My Owen, like many doggies, loves adventure. From the beach to the mountains- even to the vet- he’s always ready to scamper into the car and head out with his favorite family. But the mountains and beach take a little bit more time and planning, and the boy can’t be at the vet every day, so to give him time to sniff around and hang out with other dogs, we take him to one of the local dog parks in our area.
Living in Los Angeles County, there are a number of dog parks that are easily accessible to us. LA is pretty dog-friendly, and it is not unusual to see dogs hanging out on the patios of the local coffee shops and even at retail stores. With our boy being so large, and with most stores restricting canine welcome to certified service animals, we do not take Owen to retail shops other than PetSmart. For us, the dog park and a stop at the Starbucks drive thru for coffee and pupaccinos is a perfect quick outing.
With that, I’ve compiled a list of our favorite dog parks. These are in the area around Pasadena, close to Interstate 210/California 134.
South Paw-sadena Dog Park- 650 Stoney Dr, South Pasadena, CA 91030
This is one of the first dog parks to which we ever took Owen. This park has separate sections for small and special needs dogs as well as large dogs. The park is open from 6:00 am until 10:00 pm daily. The areas are dirt, but there is a cute doggy playground and a pet drinking fountain. The large dog area is really spacious, with plenty of room for your furry buddy to run around and catch tennis balls. The other great thing about this park is that it is in close proximity to the Arroyo Seco Trail. The trail is flat and dog friendly, even as it is used as a popular riding and running trail. Our boy has enjoyed many a twilight walk on the Arroyo Trail after some playtime at the dog park. The park is well-lit after dark, so it is a good place for an after dinner trip.
Alice’s Dog Park at Vina Vieja Park- 3026 E Orange Grove Bl, Pasadena, CA 91107
The Alice Frost Kennedy Dog Park is a long favorite of ours, and is probably our most visited dog park. It is about four miles from our home and in close proximity to our favorite Target in East Pasadena. The park itself is beautiful, with a stunning view of the mountains to the north. Vina Vieja Park features a playground and picnic area, but is not a very large park. That said the dog park is spacious and green, with grass covering much of both the big dog and small dog areas. There are benches for humans to relax on as their dogs play, with shaded areas. There are also a few nice trees for shade and territory marking. Alice’s is open from 6:00 am-10:00 pm Wednesday through Monday. Tuesdays the park is closed for routine maintenance. One thing to note, however, the dog park is not well-lit after dark. You’d want to bring a flashlight or stick with a daytime visit. For those who like Pokemon GO, the dog park is a PokeStop and there are several others in the playground area.
Eagle Rock Dog Park- 1100 Eagle Vista Drive, Eagle Rock, CA 90041
The Eagle Rock Dog Park is one of the few that we have been to that does not have separate areas for large and small dogs. This was not a problem for Owen as he is generally well-behaved around all dogs off-leash. When on leash, he can get a bit anxious around smaller dogs, especially those that are barkers, but like many dogs, he tends to chill out a bit when off duty, so to speak.
What I particularly liked about Eagle Rock were all the wooded hills that Owen could run up on. That added to the sense of adventure and gave me a bit of a workout as I chased him up the hill. The park was green with artificial turf that was kept pretty clean and a rock river adorned the walkway. The park features many benches, a few shaded, for humans to sit and hang out. There were many dogs on both of the days we visited, but there was plenty of space for the pups to roam and play. The other great thing about this park is that is is part of the Eagle Rock Recreation Center, so there is plenty of space for a nice walk after a trip to the dog park. The park is open from 5:00 am-7:00 pm. These hours are perfect in the summer and early fall. The park is not well-lit after the sun goes down.
Some things to consider:
The dog park is a great way to help your dog to socialize and get some exercise. That said, there are some rules of the pack. These are from the City of South Pasadena site, but are also applicable in the other recommendations here.
Owners must be in attendance at all times within the dog park while their dogs are present.
Owners must be in the park, within view of, and be able to maintain voice and/or physical control of their dog(s).
All dogs must be maintained on a leash while entering and exiting the designated off-leash area.
Owners must have a visible leash at all times.
Owners are required to immediately pick up and dispose of their dog’s waste in the provided waste receptacles.
Owners are personally liable for any damage and/or injury caused by their dogs.
Owners must deter their dog(s) from digging any holes.
No aggressive dog behavior is allowed at any time such as growling, snarling, snapping, lunging, biting, humping, or hysterical barking. Vicious dogs are not permitted.
No animals other than dogs are permitted in the dog park.
No female dogs in heat are allowed in off-leash areas.
No food of any kind is allowed in the dog park. Smoking and alcohol are prohibited within the dog park.
All dogs must wear a collar with a valid license tag.
Puppies under 4 months of age are not permitted in the dog park.
Children 14 and under must be supervised by an adult at all times. Parents and/or guardian of children shall not be permitted to run, shout, scream, or wave their arms or otherwise excite or antagonize dogs.
Any person or canine using the dog park must do so at their own risk.
Owners must ensure that the dog park gates are closed and latched upon entering or exiting the area.
You know your dog best. The dog park is a fun activity for many dogs and their families. We have a great time with our boy, as well as many of the other friendly big dogs. Just be aware of your surroundings, and like when at the playground with kids, keep an eye on your canine companion. And after your visit to the dog park, be sure to stop at your local Starbucks for a Pup Cup. Happy tails.