If you’re like me, you have two major thoughts in life. One is, “When will I see my dog again?” and the other is, “Oh look, a strange dog! I wonder if I can pet it?” With my affinity for canine companions not being a secret, I wanted to take the opportunity to show you how to spoil your dog this summer with a trip to one of Rhode Island’s many dog parks for all the barkaholics out there.
Now it goes without saying but, a reminder: When going to a dog park, make sure you follow the rules. Vaccinate your pets before coming, bring water, make sure your dog is leashed when entering and exiting the park. Flea and tick preventives don’t hurt either.
To start, let’s head down to South County. The South Kingstown Dog Park in Wakefield features large open areas and has a reputation for being incredibly clean. There’s a small dog area and a large dog area and there are plenty of people who swear it’s the best park in RI. Plus, if your dog likes visitors, once people start flocking here for tourist season, your furry friend might meet a new paw-pal, and don’t forget the Charlestown Dog Park, which has a whole acre — all for the dogs.
Smack dab in the middle of the state is the Warwick City Dog Park. A great space for dogs, but be mindful that it’s made up of dirt more than grass. It’s been my experience that dogs love this for the pure joy of getting dusty; owners who have to bathe longer-coated dogs might find this a slight annoyance. But remember, when the pup is happy, we’re all happy.
Of course, if you decide to cross the bridge and be daring — there’s also Newport Dog Park.
Two more stops a little closer to the city are the Pawtucket Dog Park in Slater Park. I am obsessed with this park and the dog park is across a parking lot from the lake. There are plenty of great trails in this park, too, and great shade — so it provides a nice scene while your dog gets their exercise on.
In Barrington, there’s the Barrington Dog Park in Haines Park. This is a huge open field and the dogs go crazy running around. It’s green and lush and hidden away so there’s plenty of time to just enjoy some bonding time with your dog.
In Providence you can head to four dog parks, the Bell Street Dog Park resides behind Bell Street Chapel and provides benches for the human counterparts. Then there’s the Dexter Training Grounds with Dexter Dog Park off of Mineral Spring Avenue. There’s also the Gano Street Dog Park with separate areas for large and small doggos.
And last but not least, this writer’s favorite is the Waterman Street Dog Park on the East Side of Providence (or more specifically, at the entrance to Henderson Bridge) where dogs can run off-leash. Not only is there a large space for free-running, but there are also wooded areas that provide shade for cool days and if you have a dog like mine, lots of opportunities for hide-and-seek. Or hide-and-“Winston, where the hell are you?!” as I like to call it.
Grab your leashes and get to the park, cause remember: Sun’s out, tongue’s out!