The 15 Best Places to Walk Your Dog in D.C.

Break up the monotony of your neighborhood dog walk with one of our 15 favorite places to walk your pup in the D.C. area! These picks, many of which are National Park Service sites, offer breathtaking scenery, open spaces, wildlife, history and more.

Ready to hit the ground running? Before you and your four-legged friend embark on a new adventure, be sure to:

  • Check the rules of the trail or park
  • Bring a leash no longer than six feet in length to avoid incidents
  • Pack a travel bowl and water so you and your pup stay hydrated
  • Be courteous, and remember to bring poop bags

Here we go!

1) Klingle Valley Trail

Cleveland Park, Woodley Park, Mount Pleasant

Enjoy abundant and engaging scenery along the brook as you stroll on Klingle Valley Trail. This paved, multiuse trail is less than a mile and is best for walking and biking. Its design makes this a friendly trail for all abilities of visitors and their dogs.

The rest areas located at key points are helpful for more physically-restricted breeds, such as bulldogs. Various trailheads allow you to tailor your walk to you and your companion’s needs.

2) Hains Point (East Potomac Park)

Southwest Washington D.C.

The wide-open space at Hains Point is ideal for all activity levels. Stroll down the 4.1-mile trail and view a variety of cherry blossoms along the river. Check out some unique historic sites, including Fort Lesley J. McNair and the George Mason Memorial.

The trail’s prime location at the southern tip of East Potomac Park also offers an unmatched view of the area from the banks of the Potomac River.

3) Theodore Roosevelt Island

Island on the Potomac River in D.C.

Designed by architects to emulate the natural state of the island, Theodore Roosevelt Island offers miles of trails that honor our former conservationist president.

Visitors can choose from three different trails. Swamp Trail is a 1.5-mile loop around the island perimeter. The trail, which is part pea gravel and part boardwalk, is ideal for active breeds. The .33-mile pea gravel Woods Trail leads to Roosevelt Memorial Plaza. Finally, Upland Trail covers the full length of the island from east to west in .75 miles. Upland circles the old Mason Mansion site, previous owners of the island.

4) The Rosedale Conservancy

Cleveland Park

This historic “suburban oasis” is a private nonprofit open to the public to explore and enjoy. Known as the village green of Cleveland Park, the conservancy boasts three acres of pristine lawns with roots dating back to the 18th century. Added bonus—the conservancy offers several off-leash periods throughout the day that can be found here.

Owners must register their dogs prior to admittance. Dog owners pay $100 annually for registration and membership; each dog costs an additional $75. This is a great investment for local residents, but the cost might prove cumbersome for occasional visitors.

5) Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens

Kenilworth, Northeast D.C.

Breathtaking scenery offers visitors activities that range from birdwatching to photography to picnics. Both trails are less than a mile long—one on boardwalk, one on a dirt path—that boast beautiful plant life and an impressive roster of birds.

Don’t miss the two-day Lotus and Water Lily Festival in the summer—a multicultural experience with loads of activities to keep you and your pup busy!

Photo by IntangibleArts

6) Shaw Dog Park

Shaw, Washington D.C.

As their website says, meet, sniff, run and play at Shaw Dog Park! Its 15,000 square feet is divided into one large and one small fenced area.

The smaller section is dedicated to pups that require special care, such as elderly dogs, breeds weighing under 25 pounds and any dog with a physical restriction. The larger section is for all other visitors. The park offers plenty of space for activities!

7) Langdon Dog Park

Langdon, Northeast D.C.

At just under 12,000 square feet of fenced property, Langdon is D.C.’s largest dedicated dog park. This is an ideal location for dogs to socialize. The park hosts a variety of community events throughout the year, creating plenty of opportunities to meet new friends.

Photo by John Leszczynski

8) Shirlington Dog Park

Arlington, VA

This park’s quarter-mile trail travels through urban and natural environments, offering great exercise for you and your dog. A dedicated space provides a safe haven for smaller breeds. While this park may be further for D.C. residents, it’s worth the visit.

9) Bundy Dog Park

Shaw, Washington D.C.

If you live in the city and crave a safe place for your dog to run free, visit Bundy Dog Park. Organized by neighborhood volunteers, Bundy is the product of meaningful community involvement. The fenced-in location allows dogs to socialize and play off leash. Keep an eye on the park’s website for events and fundraisers.

10) National Arboretum

Kenilworth, Northeast D.C.

With 446 acres of exceptional landscape and ornamental plants, this is a must-see spot. Just 10 minutes from the U.S. capitol, the arboretum was established in 1927 by an act of Congress. Japanese maples, ornamental grasses, daffodils and a stunning display of azaleas create unmatched scenery through miles of various pathways. Check out the arboretum’s event listings for moonlit hikes and educational programs.

11) Congressional Cemetery

Hill East, DC

The historic Congressional Cemetery includes burial sites of influential citizens who impacted our city and nation. Its unique approach to dog walking benefits owners and the cemetery itself. To enter the park with your pooch, owners must sign up with the organization Cemetery Dogs. Dog owners can safely let their dogs run free in 35 acres of fenced in property, while the cemetery gains an active pup patrol that wards off vandals. Funding from Cemetery Dogs also helps preserve the cemetery grounds. Several dog-friendly events are held each year.

Photo by F Delventhal

12) Anacostia Riverwalk Trail

Hill East, DC

Have great stamina and need to burn off some of Fido’s energy? Check out the 20-mile paved Riverwalk Trail along the Anacostia River that features impressive modern architecture. A 12-mile stretch of the trail is heavily used by walkers, runners, cyclists and dog walkers. With a minimum 10-foot width, you’ll never feel crowded on the trail.

13) Lincoln Park

Capitol Hill, D.C.

The largest of the Capitol Hill Parks, Lincoln Park is ideal for residents of Hill East or Capitol Hill. Allow your dog to indulge in new sights and smells while you soak in the park’s rich history. Lincoln Park includes a statue dedicated to its namesake, as well as a memorial to Mary McLeod Bethune. Bethune is best known for her activism of civil rights causes and improving education.

Photo by YoTuT

14) National Mall

Capitol Hill, DC

With nearly two miles of open space between the Lincoln Memorial and the U.S. Capitol, the National Mall is a popular choice for many dog-walkers. A plethora of iconic monuments and art installations provide exciting routes to keep you and your dog engaged as you explore. The location’s popularity may even open doors to new furry playmates!

15) Billy Goat Trail

Potomac, MD

Three rugged trails—two of which are open to dogs—make this a great escape for active breeds and their humans. As the name implies, these routes just south of Great Falls Visitors Center are rocky. Section B is a more challenging 1.4-mile trek, while Section C offers a slightly easier terrain over 1.6 miles. Wear proper shoes to avoid accidents, and check park conditions before arriving.

Dog-friendly D.C. and the surrounding areas offer great options to adventure with man’s best friend. At the end of the day, you know your dog’s abilities the best, whether that’s a 10-mile jog or a scenic stroll through the gardens.

If you need help walking your dog, consider signing up for dog walking services. We’re happy to fill in the gaps of your pup’s exercise routine! Happy trails!

PPC Brookland: Dog Boarding, Dog Day Care, Community Partner

If you’ve visited our Brookland location, you know that between our day care and boarding pups, Patrick’s Pet Care: Brookland is always the center of activity. But what you may not know is that Patrick’s Pet Care: Brookland serves as a hub for our community engagement work as well.

Beginning this past summer, our Brookland staff have worked hand-in-hand with Deaf-REACH, an organization that provides specialized programming for deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the D.C. area. The team from Deaf-REACH visits PPC: Brookland to see how the day care business operates and give our day care pups some extra socialization and love (including handmade treats!). At their last visit, the Deaf-REACH team created a lovely poster for our day care pups (pictured below). Our staff loves having them at the day care and looks forward to each of their visits.


We have also been fortunate to partner with Lucky Dog Animal Rescue by serving as a boarding facility for some of their dogs while they await adoption. During their stay with us, the Lucky Dogs receive supervised socialization time, prepping them to be well-behaved in their forever homes.

One of those rescue dogs, Rhonda, has made amazing strides thanks to the work from our Brookland staff. When Rhonda arrived to stay with us, she was anxious and avoided socializing with people and pups alike. But our Brookland staff worked with her each and every day, easing her into her new life with people to love her, and dogs to be her playmates. A once standoffish stray, Rhonda is now full of energy and loves playtime with her day care buddies. She’s begun her adoption process, and we can’t wait to see what home is lucky enough to adopt her!

With the holiday giving season fast approaching, please consider a donation to either of these wonderful partners. And if you’re looking to board your dog or enroll them in day care, know that your choosing Patrick’s Pet Care helps us strengthen these relationships with organizations performing essential services in our community.

dog walkers with e-bikes

Happy Bikers? Happier Pups!

If you live in our service area, you’ve likely seen one of our caretakers zip by on a bike while commuters in cars slog along in traffic. It’s no surprise why so many of our caretakers opt to bike in the city. Biking proves to be one of the fastest ways to get around town.

But there are more benefits than just a faster commute when biking. Recent studies illustrate that commuters who bike are generally happier than their automobile-bound colleagues. In our line of work, working with animals who are attuned to our feelings, happy commuters make for happier dogs. That is why we were pleased to recently accept the 2018 Bike-Friendly Workplace award for a small business from the District Department of Transportation’s goDCgo initiative.

At Patrick’s Pet Care, our caretakers are given a free Capital Bikeshare membership to use both at and outside of work. For caretakers that need to cover lots of ground, we maintain a fleet of Riide e-bikes to help keep their legs fresh as they get across town. And we cover the cost of routine bike maintenance for employees who use their own bicycles.

Ultimately, we know that giving your pets the best possible care requires making Patrick’s Pet Care a good place to work. And that’s why bike benefits are just one of the perks offered to our employees.

So the next time you’re stuck in traffic, and a person wearing a blue t-shirt emblazoned with the Patrick’s “P” whizzes by you in the bike lane, know that there’s a dog nearby whose day is about to get a bit brighter.

Welcome To Our Cat Hotel

Patrick’s Pet Care is thrilled to announce our latest addition: a 5-star cat hotel! We love taking care of boarded dogs, so we wanted to extend the option to cats as well. Our feline friends should be able to have a fun time when mom and dad are away too! The hotel doubles as our administrative office. Imagine it as a cat café, except a cat office. While the administrative staff of Patrick’s Pet Care are at work, the staff get to enjoy the feline companionship and vice versa.

Here are three things to know about our Cat and Small Animal Hotel:

Two Options

We currently have two different options for your pet’s stay: Kitty Condo or Free Reign. In the Kitty Condo, your cat will be comfortable in a large tiered enclosure complete with litterboxes, food and water, and multiple toys.

If your cat would be more comfortable with a bit of wandering, we do have a limited amount of spaces for free reign cats. With this option, your cat has free reign in our office with the ability to explore and endless attention from our staff!

Reasonably Priced

Both boarding options are very reasonably priced. Your cat can stay within their own enclosure at the kitty condo for just $30 a night. If they want the more spacious option (free reign), it will cost an additional $10 a night.

Treating your pet while you are away is easy at these prices.

Top Notch Accommodations

We pride ourselves on the top-notch accommodations we provide for your pet. During your pet’s visit, they will be under supervision for 12 hours with plenty of socializing (with humans or other pets!) and playtime. We keep to their normal meal schedule to so there aren’t any unnecessary disruptions. At night, they have a quiet and comfy place to sleep.

In addition to all of this, we provide email updates on how your pet is doing on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. We know you can’t help but worry about them, so we do our best to make sure you can enjoy your time away.

As we briefly mentioned above, this service is not restricted to cats; we are also able to house small animals like rabbits, ferrets, and guinea pigs. Give us a call today at 202-630-7387 to schedule your pet’s stay!

Don’t Be Afraid Of The Crate

For some reason, some dog owners tend to think of crates negatively. They don’t see it as their dog’s sacred space or crate training as a tool. Instead, they see it as punishment or a bad thing.

At Patrick’s Pet Care, this might be the biggest misconception we hear. Here is why you should not be afraid of the crate, but rather embrace crate training.

Your Dog’s Space

Their crate is your dog’s special space. It is an area for them and for them only. It is where they can sleep, spend the day, and stay safe. When your dog knows that this is their space, they will spend time there. By keeping the crate door open during the day, they have the option to wander in and out and even take naps there. Outside of their bed, this is the only other space that is just theirs. And, yes you can put your dog in its crate when he or she is bad. Did your mom tell you to “go to your room” when you were a kid after you did something bad? When that happened did you forever associate your room as a dungeon or a bad place? Of course not. Neither do they.

Crate Training Essential

A crate training is an essential tool for puppies as well as older dogs. When potty training, it is important to keep your dog in the crate for a few hours so they learn to hold it. This is especially important for puppies as they learn how to go for longer periods of time without going to the bathroom. Dogs will not go to the bathroom in the same space they spend time in, so when you have the right size crate (not too big, not too small), they will not go in the crate. How big should a crate be? Great question! A crate is appropriately sized if your dog can:

  • Turn around freely
  • Easily stand, sit and stretch
  • Stand up tall without hitting his head on the roof of the crate
  • Move about and assume a comfortable posture for eating and drinking
  • Hold his tail erect

Safe Way to Stay Home

Before your dog has free reign of the house while you are gone, start by keeping them in the crate and slowly introducing them to short spurts of time outside alone. When you leave your dog out while you are gone, without training it to be alone, it can get into lots of things you don’t want it to and take out its boredom on your shoes or remotes. You also don’t want them to get into anything dangerous or hurt themselves.


Is It Bad To Leave My Dog At Home During The Day?

The short answer: no. You are not a terrible person, or a bad dog owner if you leave your dog at home.

Most dogs are fine spending several hours at home every day, however, all dogs need bathroom breaks and exercise. Here are a few tips to make it easier on your dog when you are away:


Training your dog to be at home all day is really important if you are going to be away from the home a lot. Teaching your dog how to act when you are gone will keep you both sane! Start with leaving the house for small periods of time so that your dog gets used to you leaving and then coming back. You can start leaving them in a closed off area until they can be trusted to roam free.

Boredom Busting Toys

We love the Kong toy series – any toy that you can stuff with treats is great for dogs that are going to spend time alone during the day.

Dog Walker

Maybe you don’t have time to run home during the day to let your dog out or can’t afford full-time daycare. That’s okay; there are other options, like a midday dog walker. At Patrick’s Pet Care, we offer short walks during the day so your dog can get out and stretch their legs and go to the bathroom. We also offer longer walks for dogs who need to burn off energy. Remember, even though most adult dogs can hold it for 8-10 hours, they really should only have to hold it for 6 hours during the day.


If you are gone every day, it can be fun and not that expensive to put your dog in doggy daycare for one or two days a week. Mixing up their routine and providing socializing time, helps your dog be happier and less bored. Plus, they always come home tired afterward!

In Washington D.C., we know that most people are professionals who work. Just because you work doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a dog. However, if you are thinking about it and will be away from home a lot make sure to invest in a dogwalker or daycare. It really will make things much easier for you and your furry friend. We can even pick your dog up right from your house.

Call Patrick’s Pet Care today to discuss dog walking and daycare if you live in the Washington D.C. area!

My Dog Chews on Everything – Here’s How to Get Them To Stop

A common issue that dog owners run into with both puppies and older dogs is constant chewing! And of course, it is not chewing on the approved chew toys, but rather our shoes and other belongings.

Recently, our lead trainer Chris talked to a couple whose dog continuously chews on their rug. Here are some of his suggestions:

1: Exercise

Dogs that resort to chewing on things (outside of teething puppies), chew because they are bored. If they are bored it is because they are not getting enough exercise or are not mentally stimulated. If you notice your dog has taken to chewing on things, take them on an extra-long walk in the evening when you get back from work. If you are a runner, consider having a partner once in a while. There are a lot of dogs that enjoy running occasionally and it is great exercise for them. Just like with humans, it helps with their mental health. If you’re too busy, hire a dog walker or send them to dog daycare to burn off some off that energy.

2: Correct their behavior

Whenever you catch them in the act, make sure to correct their behavior right away. This may not always be possible as they may do the chewing while they are out of sight or while you are out. Get them to drop the object they are chewing on and give it to you. By taking ownership of the object, you are showing them that it is not theirs to chew on. If you don’t catch them in the act, don’t correct them because they won’t understand why they’re being corrected.

3: Appropriate toys

If you give your dog shoe toys or toys that resemble actual household items, is it really that surprising when they start to chew on those actual items? Encourage chewing on only appropriate toys – preferably ones that don’t resemble your expensive footwear. Smoked beef knucklebones are the favorite at Patrick’s Pet Care and can be ordered through our local partners, The Big Bad Woof.

4: Anti-chewing spray

There are several different sprays that you can buy or make to discourage chewing. An easy DIY spray is apple cider vinegar and water. It won’t damage your items but does smell and taste awful to dogs.

5: Put things away

One of the biggest ways to prevent your dog from chewing on things in your home is to clean them up. Don’t leave shoes on the floor if your dog has previously chewed on your shoes. Gate off areas that they get into when they are left alone.

At Patrick’s Pet Care, we know how frustrating it can be when your dog continuously gets into things and exhibit destructive chewing. If all else fails, bring your dog in for a training class so we can work together to find ways to keep them from chewing on your things.

Boarding Your Dog in Washington D.C.

Adding a new furry family member is a really exciting time, but can make everyday scenarios harder. One of the most challenging aspects of having a pet is taking trips, whether for work or for fun.

The last thing you want to be worried about while on a fun vacation is how your pet is doing. It can be hard to find a place that you trust, that fits your budget, and provides the right level of care for your dog.

At Patrick’s Pet Care, we provide three different options to meet your budget and desired level of care.

Traditional Kennel

This option is most like a traditional boarding facility that is kennel drive. Your dog will spend some time in a comfortable and appropriately-sized kennel, for meals and while sleeping at night. The rest of the time, they will be free to roam, provided they socialize well with other dogs and aren’t destructive.

You can board your dog in our traditional kennel facility for short-term stays, long-term stays, and even monthly stays. You might think a month is a long time to board a dog, but many of our clients work for the State Department and the World Bank where long-term travel is a fact of life. We make sure their pets barely miss them while they are away.

Each day at the kennel, your dog will be treated with one peanut butter kong or chew toy, four outdoor walks, and regular socialization with our professional staff as well as with other dogs.

For an additional price, dogs can get a bath and nail trim so they look their best when you pick them up!

Dog BnB

We also have a slightly fancier option if you are looking for additional pampering for your dog. The Dog BnB is like a regular bed and breakfast, where the guest’s comfort is the top priority. Dogs that stay at the BnB get to roam in an “apartment” and are under constant supervision.

At the Dog BnB, guests will get one peanut butter kong or chew toy a day, four walks a day and regular socialization. Optionally, dogs can be taken on a fun Rock Creek Park Excursion! Overall it’s a much quieter and calm environment than the traditional facility where senior and less social dogs, in particular, can relax in peace, just like you when you’re at the beach.

One of the pros of boarding your pet with us is that you don’t need to worry about providing food dishes, bedding, or crates. We provide all of that. You just need to bring your dog, their food, and any needed medication. You may want to pack one of their favorite toys to enjoy.

We also provide daily email updates on your pet, starting the second day of your trip. For a small fee, you can even get a short video update included in your daily email.

In-Home Care

If your dog has strong personality quirks or gets upset or stressed when his or her environment changes, we also offer in-home overnight care that allows you to perfectly maintain your dog’s everyday routine while you are away.

At Patrick’s Pet Care, we know that it is hard to leave your pet with someone else, so we want you to feel confident that they are receiving the best care. Call us to today to set up a boarding reservation!

7 Ways to Adjust Your Dog’s Behavior

Dogs of all ages can come with behavior issues or have them start overnight. When your dog is misbehaving, it can be frustrating and you may not know how to get them to make a shift in their attitude.

Here are 7 tricks we use at Patrick’s Pet Care to adjust a dog’s behavior.

Ignore Bad Behavior

Like we mentioned above, dogs don’t always understand when they are disciplined for doing something. Next time, when they do something bad, ignore them. Don’t react negatively or positively.

Positive Reinforcement

Never underestimate the power of positive reinforcement. Dogs don’t always react well to being disciplined when they do something bad. However, they generally react really well to being rewarded for doing something good. Take potty training: if your dog consistently goes inside the house, make a huge deal out of any time they go outside. This will encourage them to always go outside.

Set Boundaries

Set rules and boundaries and make sure everyone involved with the dog understands them. It will be confusing for your dog if he is allowed to sit on the couch at Aunt Jane’s house, but can’t sit on the couch at home. Land on a set of rules and stay consistent in enforcing them across locations and with all the members of your family.


Some dogs require more exercise than others. These dogs are the ones that start to go stir crazy if they are inside all day and will take it out on the furniture, the rugs, and everything they aren’t supposed to be touching. Make sure your dog is getting adequate exercise each day.

Crate Training

When your dog is young, crate training can be a very impactful technique to teach your dog how to hold their bladder overnight and how to sleep on their own. Some people may think it is harsh, but it’s not. Much like a child’s room, your dog will think of their crate as their special place that makes them feel safe. Keep them in the crate when you leave the house to avoid destruction out of boredom.

Boredom Busting Toys

Most people don’t realize that one of the main reasons dogs chew on things they aren’t supposed to or get destructive is because they are bored. Prevent this behavior by getting boredom busting toys, toys that make them work for treats, for them to play with. Kong has several different options that require time and energy, keeping your dog busy, mentally stimulated, and less prone to boredom.

Professional Training

A tried and true method to change a dog’s behavior is to attend training classes. These classes help both you and the dog learn proper commands and get on the same page. At Patrick’s Pet Care, we have a variety of training options for dogs in Washington D.C., to meet all your training needs.

This is not an all-inclusive list of techniques for a misbehaving dog but hopefully gives you a few new ideas if you are dealing with a dog that has a new or existing attitude issue. If you live in Washington D.C. and need additional ideas or want to learn more about our training programs, contact us today!

Popville, September 8, 2017: Patrick’s Pet Care Opening 2nd Location in Brookland

Thank you to Popville for featuring us! Read the original article here.

Patrick’s Pet Care Opening 2nd Location in Brookland

by Prince Of Petworth  September 8, 2017 at 2:30 pm

3509 12th Street, NE courtesy Patrick’s Pet Care

From a press release:

“Patrick’s Pet Care, a leading pet services company in Washington D.C., today announced the grand opening of its second location in Brookland, NE. Located at 3509 12th Street NE. This new locale will bring a medium-to-large dog day school and overnight center to the Brookland community.

Not your typical day care, the day school will offer basic obedience training during the day, as well as evening training courses and overnight boarding.

“Dog training classes can be hard for working people to attend,” said Founder and General Manager Patrick Flynn. “We want to provide a convenient option for dogs to receive training both during the day and while customers are away on vacation.”

Curbside drop-off and pick-up service is available at the new Brookland location. Parking is also available in the rear. As an added convenience, Patrick’s Pet Care recently launched Pet Force One, a pet-friendly van to transport pups to and from the day school from anywhere in the city. The site will also serve as a “Woof Pantry,” in partnership with Big Bad Woof Pet Supply and Delivery Service of Takoma, where customers can both place and pick up pet supply orders.

The company’s commitment to becoming an integral part of the community and good neighbor starts with the day school displays of pet-themed art from local artists, including a tribute to “Momma’s Law” by Brookland sculptor Charles Bergen, as well as contributions from Jackie Coleman of Art Enables, an art gallery and vocational arts program in Woodbridge dedicated to creating opportunities for artists with disabilities.

“We’ve always been focused on community,” said Flynn. “Even as we expand, we still are a local business and want to celebrate and support the neighborhoods we serve.”

Dan Schramm, President of the Brookland Civic Neighborhood Association, said, “We are delighted to welcome Patrick’s Pet Care to Brookland. This is just the kind of local business we want to see in our community. BNCA wishes Patrick’s good fortune and good business!”