Questyinz: Where can dogs swim in Pittsburgh?

A Portuguese water dog competes during a water...
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Alona asked, “We just got a new puppy! He’s a black lab mix – and boy is this heat getting to him. Where’s a good place in or around Pittsburgh to take a dog for a swim? Thanks!”

So glad that Alona asked “in or around” as the following places are scattered all over the Pittsburgh metro area.  The good news is that there are a lot of different options to try – check out each of these until you find one that your new puppy wants to call his swimming hole of choice.  Anyone else know a great spot?  Please add your recommendations in Comments.

45 minutes from the city is Lucky Paws Pet Resort, Pittsburgh Magazine’s 2009 pick for “Best Dog Pool.”  It’s $10 for a visit or $175 for an annual pass.  Check out the website, they aren’t kidding when they say “resort,” its like the Four Seasons of dog pools.  http://www.luckypawsresort.com/dogParkAndPool.php

Another park that is in a league of their own is Misty Pines Dog Park Co. in Sewickley.  The pond that they have closes to the public when they have their dog swim classes (no joke, they have “Dock Diving”) so you will want to check the website for times. http://www.mistypinesdogpark.com/

As for parks that have pet friendly waters, there are several.  Lower Frick Park has a small fenced off area with a water feature.  It’s right off Tranquil trail.   They call it “Hot Dog Dam,” tee hee.  It’s very shady down there, so that helps too.   http://www.pittsburghparks.org/userdocs/frickmap.pdf

Northmoreland Lake in Northmoreland County Park is another option, although it’s closer to Greensburg, so it’s 25 minutes out of town.  It’s not a dog swimming hole by definition, more like they don’t oppose it.  http://www.co.westmoreland.pa.us/parks/lib/parks/forms/northmoreland_park_08_map.pdf

The following article from last fall’s Post-Gazette covers two great events for dog swimming at area pools that are usually for humans. At the end of the season, Sandcastle and the Dormont Pool allow dogs to swim for a day.  See the article for more details. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09248/995658-62.stm

I hope this gives you and your pup some direction.  If you are lucky, maybe he’ll learn the Triple Lindy in dock diving school!  If so, please send video.


  • Anonymous

    My dog loves to swim in the river in front of Heinz Field. If it hasn’t just finished raining, the current slows to almost nothing, and there’s a ramp that he can walk right down from the pavement.nnIn addition, you might try taking a walk down the path at McConnell’s Mill State Park, there are plenty of little pools in the stream that dogs can swim in.

  • Anonymous

    My dog loves to swim in the river in front of Heinz Field. If it hasn’t just finished raining, the current slows to almost nothing, and there’s a ramp that he can walk right down from the pavement.nnIn addition, you might try taking a walk down the path at McConnell’s Mill State Park, there are plenty of little pools in the stream that dogs can swim in.

  • Anonymous

    Frick Park was having some trouble with bacterial contamination in the creeks near there, you might want to double-check the situation with Cityparks before you let the dogs back in the car!

  • Anonymous

    Great post. I wish Gidget liked to swim. She hates me when I put her in water. Maybe it’s that life vest I make her wear…

  • Anonymous

    Another suggestion: the Thornburg Dog Park: http://www.meetup.com/Pittsburghpugs/venue/?eventId=10205972&popup=true&venueId=934167nnIt's off of Route 60, and used to be a small golf course. According to other websites, it’s illegal to have your dog off leash in Thornburg, but the sign provided by the borough specifically says “Thornburg Dog Park” and absolutely no one has ever had a problem down there. I wouldn’t be concerned about it. It’s almost always full of dogs, and is bordered on two sides by Chartiers creek. We let our swimmer dog paddle around in there all the time.

  • Anonymous

    Frick Park was having some trouble with bacterial contamination in the creeks near there, you might want to double-check the situation with Cityparks before you let the dogs back in the car!

  • Anonymous

    Great post. I wish Gidget liked to swim. She hates me when I put her in water. Maybe it's that life vest I make her wear…

  • Anonymous

    Another suggestion: the Thornburg Dog Park: http://www.meetup.com/Pittsburghpugs/venue/?event… off of Route 60, and used to be a small golf course. According to other websites, it's illegal to have your dog off leash in Thornburg, but the sign provided by the borough specifically says "Thornburg Dog Park" and absolutely no one has ever had a problem down there. I wouldn't be concerned about it. It's almost always full of dogs, and is bordered on two sides by Chartiers creek. We let our swimmer dog paddle around in there all the time.

  • Katrina

    Another suggestion: the Thornburg Dog Park: http://www.meetup.com/Pittsburghpugs/venue/?eve…..It's off of Route 60, and used to be a small golf course. According to other websites, it's illegal to have your dog off leash in Thornburg, but the sign provided by the borough specifically says "Thornburg Dog Park" and absolutely no one has ever had a problem down there. I wouldn't be concerned about it. It's almost always full of dogs, and is bordered on two sides by Chartiers creek. We let our swimmer dog paddle around in there all the time.

  • Pam

    Great post. I wish Gidget liked to swim. She hates me when I put her in water. Maybe it's that life vest I make her wear…

  • Katrina

    Another suggestion: the Thornburg Dog Park: http://www.meetup.com/Pittsburghpugs/venue/?eventId=10205972&popup=true&venueId=934167

    It’s off of Route 60, and used to be a small golf course. According to other websites, it’s illegal to have your dog off leash in Thornburg, but the sign provided by the borough specifically says “Thornburg Dog Park” and absolutely no one has ever had a problem down there. I wouldn’t be concerned about it. It’s almost always full of dogs, and is bordered on two sides by Chartiers creek. We let our swimmer dog paddle around in there all the time.

  • Pam

    Great post. I wish Gidget liked to swim. She hates me when I put her in water. Maybe it’s that life vest I make her wear…

  • ErinK

    Frick Park was having some trouble with bacterial contamination in the creeks near there, you might want to double-check the situation with Cityparks before you let the dogs back in the car!

  • ErinK

    Frick Park was having some trouble with bacterial contamination in the creeks near there, you might want to double-check the situation with Cityparks before you let the dogs back in the car!

  • Andy

    My dog loves to swim in the river in front of Heinz Field. If it hasn't just finished raining, the current slows to almost nothing, and there's a ramp that he can walk right down from the pavement.

    In addition, you might try taking a walk down the path at McConnell's Mill State Park, there are plenty of little pools in the stream that dogs can swim in.

  • Andy

    My dog loves to swim in the river in front of Heinz Field. If it hasn't just finished raining, the current slows to almost nothing, and there's a ramp that he can walk right down from the pavement.nnIn addition, you might try taking a walk down the path at McConnell's Mill State Park, there are plenty of little pools in the stream that dogs can swim in.

  • Andy

    My dog loves to swim in the river in front of Heinz Field. If it hasn’t just finished raining, the current slows to almost nothing, and there’s a ramp that he can walk right down from the pavement.

    In addition, you might try taking a walk down the path at McConnell’s Mill State Park, there are plenty of little pools in the stream that dogs can swim in.