Detroit has no shortage of steamy summers, and that heat and humidity can make it difficult for many dogs, especially those with thick coats, to spend a lot of time outdoors. A few good swimming holes promise the perfect cure for those toasty days when Fido needs to burn off a little energy without overheating. The area’s best places for dogs to swim offer cool pools and a little something extra for the whole furry family.
Detroit, MI 48214
Downtown dog owners can take advantage Belle Isle’s proximity, just a five-minute drive from the city. Among the park’s 983 acres are multiple beach and water access areas for swimming, romping in the water, or just watching canine antics. Belle Isle also offers fishing spots and picnic areas for relaxing, along with woodlands and nature trails for those who want a workout before their swim. A favorite swimming hole of dog owners in the know is the canal by the east end lighthouse.
Currey’s Family Pet Care
6261 Hannan Rd.
Romulus, MI 48174
Price: $5 per half hour/$2 per additional dog/$25 annual membership fee
The owners of Currey’s Family Pet Care have developed a pond specifically for dogs, using non-chlorine treatments to minimize the chemicals to which the dogs are exposed. The pond is primarily a dock diving training center, but swimmers are also welcome. Owners must meet with staff and fill out a consent form before using the pond for the first time, which is a trial run. The annual membership fee is not instituted until the second visit. Currey’s also offers private swimming sessions for those dogs who aren’t naturally water-savvy or are afraid to be in the water.
Me & My Shadow
29855 Ford Rd., Ste. C
Garden City, MI 48135
Price: $25 for one hour/$15 for half an hour/half price for additional dogs
Dogs will love a private swim session in Me & My Shadow’s heated four-foot-deep pool. Life jackets and toys are provided to ensure safety and fun for dogs of all skill levels. Dog owners are welcome and encouraged to join their dogs in the pool. A bath and blow dryer are available for after the swim, so dogs don’t have to go home wet. Owners may schedule group swims to celebrate a birthday, hold a training session, or just have fun with other dogs and their owners. The facility also offers dog training, hydrotherapy and massage.
Mill Pond Park
565 W. Bennett St.
Saline, MI 48176
Mill Pond Park is the largest community park in Saline, and features a one-acre fenced, leash-free dog park. From the dog park, dogs have access to the pond for swimming, retrieving or romping through the water. Mill Pond’s 54 acres also encompass nature trails for owners and on-leash dogs to explore. Other amenities include picnic and fishing spots, canoeing or open areas for fetch, flying disc catching, or just enjoying the fresh air and sunshine.
Orion Oaks Dog Park
2301 W. Clarkston Rd.
Lake Orion, MI 48360
Price: $5 per car per day for Oakland County residents/$10 for non-residents/$4 for seniors 62 and older, and active military
The 24 enclosed acres of Orion Oaks Dog Park includes access to a dog-only swim area on Lake Sixteen. The park also includes a small dog section, open fields for running and play, two trails to explore, drinking water and a picnic shelter. Dogs must respond to voice commands, have a current license, and be up to date on vaccinations before admission. Puppies younger than 4 months of age and females in heat are not allowed in the park.
Related: Best Dog Daycare in Metro Detroit
Jennifer Walker is a freelance writer living in Detroit. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in animal science from Michigan State University. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.