Minneapolis and St. Paul can get hot as heck in the summer, and sometimes a dip in a pool or pond is all but necessary to keep your brain from being addled by the heat. Unfortunately for your pup, most local beaches and public pools aren’t super cool with a canine element… but lots of Twin Cities-area dog parks have water features! Check out these Twin Cities places for dogs to swim.
1. Alimagnet Dog Park — Burnsville
Alimagnet is a top-tier puppy playground. There’s the seven-acre park, sure, but also a walking trail, heated weather shelter, a dog-washing station, and a pond for pups who prefer to splash around. The folks who frequent this place and volunteer here are so committed that they even have their own Facebook group.
2. Minnehaha Off-Leash Recreation Area — Minneapolis
How about a dip in the Mississippi? The Minnehaha dog park—a beautiful dog park in its own right—sits on the shore of this rolling river, so there’s lots of room for canine water sports. You can make it a full-day affair too!
3. Meeker Island Dog Park — St. Paul
On the St. Paul side of the Mighty Mississippi, there’s Meeker Island Dog Park, where you’ll find a dog run and a dog beach. Bordered by the river itself and steep river bluffs, Meeker Island has the nifty distinction of being an off-leash park with no fencing.
4. Bloomington Off-Leash Dog Park
Note: Swim access was fenced off during COVID-19. As of publication, the fence is still in place. Call to confirm deets. This off-leash paradise has a lot going for it, chiefly its size: It boasts 25 acres of space for running around with the pack. And yup, there’s a pond. (Just be careful if you’ve got a real swimmer, as the perimeter fence doesn’t go all the way around on the side away from the park.)
5. Battle Creek Dog Park — Maplewood
People and pups love Battle Creek, and for good reason. Here you’ll find 35 acres of dog park, all fenced in, and miles and miles of wooded trails. And they’ve got not one, not two, but three places to swim: two smaller ponds, and a larger one that’s fenced in. Great for canines with short attention spans!
6. White Bear Lake Dog Beach
Note: White Bear Lake Dog Beach is currently closed for renovations. We will pupdate the article when it reopens. This little swimming beach for dogs at Matoska Park is the perfect spot for a game of aquatic fetch. Just remember to keep your pup leashed here; they allow leads up to 30 feet.
7. The Dog Tank — Mendota Heights
If your pal would prefer to cool off indoors—or if it’s winter and he’s looking to get a swim in when the lakes are frozen—he’s got The Dog Tank. This place has a 45-foot dock diving pool and offers dock diving classes and private lessons, but you don’t have to have a super-athlete to enjoy the water. Swimming is encouraged!
Have a Splashing Good Time
Now that you know where to dip your paws in, we have a few woofs of wisdom to make sure things go swimmingly.
- Pack the essentials: People and dog sunscreen, towels, clean drinking water, and a pup first-aid kit
- Check out our guides to dog park etiquette and the unwritten rules of dog parks
- Make sure you have the proper permits (owners tell terrible tales of being fined when they didn’t know a particular permit was required for a given dog park)
- Be on the lookout for harmful blue-green algae, which can be fatal to dogs
Does your pal have a favorite dog-friendly swimming spot in the Twin Cities? Give us a woof in the comments!
Featured photo: Katrin B
Sidewalk Dog’s mission is to help dog parents spend more time with their puppers by discovering and sharing activities they can do and places they can go—together! Sniff out our award-winning newsletter and Instagram, and join our Dog-Friendly Twin Cities Facebook Group.