Pets: The Urban Dog Owners’ Guide to Philadelphia

The best dog parks, pooch-friendly restaurants, pup-walkers and more.

A dog walker at Mario Lanza Park | Photography by Christopher Leaman

A dog walker at Mario Lanza Park | Photography by Christopher Leaman

We’re not exactly sure when it happened. First your neighbor got a puppy, then you thought about adopting a rescue. You’ve seen them in the park, on the sidewalks, and eventually in your favorite restaurant. You’ve stopped to pet them. You’ve stepped in their business. With roughly one canine for every four people in the city, there’s no denying it — Philadelphia is officially dog-crazy. It might seem tough to care for anything bigger than a shih tzu in a town that’s among the nation’s worst for yard space. But take a walk through any neighborhood or open your window, and you’ll see and hear proof that Philly is practically overrun by pooches. So whether you’re a proud (perhaps obsessive) owner, thinking of joining the club, or just fascinated by our growing canine culture, you’ll love this guide to the Philly dog experience — fun, fresh activities, the best parks and essential services, etiquette advice to keep your dog (and its owner) from infuriating everyone around you, and more. (Tip number one: Always watch where you’re walking.)

9 Ways to Bond With Your Dog in Philadelphia
Walks around the neighborhood and Frisbee tosses? So boring. Instead, consider these unusual ideas for taking your four-legged friendship to a new (perhaps disturbing) level.

Dear Philly Dog Owners: Pick Up Your Poop!
Expert advice on how not to be that dog owner

The Complete Guide to Philly’s Best Dog Parks
Whether your pup is portable or the size of a small horse, hyper or laid-back, social or skittish, there’s a dog park in town that’s perfect for your pet — and you.

Seven Local Pet Pros Who Take Canine Care to New Levels
Meet your dog’s new best friends

Why I Hate Your Dog
A city dog owner tells other city dog owners why they (and their pooches) can be so damned insufferable.