Last Updated February 12, 2024
If you’re anything like us, then your dog is like family. Being able to take your 4-legged furry friend to a place where they can run free, make friends, and live their best life is something that brings us joy too! And when you are in a new destination looking for fun things to do with your dog, it can be a struggle to discover which local parks have dedicated dog parks — and which are the best.
So we wanted to put together a list of our favorite dog parks around Venice, Florida and the nearby Wellen Park / Sarasota area. We’ve visited all of these Venice Florida dog parks with our beloved Hana (Labrador). We enjoy visiting all these parks as humans, and Hana has given her paw of approval too!
In Case You Are Wondering…What Is A Dog Park?
A dog park is a dedicated open space that allows dogs to play, exercise, and socialize off-leash in a controlled environment (typically with a fence) under the supervision of their owners. They are great spaces where dogs can run free to explore safely, make friends and play, and the owners can relax and even socialize too.
Beyond the safety aspect, many dog parks will have amenities such as water (super important here in Florida), perhaps some shady areas, benches for owners and poop-disposal stations. We have traveled a lot with our dog, Hana. And whenever we make a stop whether it’s for a vacation or just a stopover, we often will look for the nearest and best dog park where she can stretch her legs and have some fun too.
Benefits of Visiting a Dog Park With Your Pet
Visiting a dog park with our furry companions offers a host of advantages for both their well-being and ours. Our pup enjoys the stimulation of being outside with all the new smells (oh she could smell all day long!) as well as being able to socialize with other dogs and have fun. Socializing really is such an important aspect for your dog, and we’ve been taking Hana to dog parks since she was a pup. Surely it’s part of the reason she’s the social butterfly that she is!
As Humans, We Really Enjoy the Dog Park Too! 😂
But it’s not just Hana that enjoys visiting the dog park. As humans, we find it relaxing as well. It’s nice to get out of the house to enjoy the fresh air and go for a stroll. We enjoy walking around the parks ourselves, just enjoying life and getting lost in our thoughts. And we can relax knowing that Hana is safe. Plus, seeing her have fun makes us happy! We also get the chance to interact with other cute doggos and socialize with other owners too.
Venice Florida Dog Parks (and Wellen Park & Sarasota Areas)
We’ve found some really great dog parks around the country and around Florida too. Luckily for us, after making our home here in Venice years ago, we’ve been able to find some really great dog parks in Venice, FL and the nearby area that we really enjoy visiting.
So to make it easy for you, we’ve rounded up a list of our favorite dog parks around Venice and the Sarasota areas, where pet owners can enjoy quality time with their furry friends. These parks offer amenities ranging from off-leash play areas to trails and even beach access, ensuring a fun outing for everyone!
1. Woodmere Dog Park Venice FL
Location: 3951 Woodmere Park Blvd, Venice, FL 34293
Woodmere Dog Park is our go-to dog park here in Venice. It’s conveniently located, in fact, we often stop by for a visit when we are out around town running errands. It’s easy to get in and out, good parking, and it’s just a lovely park in general.
The shade is awesome here, with beautiful large trees and some grassy spots. There are nice benches and even a covered area for sitting. Plenty of water is available for the dogs, and even a fun water spout which Hana loves to play with!
One of our favorite things about this park is that there is a sort of trail that goes around the perimeter. So we use it as our time to get our steps in for the day. Josh and I walk around and talk, take deep breaths of fresh air, and it kinda feels like a small nature trail. And Hana can run off and play and return to us at any time (although, being the loyal girl she is she pretty much stays right next to us the whole time!).
Another nice perk to this park is that there are often toys and tennis balls provided, either by volunteers or the local parks department. One visit we stumbled across a giant pile of fresh new tennis balls ready to be slobbered on!
2. Brohard Paw Park And Dog Beach
Location: 1600 Harbor Dr. S, Venice, FL 34285
This is another one of our favorite and most visited dog parks in Venice. The Brohard Paw Park is actually 2 parks in one. There is a fenced area near the parking lot (for both large and small dogs) where dogs can run and place safely. There are benches, a covered area, and a water and washing station.
But the best thing about this park is that if you go out the back of the fenced dog park area, there is a fenced pathway that leads all the way to a dog-friendly section of the beach alongside the Gulf of Mexico! This is the Brohard dog beach.
The Brohard Dog Beach is the ONLY off-leash dog-friendly beach in the Sarasota area! Here dogs can frolic in the ocean and play in the sand. In fact, this is Hana’s “Happy Place” because she is a beach girl and would relax here all day long if she could. And when you leave the beach, it’s nice to have the dog wash area back in the fenced park before you get to your car so you can rinse the sand and salt water off your pup.
Another perk of this beach area is that it is actually a very nice beach that is swimmable! So you really can have a proper beach day yourself alongside your fur-baby.
For more details, be sure to check out our complete Brohard Dog Beach blog post.
3. Blue Heron Dog Park Near Wellen Park
Location: 11755 Blue Heron Circle, Venice, FL 34293
As you may know by now, we are out in Wellen Park frequently helping our real estate clients find homes in the different communities out here. And we also visit the downtown Wellen Park area for fun, such as enjoying the restaurants and farmers market on the weekends. So sometimes Hana is with us in the car.
When she’s getting a little restless or we want her to have some fun too, we’ll make a stop over at the Blue Heron Dog park. Located off River Road, this park is actually connected by walking trails to a couple of the Wellen Park communities (Oasis and Renaissance).
It’s a beautiful park that Hana (and the two of us) really love! There are separate areas for small and large dogs, really nice grass, a bit of shade and some benches. It’s not super large, but it’s enough. There is also water available and before or after running in the park there are some nice walking trails that you can enjoy on a nice day.
Oh, and there is a small playground adjacent to the dog park so your two-legged kiddos can have some fun too.
Ann & Chuck Dever Regional Park In Englewood
Location: 6791 San Casa Dr., Englewood, FL 34224
If you happen to be down in the Englewood area just south of Venice and Wellen Park, then you may want to make a stop off at this dog park. It’s HUGE! The Ann and Chuck Dever dog park is a fantastic spot to take your pup, especially if they enjoy running!
We stumbled across this park a few years ago because we were running errands for some real estate listings in the Englewood area and visiting a client. Hana was in the car with us and our clients suggested this park because it was amazing to run around.
And they were right!
This dog park is a paradise for dogs who want large, open space to run fast or for long distances. There is a small dog area too, but the large dog area is massive. The dog park is a part of a larger park complex (it’s huge really) with a number of sports fields, courts, trails and picnic areas.
Bay Street Dog Park Osprey, FL
Location: 300 East Bay St, Osprey, FL 34229
When we are looking to change up the scenery or when we are traveling highway 41 between Venice and Sarasota, we often make a stop at the Bay Street Dog Park in Osprey, FL. It’s conveniently located only a block off of Tamiami and it’s a really nice and well-maintained dog park. There is a small and large dog fenced area, as well as drinking water and even some fun agility items for the dogs to play on or jump around.
It’s not a large park, but it really is very nice. And the trees are huge and beautiful, providing lots of nice shade. It really is a tranquil environment and a pleasant park to visit.
Gillespie Dog Park In Sarasota
Location: 710 N Osprey Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236
In Sarasota, Gillespie Dog Park is a great urban space for dogs to enjoy off-leash play with two separate fenced areas. It’s equipped with a covered seating area for owners and water stations to keep dogs hydrated.
We’ve made a stop by this park a couple of times when we were up in downtown Sarasota running errands or visiting the weekend Sarasota Farmers Market (which is huge!). This dog park is conveniently located near downtown, so we can easily pop over and let Hana run free for a bit, make some friends and have some fun.
17Th Street Dog Park In Sarasota
Location: 4570 17th St, Sarasota, FL 34235
If you happen to be up in Sarasota, another super popular dog park is the 17th street dog park. This is actually one of the most beloved dog parks in Sarasota. It’s a part of a larger public park area with sports fields, bt the dog park area is also quite huge! It is a well-loved dog park in Sarasota that provides a serene environment, ideal for both playful pups and socializing with fellow dog owners.
There is a large and small dog area, and wide open space for the dogs to run and play. There is a bit of shade and some benches, and of course water for the dogs to stay hydrated.
We actually make it a point to visit this Sarasota dog park whenever we take trips up to drop off of pick up friends / family (or each other) at the Sarasota Airport. Hana likes to go on this car rides, so this makes for a fun activity. And sometimes if I’m heading to the airport to pick someone up and perhaps I’m a little early, we’ll stop at the dog park until they land. Then we hop in the car to go fetch them.
Tips For Bringing Your Pet To The Dog Park
For seasoned dog owners, you may already know some of these tips for bringing your dog to the dog park. However, for newbies or if you are new to Florida, here are a few tips to be prepared and to keep your dog safe and more importantly, cool and hydrated in these dog parks!
Supplies to Bring:
- Water – super important in Florida: Always bring fresh water and a bowl. Even though most of these parks have water provided, it’s always good to have some on hand just in case. It gets so hot here in the summer, you never want your pup to get dehydrated or overheat.
- Leash: Even in off-leash parks, have a leash on hand.
- Waste bags: Always pick up after our pets. Again, just in case they run out at the park.
The Basics – Health and Park Etiquette:
- Always keep our pets up-to-date on vaccinations.
- Ensure they have flea and tick prevention.
- Pets should be in good health to avoid spreading illnesses.
- Understand and follow the park’s rules.
- Keep an eye on our pets at all times (we often see pets run off while their owners are talking, and then they take a poo and no one saw it!)
- Always, always pick up after your pet!
- Be prepared to intervene if play becomes too rough.
- Remove our pets’ leashes upon entering the off-leash area to prevent tangling.
- Avoid bringing food to the park to prevent conflicts among dogs.
- Monitor interactions with other dogs, especially when they are new to each other.
By following these simple tips, we can help ensure that everyone a safe, fun, and healthy experience at the dog park!