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Dog regulations and best practices

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation welcomes our four-legged friends and their owners to our properties. Review these regulations and best practices for dog activity on Parks & Rec property. Use this information to keep your pets safe and happy while protecting Philadelphia’s parks and green spaces.

Dog regulations

Two main regulations guide Parks & Rec in the management of dogs on Parks & Rec property:

  • City of Philadelphia leash laws: The City requires that dogs be on a six-foot or shorter leash and that owners clean up after their pets. See Philadelphia Code Sections 10-104 and 10-105 for the complete rules.
  • Animal-free areas regulations: Parks & Rec has the authority to designate an animal-free area anywhere within the Parks & Rec system. This does not include support, service, or guide animals. For the complete rules, view the regulations for animal-free areas.

Dogs are prohibited in animal-free areas. An animal-free area is a zone where no animals are permitted, except service animals. Animal-free areas are usually in Parks & Rec playgrounds, ballfields, spraygrounds, athletic courts, and gardens.

Best practices

Be a good neighbor and park steward:

  • Help to keep your park clean and safe for all to enjoy by picking up after your dog and using the trash cans.
  • Always obey park or playground signs.
  • Always keep control of your dog. It is the owner/handler’s responsibility.
  • Do not allow your dog to run and jump on other people or dogs uninvited.
  • Do not leave your dog unattended.
  • Do not tie your dog to fences, benches or any park furnishings.
  • Keep off wet grass.
  • Be considerate of picnickers and watch where your dog goes. Remember, urine damages grass and trees.
  • Obey City of Philadelphia licensing laws. Learn how to get a dog license from ACCT Philly.
  • Follow Commonwealth of Pennsylvania vaccination requirements. Find low-cost pet care and vaccinations.

Permitted spaces

Dogs are permitted in these locations.

Parks & Rec property

You may walk your dog anywhere on Parks & Rec property on a leash of 6 feet or shorter, unless specifically posted as an animal-free area.

Dog runs

A dog run is a dedicated, fenced-in area in a park or playground where dogs can exercise unleashed. All dog runs are managed and maintained by a local volunteer organization with oversight from Parks & Rec.

There are seven authorized dog runs on Parks & Rec properties. You must follow dog run rules posted at each facility:

If you’re interested in applying for a dog run in a Parks & Rec park, review the guidelines for requesting a dog run.