Fun Dog Activities in New York City

It's a dog's life, especially if the lucky pooch lives in or is visiting New York City. Just as there are innumerable places to go and experiences to have for people, our four-legged pets will also be dazzled by what the Big Apple offers. Grab your leash, your doggie-doo bags and Fido's favorite Frisbee and get ready to have a ball exploring New York City.



Central Park is one of the city's preeminent destinations, and by virtue of a visit there, your dog will have access to over 843 beautiful acres peppered with 26,000 trees and almost 9,000 benches. Dogs can romp freely in the park at off-leash times (9 p.m. to 9 a.m.) and get to play, roll around and chase fellow dogs in 23 dog-friendly areas, some of which also provide dog water fountains. There are also more than 30 specialized dog runs and parks in the city where your pooch can socialize, play and exercise freely. If your pup wants to cool off in the borough of Manhattan, Water4Dogs ( in Tribeca offers year-round open swim sessions at scheduled times during the week. A river-view run is also a nice activity to do with your dog, so put on your sneakers, snap a leash on your pooch and head to the pathways that run alongside the East or Hudson Rivers. Be the first to experience doga, partner yoga for dogs and their people, at Bideawee ( for a holistic exercise experience not many people or dogs can claim.


There are over 259 dining establishments in Manhattan that roll out the welcome mat for dogs at their outside tables, but some, like the city's three Barking Dog Luncheonette restaurants, even allow them inside. The only place pooches legally cannot go is in food preparation areas, so whether you're enjoying a French dinner in the Meatpacking District's Pastis (, a burger at the Shake Shack adjacent to Madison Square Park, or a leisurely Sunday brunch at Cornelia Street Café ( in the West Village, there's a cuisine and a neighborhood restaurant that will welcome you and your furry companion. If reservations are hard to come by, try a carrot ginger or liver and herb biscotti available at the Street Treats vending machines ( located throughout the city.


Trixie + Peanut ( in Midtown carries chic doggie beds, toys and clothes, even Halloween outfits, while the rarefied canine might prefer to pop into the Canine Styles ( outpost on the Upper East Side for a preppy polo shirt or yacht club tank top. No trip to the Big Apple is complete without the requisite Statue of Liberty souvenir, and Zoomies ( in the West Village allows you the chance to buy a chewable vinyl one that holds aloft a dog bone in place of her torch.


Dogs want to let loose in the city just like their owners do. Every fall, the My Dog Loves Central Park Country Fair takes place in its namesake park and allows dogs to participate in beauty contests, fashion shows, obedience contests and giveaways. Bagel Barks is a monthly event for dog owners held at different locations throughout Central Park on Saturday mornings from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m., and coffee and refreshments are provided courtesy of Central Park Paws, an organization that champions dog life in Central Park. Only in NYC is there an exclusive dog club, Fetch (, where canines can enjoy a screening of a classic dog film or, as day turns into night, party it up in their exclusive VIP members-only nightclub.

By Deborah Muller

About the Author
Deborah Muller lives in Phoenix. She has a B.A. in English and an M.S. in print journalism. Muller has written articles for "The Arizona Republic" and various online publications.