When the dog days of summer hit and high temperatures make it hard to exercise that cooped up pup, a soothing dip is just the ticket. Take your pooch to doggie paddle at the Pittsburgh area’s best Fido-friendly swimming locations, with fun extras including dog parks, swimming lessons and therapeutic treatments guaranteed to keep that furry fella on the right track all summer.
Lucky Paws Resort
2273 Lovi Rd.
Freedom, PA 15042
Price: $10 per dog per visit/$175 per dog per annual pass
Lucky Paws Resort is a private dog park with a large outdoor swimming pool. Dog guardians must be at least 13 years old here. Proof of proper canine vaccination is required, including rabies, distemper and bordatella. Pets with any parasitic infestation, such as fleas or ticks, are not permitted. No staff supervision is provided at the resort, and humans are not permitted in the pool at any time. Feel free to bring dog-friendly toys, and be sure to take them home at the end of the day. Lucky Paws Resort also offers indoor and outdoor boarding for dogs and cats.
Misty Pines Dog Park Company
2523 Wexford Bayne Rd.
Franklin Park Borough, PA 15143
Price: $6 per dog per 2 hour visit/$49 per dog per month/$69 per dog per 3 month pass/$99 per dog per 6 month pass
Misty Pines Dog Park sits on 25 well-maintained acres of wooded terrain. The company offers an array of dog-centered, water-based services, including therapy, swimming lessons and water-retrieval training — complete with a dock for dog diving — in a large, dog-friendly pond. Vaccination records must be submitted prior to the first visit. Misty Pines Dog Park Company also offers dog daycare, boarding and grooming services.
900 North Shore Dr.
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
Dog-friendly, public river access at the waterfront behind Heinz Field includes a concrete ramp right into the waterway. This is a busy, well-occupied public commons area with no lifeguards on duty. There is no fee or permit required, but the City of Pittsburgh requires that all dogs have an ownership license. The license requires proof of all necessary vaccinations. Dogs must be in the control of their caregivers at all times to ensure everyone’s safety here.
Thornburg Dog Park
Crafton, PA 15205
Though not officially sanctioned, the Thornburg Dog Park is well-known and often-frequented by local residents and their canine companions. A section of the park includes a dog-friendly creek perfect for fun puppy pictures and a little splashing around. On hot, busy days, expect a bit of a crowd, but dog owners here are generally responsible and respectful, working together to make this one of the most fun, lesser-known swimming holes in the city. There is no fee or permit required here.
Frick Park Dog Park
Braddock Avenue and Regent Square
Pittsburgh, PA 15218
Frick Park Dog Park is a public, city park accessible from the Tranquil Trail at Frick Park. A gated dog pen for off-leash play promises tons of fun, but dogs may not be left unattended. A section of the park includes a dog-friendly creek for romping, but be sure to keep pets on leash when park rules dictate. Swims here are best kept outside of the rainy season as the creek can get a little smelly when rains cause area overflow.
Related: Best Parks to Walk Your Dogs
Cheree Charmello is a native Pittsburgher. She is a teacher of Gifted Education, a Volunteerism Coordinator, and is an active volunteer. She currently teaches Technology and Writing. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.