News & Politics  |  Pets

4 Great Dog Parks Around DC

Photograph of dogs by Shutterstock.
Our Favorite Parks

About Our Favorite Parks

This article is a part of Washingtonian’s feature: Our Favorite Parks. Our editors and staff pulled together the best regional parks where you can take a walk, have a picnic, play with the kids, and enjoy the great outdoors.

We asked Jennifer Makeeff, owner of DC Dog Sitter—which not only walks dogs but takes them on adventures—to help us select some favorites.

S Street Dog Park

Pro: At 17th and S, Northwest, this DC park has Astro­Turf, which Makeeff says is typically gentle on paws and doesn’t get muddy.

Con: It’s small and can get crowded, plus after stretches without rain, the Astro­Turf may smell of urine.

Shaw Dog Park

Pro: This District park on 11th be­tween Q and R streets, Northwest, has separate areas for large and small dogs. “We like that there’s space to run,” Makeeff says.

Con: The surface is crushed stone, which she says can get stuck in paws and can get messy, especially after rain.

Shirlington Dog Park

Pro: This park in South Arlington has lots of room for the animals to run as well as separate areas for large and small dogs.

Con: Some owners may be inattentive, she says, and some dogs aggressive. Plus, the water there can have elevated bacteria levels in warm months and after storms.

Towers Dog Park

Pro: This South Arlington park is shady and grassy and has room for dogs to run. It’s next to tennis courts, and there are often old tennis balls to play with.

Con: “Nothing,” Makeeff says. “This is one of our favorite parks right now.”

This article appears in the May 2019 issue of Washingtonian.

Editor in chief

Sherri Dalphonse joined Washingtonian in 1986 as an editorial intern, and worked her way to the top of the masthead when she was named editor-in-chief in 2022. She oversees the magazine’s editorial staff, and guides the magazine’s stories and direction. She lives in DC.