by Nadya Bennett
When signs of summer start to appear, most of us begin to think about warm days, cool nights, vacations and of course, swimming pools and beaches. There is nothing like lounging in cool, relaxing water on a hot day.
Well, your canine friend feels that heat just as much as we do and may love to take a dip! The question becomes – where can I take my dog to swim that is not only clean, but safe as well. Some towns are starting to not only open off-leash dog parks but also some have good old-fashioned swimming holes for your dogs to romp around in. We’ve done the research for you and have found a few places that the pooches (and their humans) seem to like the best. Each park will have their own set of rules so please make sure you are aware of them and follow them as required.
Privately owned dog park with swimming area (daily or annual fee charged)
– Bark till Dark Dog Park (Delaware) – A private 6 fenced acres with an acre pond. Open 7 days a week, year round. All dogs must be spayed/neutered and up to date on shots. Visit their website at www.barktildarkdogpark.com.
Public dog parks with swimming areas (no fee required)
– Prairie Oaks MetroPark – Darby Bends Lake area (Plain City) – This Franklin County MetroPark has an unfenced dog swimming area with lake access. Visit their website at http://www.metroparks.net/ParksPrairieOaks.aspx.
– Alum Creek Dog Park (Lewis Center) – A 4-acre free public dog park that includes fully fenced areas for small & large dogs and a dog beach at the lake. All areas have shade trees and benches. Drinking water is provided seasonally. It is a free park that is open 7 days a week from dawn to dusk except during the Alum Creek Fantasy of Lights (Nov – Dec) when it closes at 4pm. Visit Alum Creek’s website at www.alumcreekdogpark.com
– Pooch Playground @ Pizzurro Park (Columbus) – A 4 acre fenced area where dogs may run off-leash. It contains a separate fenced area for small dogs 25 pounds or less and an agility area for all dogs. Dogs are also permitted to swim in the creek that runs along the park. Although this area isn’t fenced, your swimming dog can have a great time here. They share this area with people who like to fish so watch out for stray lines and hooks. It is a free park that is open 7 days a week from dawn to dusk. It is operated and maintained by the Gahanna Parks and Recreation Department.