Off-leash dog parks are a great antidote to the couch life many of our pets enjoy. Your pup can run off pent-up energy in a fenced dog park, make new friends, and build social skills. However, the weather can be a problem. It’s often too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter for outdoor dog parks, plus they’re not always well-maintained and clean.
Luckily, indoor dog parks are here, providing an excellent alternative to the traditional park. They’re popping up around the country as the perfect year-round places for your pup to play, and some offer dog-friendly swimming pools, birthday “pawty” options for your pup, or even a cold beverage for pet parents.
Why Visit an Indoor Dog Park?
When the weather isn’t cooperating, or you’d like a nice, friendly spot for you and your pup to enjoy, a climate-controlled indoor dog park is a great place to visit.
According to Julie Burgess, certified veterinary technician for 20 years and certified dog trainer for Senior Tail Waggers, indoor dog parks have other advantages besides being all-weather friendly. “Staff can limit the number of dogs, so it’s not overcrowded,” she says. “[Having] fewer dogs and people allows your dog to interact more closely.”
Staff also monitor canine behavior to prevent fun roughhousing from turning aggressive. Plus, they keep the facility clean and disinfected.
Burgess says, “Many indoor dog parks require a membership and/or either a monthly or a per visit fee; these dog owners are looking for better ways to socialize their dog.”
A membership suggests regular attendance and a shared community where members (both dogs and humans) get to know one another. Many indoor dog parks also offer activities that encourage mingling, such as agility courses, dog water park amenities, or even a combined dog park and pub for people to socialize while their pups run and play. Some even provide doggie daycare, boarding, dog training, and bathing services.
8 Best Indoor Dog Parks
While there are many incredible indoor dog parks across the country, we’ve rounded up 8 of our favorites to highlight.
Local to the Emerald City? Skip the rain and head for this Seattle indoor dog park. It’s divided into “active play” and “gentle play” sections so you can choose an area suitable for your dog’s energy level, size, and breed. Plus, there’s another 8,000 sq ft outdoor off-leash dog park area for those who want to play in the fresh air when the weather’s nice.
Humans can enjoy a cold beer, coffee, or snacks at the bar while keeping an eye on their pup. Besides the drop-in playtime fun at the Play Park, there’s also a doggie daycare option. (Be sure to check with them about openings and/or a waitlist!)
Monthly and annual memberships are available, as well as punch cards. They include unlimited visits during Play Park hours, Monday drink specials, and priority booking for boarding. For the drop-in option, fees are $15/dog.
Greensboro, North Carolina
The dog park and pub combination seems to be cropping up everywhere, allowing busy pet parents to enjoy social time with their dogs and other people. At Doggo’s, you can take an exercise class with your dog or even host your pupper’s birthday party in an indoor or outdoor area reserved just for you. Or you and your friends (21+) can just keep it simple and sip a refreshing beverage while your pups run free. Children under 21 are welcome during specific family-friendly hours on Saturday and Sunday.
Doggo’s charges $10 per dog/day with a two-dog limit per adult. Monthly and annual memberships are available.
Got a dog who loves to swim? This suburban Chicago indoor dog park offers pups 3 in-ground heated swimming pools to paddle around for a one-on-one swim lesson with a certified coach. For those who aren’t interested in this dog water park of sorts, there’s the climate-controlled indoor dog park featuring climbing equipment, a turfed outdoor area, and a self-service dog wash. Doggie daycare (aka “Canine College”), and boarding are available.
The staff is certified in PetTec CPR/First-Aid, so they’re fully prepared in case of emergency. Memberships and packages are available, as well as a pay-by-the-visit option. The drop-in rate is $20 for the indoor dog park for non-members, and swimming starts at $45 for a single 30-minute session.
For the pup who isn’t big on other dogs or just needs some one-on-one, off-leash time with you, Bosly’s Backyard is the Chicago indoor dog park you’ve been looking for. Bosly’s is billed as a private backyard for Chicago’s urban dogs, allowing you to book the 2,400 sq ft space for just you and your dog to play, run the agility course, and just all-around bond. If you’re looking for a little more socialization, your pup can also join a small group for playtime or participate in training classes.
Choose from 30-, 45-, and 60-minute blocks of playtime at Bosly’s. Rates start at $45 for a single-session dog or $35 per session for the small group experience. Packages are available, and canine siblings can be added to your session for an extra charge.
Boasting over 5,000 sq ft of climate-controlled indoor space, this Jacksonville dog park offers plenty of room for your dog to run, play, and escape the Florida sun. There’s a bar where humans can enjoy craft beer or coffee while the pups wear themselves out, as well as an outdoor play space. Kanine Social also offers self-wash stations, dog training, boarding, doggie daycare, and the option for private parties.
Monthly and annual memberships are available for the dog park, starting at $40 a month. The membership includes tons of perks like discounts on daycare packages, drink specials, and even a free stainless steel member cup.
Austin’s reputation as a pup-friendly town doesn’t necessarily mean there are many indoor dog park options. However, they do have Work and Woof, which is a combined dog-friendly coworking spot for remote employees, as well as a weekday doggie daycare and a weekend indoor dog park. This Austin indoor dog park’s play area hours are currently limited to Saturdays from 10-5, and since Work and Woof is BYOB, it’s only open to those 21 and older.
Dog park day passes are $10, and the space is also available to rent for events – dog-related or not!
Minnesota’s first indoor/outdoor dog park, Unleashed Hops and Hounds brings people together with food, drinks, and their canine companions. Adjacent to the Minneapolis Farmers Market Annex, it features a cafe where you can order a bite and a beer or glass of wine to enjoy while your dog plays.
As you can imagine, reservations are required because space is limited, but with a full calendar of events, there’s always something happening at Unleashed. Before your visit, you do need to register your dog on the website, upload vaccination records, and reserve a spot.
Day passes start at $9.00. A bundle of 5 passes is $37, and memberships are available at $275.
MakPak is Arizona’s first indoor dog park. Part of a combination training, boarding and daycare facility, this climate-controlled dog park space offers 10,000 sq ft of indoor fun for your pup to run and play in a safe environment. MakPak is clean and supervised, so you don’t have to worry about unruly or aggressive dogs.
Like most, if not all, indoor dog parks, every dog must pass a temperament test before arriving and show proof of vaccinations. While you don’t need to sign up for a membership to access the dog park, MakPak requires an active account before you arrive.
The dog park entry rates start at $15/dog during weekdays and $20 on weekends. Monthly memberships are available.
Tips for Visiting an Indoor Dog Park
Planning on visiting an indoor dog park soon? Before you and your pup hit the park, take a look at these helpful tips to ensure a safe, successful experience.
Mind your manners. As with any public place, there is dog park etiquette (for humans and dogs) at indoor dog parks. This includes being respectful of other people and dogs.
Indoor dog parks are great for well-behaved dogs who respond well to basic commands, and many require a temperament test to ensure your dog “plays well with others.” Once there, you’ll want to pay attention to your dog’s body language. Happy dogs bounce and play. If yours is shy or aggressive, the dog park isn’t a good fit for them.
Keep current with vaccinations. Indoor dog parks require up-to-date vaccination records and sterilization of dogs over a year old. They’ll often request you upload your records to the website before you make a reservation.
Test it out. Weekdays are usually less busy at indoor dog parks, so if you want to give your pup a “test run” to see how they’ll like it, try checking it out mid-afternoon on a weekday when it probably won’t be as crowded.
Depending on the indoor dog park, the busiest times will generally be weekend afternoons or some evenings, and some even have special events that draw more of a crowd.
Check the food/drink policies. Each indoor dog park has its own rules regarding food and drinks for people and pets (including dog treats) because no one wants food-aggressive dogs causing a scuffle. Some places serve food and drinks but don’t allow you to bring in your own, and some are BYOB with exceptions. Make sure to check the website or call before you go to confirm your chosen park’s policies.
Reserve your spot. Reservations are recommended for indoor dog parks, as there is a limit to the number of dogs and people they can accommodate, so be sure to call or click ahead.