Bark Parks

The Des Moines area has a ton of great spots to take your pet on a walk or to socialize, so we've come up with a list of the local dog parks to go visit!  Before you head out, it’s important to make sure all transmittable disease vaccinations are up to date before coming into contact with other animals. The city requires an up to date rabies certificate for your pet to be legally registered, and a lot of parks also require certain vaccinations or licenses before you can enjoy their facilities. Be sure to double check what the rules are for the place you’re hoping to visit!

(For more information on the park rules and registration, click on the dog park's name.)


Altoona Dog Park

The park is approximately one acre of fenced, off-leash play area. Features include benches, the drinking fountain and a dog waste station.

Location: 851 17th Ave SW, Altoona
Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
Requirements: Dogs must be properly licensed, inoculated and healthy. No permit required.


Ankeny Dog Park

Amenities include turf base, trees, benches, boulders, a dog waste station, and a fire hydrant. A water fountain for dogs and their owners is located at the entrance. The park is approximately 1-acre, of which nine-tenths of an acre is recommended for larger dogs. The remaining tenth of an acre is separately fenced and is recommended for smaller and senior dogs only.

Location: 1155 SW Ankeny Rd. - just north of Somersby Park.
Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
Requirements: Annual permits are $25 for Ankeny residents and $35 for non-residents. A day pass can be purchased for $5. Proof of dog license and current rabies vaccinations are required.


Ewing – Des Moines Dog Park

Ewing Dog Park

8.5 acres of fenced area for all dogs, with one acre of fenced area for dogs 20 lbs or less. Sloped terrain with mature trees and a mix of tall and short grass. Shaded open air shelter.


Location: 4660 Indianola Avenue
Hours: Open year-round, daily, 6:00 a.m. to sunset
Requirements: Annual permits are $20. Current dog license from the City of Des Moines or their home jurisdiction, up to date rabies vaccination certification is required. 


Indianola.jpg

The playground features fenced land for both small and large dogs, watering stations, waste receptacles, bag dispensers for clean-up, a shelter and picnic tables.

Location: 1710 S K St, Indianola
Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
Requirements: Annual permits are required and are $25 per dog. Proof of dog license and current rabies and parvo/distemper vaccinations are required.


The 10-acre park features a fenced in play area. It also has areas for both large and small dogs. Location: Within the Raccoon River Park at 2500 Grand Avenue in West Des Moines - just east of the softball complex. Hours: 6:30AM to Dusk Requirements: Permits are $20 for West Des Moines residents and $40 for non-residents. Proof of current parvo/distemper and rabies vaccinations are required at the time of purchase.

The 10-acre park features a fenced in play area. It also has areas for both large and small dogs.

Location: Within the Raccoon River Park at 2500 Grand Avenue in West Des Moines - just east of the softball complex.
Hours: 6:30AM to Dusk
Requirements: Permits are $20 for West Des Moines residents and $40 for non-residents. Proof of current parvo/distemper and rabies vaccinations are required at the time of purchase.

The 10-acre park features a fenced in play area. It also has areas for both large and small dogs.

Location: Within the Raccoon River Park at 2500 Grand Avenue in West Des Moines - just east of the softball complex.
Hours: 6:30AM to Dusk
Requirements: Permits are $20 for West Des Moines residents and $40 for non-residents. Proof of current parvo/distemper and rabies vaccinations are required at the time of purchase.


Reno Memorial – Des Moines Dog Park

3.5 acres of fenced area for all dogs, sloped terrain with a mix of tall and short grass, mature trees, picnic tables. Location: 3533 E. Douglas Avenue Hours: Open year-round, daily, 6:00 a.m. to sunset. Requirements: Annual permits are $20. Current dog license from the City of Des Moines or their home jurisdiction, up to date rabies vaccination certification is required.

3.5 acres of fenced area for all dogs, sloped terrain with a mix of tall and short grass, mature trees, picnic tables.

Location: 3533 E. Douglas Avenue
Hours: Open year-round, daily, 6:00 a.m. to sunset.
Requirements: Annual permits are $20. Current dog license from the City of Des Moines or their home jurisdiction, up to date rabies vaccination certification is required.

3.5 acres of fenced area for all dogs, sloped terrain with a mix of tall and short grass, mature trees, picnic tables.

Location: 3533 E. Douglas Avenue
Hours: Open year-round, daily, 6:00 a.m. to sunset.
Requirements: Annual permits are $20. Current dog license from the City of Des Moines or their home jurisdiction, up to date rabies vaccination certification is required.


Riverwalk – Des Moines Dog Park

Riverwalk

4 acres of fenced area for all dogs, on-street parking, 5’ architectural fence, 2 ADA parking stalls, 2 fenced unleashing areas, dog waste station, enclosed portable restroom, picnic tables, easy access to nearby Riverwalk and trails.

Location: 1111 Illinois Street
Hours: Open year-round, daily, 6:00 a.m. to sunset.
Requirements: Annual permits are $20. Current dog license from the City of Des Moines or their home jurisdiction, up to date rabies vaccination certification is required. 


Two separate fenced in areas, one for big dogs and one for small. This park has benches, picnic tables, and agility training structures. There are waste receptacles and water sources at Colby park, just a quick walk north of the dog park. Location: South of Colby Park and I-235, adjacent to the trail and Budget Storage. For the best access, a person should park at Colby Park, (6900 School Street) and walk on the trail south. Hours: Sunrise to Sunset Requirements: Dogs must be up to date on vaccinations. No permit required.

Two separate fenced in areas, one for big dogs and one for small. This park has benches, picnic tables, and agility training structures. There are waste receptacles and water sources at Colby park, just a quick walk north of the dog park.

Location: South of Colby Park and I-235, adjacent to the trail and Budget Storage. For the best access, a person should park at Colby Park, (6900 School Street) and walk on the trail south.
Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
Requirements: Dogs must be up to date on vaccinations. No permit required.

Two separate fenced in areas, one for big dogs and one for small. This park has benches, picnic tables, and agility training structures. There are waste receptacles and water sources at Colby park, just a quick walk north of the dog park.

Location: South of Colby Park and I-235, adjacent to the trail and Budget Storage. For the best access, a person should park at Colby Park, (6900 School Street) and walk on the trail south.
Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
Requirements: Dogs must be up to date on vaccinations. No permit required.


After you've decide which one you're going to and you've got your dog all up to date on vaccines and registration, here are a few things to keep in mind when at the park:

- Make sure your dog has a reliable recall response, which means when you call their name they come to you. This can be very important at the dog park.
- Things to bring: A leash, water, waste bags, toys (tennis balls are great!) and treats.
- Before entering, linger outside of the gates for a while. Wait until the initial excitement of your dog and the others has gotten lower. This will make entering the park easier on everyone.
- As always, keep a close eye on your pet. Meeting new people and dogs can create new situations and they can act irregular or aggressive, even if they never have at home. Be aware of common dog body language.
- Keep an eye on the other dogs, as well. It's important to know if someone is acting a little more aggressively or nervous so you can avoid problems in the future.
- If you notice your dog showing any signs of stress or aggression, make sure you have control over them and be ready to leave if the problem persists.
- Know that not all dog owners think the same way. Some behaviors that are normal to you may seem aggressive or annoying in their eyes. Communicate with other dog owners so that you're all on the same page about the level of interaction your pets are having.
- Encourage your dog to move spots and change playmates often. This not only creates more opportunity for socialization, but also reduces tension that can build between two dogs that have been playing for a while.

If you plan ahead and pay attention, it's easy to have a great time at the park! Please reach out if you have any questions, comments, or need to make an appointment to update your dog's vaccines for registration / licensing.