaviorists discourage visiting public dog parks and recommend Sniffspot's private dog parks. With Sniffspot, dogs can get their exercise safely — without worrying about other dogs, people, or potential disease transmission.

What are the biggest concerns with public dog parks?

While the popularity of dog parks has been skyrocketing in the United States, so has the number of professional trainers who caution against their use. The top risks associated with public off-leash dog parks are that:

  • Dog parks can create an unnatural social environment
  • Busy dog parks can overwhelm shy or nervous dogs
  • Dog parks can exacerbate problem behaviors like leash reactivity
  • Bad experiences at a dog park can also create behavior problems in the first place
  • Public dog parks can lead to physical injuries and illnesses

(Thankfully, private dog parks don’t have these concerns. Learn more about Sniffspot listings in your area here!)

How do dog water parks create an unnatural social environment for dogs?

Many owners are drawn to dog parks because they want to socialize their pets. We’re inundated with messages of the “perfect” friendly dog. Our social media feeds feature viral videos of animal best friends that echo the cutesy movies we loved as children — but they often show a false reality.

While dogs are social mammals, it’s typically not natural for them to regularly engage in play with strangers. Dog sociability can be viewed as a sliding scale:

  • Some dogs are truly dog social. This means they genuinely enjoy interaction with almost every dog they meet! We tend to think these dogs are more common than they really are — they’re the ones we most see out and about because they can handle the widest range of environments.
  • Most dogs are dog tolerant or dog selective. They don’t often seek out new friends, but they can comfortably interact with other dogs when needed after a proper introduction process. (You can read more about properly introducing dogs who don’t know each other in this article.)
  • Some dogs are dog aggressive. They might live with or know a few specific canine friends, but they don’t generally enjoy being around their own species.

Ultimately: It’s perfectly normal for our dogs to not want to play with other pets outside of our families. Renting a private dog park just for your dog and a few trusted friends might be the best option.

How can public dog parks overwhelm shy or nervous dogs?

Owners have great intentions when they bring their nervous dogs to the dog park in hopes of building social skills. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much for that plan to backfire.

Because dog parks are often busy, chaotic environments, it can be difficult to ensure all interactions are positive. Uncertain dogs are easily overwhelmed by large packs — if the space is fenced-in without adequate space to flee, these pets can quickly feel trapped or resort to the “fight” option of fight-or-flight reactions.

After a few stressful experiences, previously shy dogs can lose trust in their owners and even become fear aggressive.

Sniffspot takes these risks seriously. That’s why all of our private dog park listings are carefully booked to make sure there’s ample time between arrivals and departures — and you can filter listings by whether or not your dog is likely to see any other animals at all, even from afar.

Do public dog parks exacerbate problem behaviors like leash reactivity?

It’s not just nervous dogs who can be harmed by dog park visits — exuberant dogs might struggle in these environments, too.

Many social dogs struggle with excitement-based leash reactivity. When they see another dog, they want to say hi! When the leash prevents them from doing so, they experience something called barrier frustration. Eventually this boils over into an aggressive-looking display that makes it difficult to go on walks or explore public spaces.

While playing with other dogs can be an important part of a social pet’s fulfillment, too much unstructured off-leash time can have unintended consequences when they routinely practice running up to other dogs.

These risks are especially high when owners take their dogs to the dog park with the intent of tiring them out. Pets often arrive in an amped-up, energetic state of mind that impairs good decision making.

Can one bad experience at a public dog water park have a lasting effect on a dog?

Even a previously social dog might develop a behavior issue (like fear reactivity) due to a negative interaction with another dog at a public dog park. Perhaps they get subtly bullied, feel overwhelmed, or are even bit — and they decide to preemptively try to keep other dogs away from them. Now your social dog is selective or even aggressive toward others.

While some dogs seem to let those negative interactions roll off their back (especially if they’ve been well socialized since puppyhood) others are affected in lasting ways. Each dog and situation is different.

What are the risks of physical injuries and illnesses at public dog water parks?

Public dog parks also increase the chances of pets sustaining injury or developing infection.

Dog park injuries

While many dog-dog injuries at dog parks are accidental — canines can be mismatched in size, inadvertently break skin while wrestling with untrimmed nails, or simply come on too strong without realizing — others are overtly aggressive.

Even friendly dogs can start fights by failing to recognize another pet’s signals of discomfort. Resource guarding over food and toys can turn into a dangerous scuffle. Sometimes heightened arousal from being in a large social group elevates even a typically clear-headed dog’s prey drive.

Dog park illnesses

No matter how hard a city works to keep their parks clean, it’s impossible to fully eliminate all infection risk. This is especially true in dog-designated spaces that see dozens, or perhaps hundreds, of different canines each week.

There’s no way to confirm that every dog entering an off-leash space has been fully vaccinated — and bacterial diseases like leptospirosis often thrive in wet, muddy terrain that’s been torn up by paws.

Young puppies and elderly dogs have the greatest chance of getting sick.

Are all public dog water parks dangerous?

While dog parks certainly come with their risks, it would be unfair to claim they’re always a bad idea. Public dog parks do serve an important community service in cities.

Some areas lend themselves to safe interactions better than others — large plots of land with acres to maneuver are less dangerous than fenced-in city runs, for example — and responsible owner involvement can make a world of difference.

What are public dog water parks good for?

Well-maintained off-leash dog parks can provide dogs and owners with:

  • Biological fulfillment. At their best, dog parks provide an opportunity to fulfill our dogs’ natural canine instincts (running, sniffing, digging, etc.) without impacting others in shared spaces. This can be especially valuable if owners don’t have a yard of their own or walking trails nearby.
  • Playtime. While most dogs don’t want to play with strangers, some particularly outgoing canines might enjoy playing with brand-new friends. A small percentage of truly “dog social” dogs are good candidates for traditional dog parks.
  • Distraction training. Dog parks can be an ideal place to practice advanced training, like recalls, around the distractions of other dogs, people, and nature scents.
  • Owner connections. Many owners enjoy the human social aspect of the dog park — and public spaces enable those relationships without the costs commonly associated with formal group training classes or dog sports practices.

How can I keep my dog safe at a public dog water park?

If choosing to use a public dog park, you can do a lot to manage your dog’s safety:

  • Make an honest assessment of your dog’s sociability. Are they one of the small portion of dogs that gets along with all other animals?
  • Make sure your dog is up to date on vaccines to protect them against any bugs that may be present in the park.
  • Choose an appropriate public dog park. Make sure that it is large enough and free from obvious hazards.
  • Assess the dog park and other owners before entering. Are there any maintenance issues in the park that could be a problem? Is it overly crowded? Are there owners that are not keeping a close eye on their dog? Are there dogs that could be an issue for your dog or others?
  • Keep a close watch and be an active part of your dog's play.

FAQ About Private Dog Parks in the United States

Are private dog parks safe?

While public dog parks have a number of safety issues, such as potentially aggressive dogs and disease transmission, Sniffspot dog parks are much safer.

Sniffspot bookings are private for just you and dogs you bring. We require every dog to be vaccinated (or have equivalent titers). All Sniffspot locations are vetted and reviewed by guests so you can find the perfect safe place for you and your dog.

How do I know if a Sniffspot private dog park works for my dog?

You can filter Sniffspot dog parks by fencing and distractions.

  • If your dog is still working on their recall, you can visit one of our fully fenced private dog parks.
  • If your dog is reactive to other dogs, you can visit one of our off-leash areas where there are no dogs audible or visible nearby. You can also filter locations to avoid other domestic animals and people.

We recommend reading reviews and reaching out to the host ahead of time with any questions!

Can I rent a private field for my dog to run?

You sure can! There are Sniffspot fields all over the country where dogs can be off leash safely. Filter for flat, open spaces near you at this link.

Are there private dog agility courses for rent near me?

Sniffspot has dog parks with agility equipment and/or dog obstacles in most cities in the United States. You can filter for these spots at our main listings page.

Haley photo


April 04, 2023

Dog Enrichment

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Sniffspot is a community marketplace that enables anyone to rent land by-the-hour as a safe and private dog park.

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