Dog Parks in New York City: How Dog-Friendly is NYC?

Things to Do With Dogs in New York City

New York City, often celebrated for its dynamism and cultural melting pot, has another facet that's rapidly gaining attention: its embrace of our canine companions. The sprawling metropolis has been evolving its urban landscape to cater to the needs of dog owners and their furry friends, so whether human or canine, moving to New York City is an increasingly appealing proposition. This article dives deep into the dog-friendly amenities and locales that have transformed NYC into a canine-loving urban haven.

Best Neighborhood Dog Parks in New York City

Having a place to take a four-legged friend to exercise and socialize is especially important in New York City. The majority of Big Apple residents live in high-rise condos or NYC townhomes, so they don't have a yard to let their dogs loose. 

Fortunately, many of New York City's best parks have some dog-friendly space. Here are some of the best neighborhood dog parks in the city.

Central Park

Central Park is a massive, iconic park in the heart of Manhattan, surrounded by some of the most expensive neighborhoods in New York City. While there are no fenced-in dog runs, there are many locations where dogs are allowed off-leash, so long as they remain under their owner's control. The Central Park Conservancy maintains a map of all the locations within this 843-acre park where dogs are allowed off-leash during certain hours. 

Dogs must remain on a leash between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. However, dogs can explore off-leash in designated areas between 6:00–9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.–1:00 a.m. 

It is also important to know that there are many areas in the park where dogs are prohibited. For example, dogs are not allowed on the Great Oval Lawn or the ball fields. They are also not allowed on the running track that circles the reservoir. Signs clearly mark areas where dogs are prohibited. Owners should always keep their current dog license and proof of rabies vaccination with them.

Central Park Additional Information

  • Address: Central Park, New York, NY
  • Hours: Open daily from 6:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. 
  • Dogs are allowed off-leash from 6:00–9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.–1:00 a.m.

Madison Square Park Dog Run

Be sure to take some time to visit Jemmy's Dog Run on the west side of Madison Square Park. This park is located in the Flatiron District, and it’s highly convenient for those living in NoMad, the Gramercy Park neighborhood, and more. The dog run, named after James "Jemmy" Madison, has separate fenced areas for large and small dogs. There are double-gated entrances and exits, with the perimeter of the dog run surrounded by many trees and umbrellas to provide shade.

The dog run is open year-round for residents and their pooches to enjoy. It has a gravel surface, which is easier on a pet's joints than pavement. There is also a water feature, which allows dogs to stay cool and hydrated. There are numerous shaded benches for owners to enjoy.

Madison Square Park Dog Run Additional Information

  • Address: 11 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10010
  • Hours: Open daily from 6:00 a.m.–11:00 p.m.

Tompkins Square Dog Run

The historic Tompkins Square Dog Run inside Tompkins Square Park resides in the Alphabet City portion of the trendy East Village neighborhood. It was the first dog run in New York City when it opened in 1990. Currently, all of the maintenance for the run is through private donations and grants from the community. As a result, this is truly one of the nicest off-leash dog areas in the city.

The park has separate fenced-in areas for large and small dogs, with double-gated entrances. There is a large area for dogs to run and play, with a gentle surface of decomposed granite sand. 

Pets can cool off in one of three doggie swimming pools or by running around in the sprinklers that operate during the late spring and summer. There are also areas to bathe the dogs before taking them back home. 

Tompkins Square Dog Run Additional Information

  • Address: 99 ½ St. Marks Place, New York, NY 10009
  • Hours: Open daily from 6:00–12:00 a.m.

Prospect Park Dog Beach

Prospect Park has been an iconic urban park in Brooklyn since it opened in 1867. This 527-acre park—bordered by the Prospect Heights neighborhood to the north and the Flatbush area to the south—has multiple dog-friendly areas, including a fenced-in dog run and a dog beach. Dogs are allowed off-leash in several park areas, including Long Meadow, Nethermead, and the Peninsula, except in marked areas or on the ball fields.

Dog Beach in Long Meadow is another place where dogs can explore off-leash. It is fenced-in and has a great swimming hole for dogs to cool off in the summer.

Off-leashed times in these unfenced areas are from 6–9 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.–1:00 a.m. daily. Dogs must stay on a leash at all other times.

Nearby, the Kensington Dog Run is a dedicated dog park where pups can always run around off-leash. It has separate areas for large and small dogs, pet-friendly turf, double-gated entrances, and drinking fountains. 

Prospect Park Dog Beach Additional Information

  • Address: 95 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, NY 11215
  • Hours: Open daily from 6:00–1:00 a.m. 
  • Dogs are allowed off-leash from 6:00–9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.–1:00 a.m.

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Brooklyn Bridge Park has two dog runs available at opposite ends of the park. On the Dumbo neighborhood side of the park is the Main Street Dog Run. The Pier 6 Dog Run is located less than a mile away on Pier 6, and it’s bordered by the Brooklyn Heights community. The runs are closed briefly each morning for routine maintenance, which includes cleaning the steps, turf, surfaces, and dog bowls.

Both runs have artificial turf and some sloped areas for running and playing. Each one has large and small dog areas fenced in for safety. Dogs must be on a leash at Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Brooklyn Bridge Park Additional Information

  • Address: Brooklyn Bridge Park Greenway, Brooklyn, NY 11201
  • Pier 6 Dog Run: 334 Furman St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Dog-Friendly Activities in NYC

New York City Dog-Friendly Activities

There are many great places to go sightseeing and take a leashed dog along in New York City. 

  • The Brooklyn Bridge Promenade: Take a walk on the promenade and enjoy some of the best views of the New York City skyline. Dogs in a carrier or muzzled can ride on the free Staten Island Ferry. 
  • Wall Street: Owners can also take their leashed pet for a stroll along Wall Street in the Financial District. Check out the iconic statues of the Charging Bull and the Fearless Girl. It's just a short walk from Wall Street to check out The Battery. 
  • Coney Island: The Coney Island boardwalk is a fun place to take a leashed dog for a walk. The area is open year-round to leashed dogs, and they are even allowed on the beach from October 1–May 1.

The American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog is on Park Avenue in Manhattan’s Murray Hill neighborhood. Dogs are not allowed in the museum during regular hours, but they hold events periodically when pets can come along.

Dog-Friendly Restaurants in NYC

After a visit to Jemmy's Dog Run in Madison Square Park, stop by the original Shack Shack. The very first Shake Shack in the country is right on the other side of the Madison Square Fountain from the run. In addition to burgers and shakes, they serve specialty dog biscuits. Pets are welcome in the outdoor seating area.

Other dog-friendly restaurants in New York include: 

  • Cookshop: The Cookshop in Chelsea has a very dog-friendly atmosphere in its outdoor seating area. They serve New American fare made from fresh ingredients. 
  • The Barking Dog: Located in the Highgate Building just a few blocks east of Central Park, the Barking Dog is a very canine-friendly eating establishment. The venue has installed doggie drinking fountains in its large outdoor seating area. 
  • The Wilson NYC: The Wilson NYC is in Flatiron and features gourmet dog-friendly menu items. Pet owners can order their pets a ribeye steak, a chicken breast, or even pan-seared salmon. Pupsicle frozen treats and dog biscuits are some of the other items on the menu.
  • Boris & Horton: Boris & Horton is New York's very first dog-friendly cafe just a few blocks from Tompkins Square Dog Park. They have a coffee shop, free WiFi, and beer and wine. Pets are allowed inside the cafe, and Boris & Horton sells a variety of treats, chew toys, and other doggie items in one section of the shop.

Dog-Friendly Shopping in NYC

New York City Dog-Friendly Shopping

There are several dog-friendly places to shop in New York City. 

  • Anthropologie: This popular women's store offers clothing, accessories, home decor, and furniture, in addition to items that are dog-themed and dog-friendly. Leashed pets are welcome inside the stores.
  • Bloomingdale's: Bloomingdale’s is another dog-friendly store where owners can bring a leashed pet along while they shop. It offers furniture and home goods, clothing, accessories, cosmetics, and more. 
  • Bergdorf Goodman: The Bergdorf Goodman store on 5th Avenue in New York is another pet-friendly venue. The store, located just off Central Park near the Upper East Side, is known for its high-end shoes, handbags, accessories, and clothing for women. 
  • LUSH: There are several LUSH locations in Manhattan, and every one of them is dog-friendly. LUSH sells ethically sourced cosmetic care products.
  • Macy’s: Macy's department stores have locations nationwide, but the flagship location, founded in 1858, resides in Midtown South in New York City. This ten-story venue takes up an entire city block, and leashed, well-behaved dogs are allowed inside. 
  • Nordstrom: Nordstrom at 57th and Broadway keeps dog treats and bones at the front door. So long as pets are leashed and well-behaved, they are allowed anywhere inside Nordstrom. 

Keep in mind that these dog-friendly shopping experiences do require well-behaved dogs. 

Pet-Friendly Lodging in NYC

Several hotels in New York City offer pre-friendly lodging, including the Loews Regency, the Wall Street Hotel, and the Soho Grand Hotel. 

  • Loews Regency: Loews Regency is located on Park Avenue, just a few blocks east of Central Park. Loews Regency features perks like the Loews Loves Pets program, which provides pet beds, litter boxes, cat-scratching posts, chew toys, and even a special pet menu.
  • Wall Street Hotel: The Wall Street Hotel New York City is another high-end luxury hotel that is very dog-friendly. They provide dog beds, toys, and water bowls in the room. There are numerous parks and grassy spaces near the hotel for pet relief.
  • Soho Grand Hotel: The Soho Grand Hotel has its own off-leash dog park on its SoHo neighborhood property. The rooms at the Soho Grand come stocked with pet foods, organic treats, bedding, and water bowls. Best of all? Pets stay completely free on pet-dedicated floors.

There are just three of the many hotels in New York City that offer pet-friendly accommodations. 

The Dog-Friendly Big Apple

New York City's commitment to its four-legged residents is undeniable. With an expanding range of dog-friendly amenities and dedicated spaces in NYC’s most popular neighborhoods, the city ensures that man's best friend feels just as at home amidst the skyscrapers and bustling streets. As the city continues its forward march, it carves a special place for these beloved pets, redefining urban living for dog enthusiasts and making NYC a premier metropolitan hub for both two- and four-legged inhabitants.

Ready to call New York City home? Contact the Bizzarro Agency at (917) 979-2259 to get in touch with an NYC real estate agent and discover your New York dream home today.

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