While New Orleans has no dearth of dogs, or even dog-friendly establishments, its number of dog parks is minimal compared to other urban areas. Much like their human counterparts, many New Orleans canines are social animals. And with the heavenly weather we’ve had this week, there’s no better time to get out and enjoy the city.
If your dog has a case of spring fever, you would do well to check out the following city-recognized parks, where it’s perfectly legal to go off-leash:
CITY BARK (30 Zachary Taylor Drive, located within City Park)
This is the undisputed champion of New Orleans dog parks. At nearly five acres, with plentiful water fountains, fastidious landscaping, a separate area for small dogs, a sandpit, shampoo platforms, and even above-ground doggie pools, City Bark is the canine equivalent to a four-star hotel. It lacks any on-site restaurant, or else it would probably qualify for that fifth star.
Quality comes with a (fair) price, though. Entrance to City Bark requires membership. Annual passes start at $48 for a family with one dog, and require an application, which is quickly approved at nearby administrative offices, as long as you provide proof that the dog has been spayed or neutered and is up to date on vaccinations. One and two-week permits are also available for your visiting friends.
More details can be found here:
CRESCENT PARK DOG RUN (toward the river at Chartres and Piety Streets)
Like many things in the Bywater, this dog park is too cool to have a website. It is, however, a perfectly serviceable, fenced-in space where your dogs can let it all hang out. There’s a water fountain just outside the run, and plenty of bench seating for humans. Landscaping is minimal, but this park serves an invaluable function as a gathering place for downtown dogs and their owners.
WISNER DOG RUN (4877 Laurel Street)
After many years of unofficial use as a dog park, the city finally sliced off a bit of Wisner Playground for legal use as a dog run in 2013.
Like the run in Crescent Park, amenities here are minimal. Though two water fountains, two official waste drops, and a recent, volunteer-driven landscape upgrade (no more pools of muddy water) make this an attractive option for Uptown dogs and their companions.
For those in the suburbs (or those willing to drive a bit further out), Metairie offers two well-loved dog parks: Lafreniere Bark at 3000 Downs Boulevard, and the Bonnabel Boat Launch Dog Park at 1599 Bonnabel Boulevard.
At all parks mentioned, a loose set of rules applies. No outside food, drink, or toys are allowed. Children under eight years of age are prohibited from the park, as well as puppies under six months, and non-vaccinated dogs.
And like the unofficial New Orleans slogan says, “Be nice or leave.” That goes for everybody on two feet, as well.
Written by Heather Haebe, Full-Time Pet Expert, Uptown, at Sarah’s Pet Care Revolution