Dogs in Parks

Off Leash Park

Under Edmonds Municipal Code (5.05.060) dogs and their humans are welcome in all Edmonds Parks and trails while on leash except in the following areas: 

Playgrounds including the Spray Park.
Athletic fields such as soccer and baseball fields.
Public beaches (except the Off Leash Area Edmonds).
Anywhere in Brackett’s Landing North Park (a Conservation Area). 

Service animals are always welcome while providing assistance to their human partner. 

Why do dogs have to be on a leash in Edmonds Parks? 

Although off-leash play is considered a recreation use by many, not all park users are comfortable around animals which is one reason why dogs are required to be on a leash in nearly all of Edmonds Parks. For off-leash recreation, visit the Off Leash Area Edmonds located at the south end of Marina Beach at 498 Admiral Way. 

Rules regarding pet ‘no go’ zones in Edmonds parks have been established for a number of reasons; to prevent damage to turf and playfields, to protect human health and safety, and to protect vulnerable wildlife. Failure to comply with the rules may result in fines. 

Dogs Cause Damage
One of the main reasons that dogs are not allowed in certain areas is that they cause damage. 

Dog claws tear up the ground as they run on playfields, creating “runways” in grassy areas where balls and Frisbees are repeatedly thrown for them to retrieve. Even playfield areas that are kept free of grass, such as the infield of a baseball diamond, can be torn up by the constant patter of dog paws. These areas develop into a muddy mess, making for unpleasant and unsafe athletic play. 

Digging by dogs can also create damage that renders playfields dangerous and unusable. Holes dug by dogs are often hard to spot, and may pose a tripping hazard during athletic play. 

On playgrounds, dogs and other pets may also damage equipment by chewing on it or scratching it.

Nobody wants to play in pet waste
Even when pet owners diligently scoop up after their pet, traces of fecal matter are invariably left behind, and there is no way to effectively clean up urine. Whether you’re walking or playing on the beach, grass on a playfield, woodchips in a play area, or on the play structures themselves, there is no way to avoid being contaminated by remnant pet waste. 

Dogs and Wildlife Don’t Mix
Edmonds beaches provide essential breeding, foraging, and resting habitat for wildlife. Brackett’s Landing North Park in particular is a designated Marine Protected Area. Seals, shorebirds, and many other species come to this area to take advantage of the rich resources found here. Some species here are federally protected. 

More wildlife means a higher chance of interaction between these animals and your pet, interactions that may be detrimental to the health and well-being of both. Dogs are known to bark, chase, and sometimes bite wildlife, and wildlife can transmit diseases to both pets and people. 

Birds, seals, and other wildlife view dogs (even the friendly ones) as predators, so even a well behaved, leashed dog could disrupt wildlife’s normal behaviors.

You are welcome to bring your dog to the park provided you follow a few simple rules:

1. Dogs must remain on a leash and in owner control at all times.
2. Owners must pick up after their dogs.
3. Dogs are not allowed on the beach at any time (except for the off-leash dog park).
4. Dogs are not allowed on playgrounds, athletic fields (soccer, baseball, etc.), inside the Hazel Miller Spray Park or at Brackett's Landing North. 
5. Dogs must be vaccinated against rabies as required under WAC-246-197; other vaccinations are encouraged. 

Dog Rules FAQ

Q: What do I do if I see someone violating the dog rules?
A: It is a violation of Edmonds City Code to allow dogs or other pets to run at large in parks, other than the Off-Leash Dog Area at Marina Beach Park. While Beach Rangers will be patrolling our beaches during the summer and requesting voluntary compliance, they have no code enforcement authority. the City of Edmonds employs two animal control officers. We ask that dog owners support our efforts in self-policing each other to the extent that you feel comfortable. If at any time you feel threatened, or unsafe around any animal or owner, call 911. 

Q: Can I take my dog to the Frances Anderson Center Playfields?

A: Dogs are not allowed on athletic fields or playgrounds which essentially eliminates most of the Frances Anderson outdoor play area with
the exception of the grass hillside and sidelines of the athletic fields.

Q: Can I take my dog to Civic Center Playfields?
A: Yes, you can walk your dog on leash at the Civic Center Playfields, please keep them off of the soccer fields and playground.

Q: Can I take my dog onto the beach?
A: Only in the off-leash dog park. Our beaches are marine wildlife sanctuaries and are off limits for dogs. We appreciate your support keeping
all wildlife safe.

Q: Can I take my dog onto the fishing pier?
A: No animals are allowed to enter or remain on the fishing pier unless they are service animals.

Q: Can I take my dog with me to my kids’ game?
A: Yes, you can have your dog with you on the sidelines provided you do not allow them onto the athletic field.

Q: I have children who are very afraid of dogs, where can I take them that will not have dogs?
A: Dogs have and will continue to be prohibited from all playgrounds (and the spray park) for this very reason. We want to keep the kids safe
(and sanitary).

Q: Are dogs allowed at special events such as the Arts Festival, Summer Market, Taste, etc.?
A: Each of these events lease space from the City and are authorized to establish and enforce their own rules with regards to dogs provided
they do not allow them onto playgrounds and that they remove all dog waste from fields at the conclusion of the event. This includes special events held at the Frances Anderson Center, events are authorized to determine whether or not they will allow dogs on the fields during such events provided they abide by the rules stated above.

Q: Can I play fetch with my dog on fields?
A: You can do that at our off-leash park at Marina Beach, all other Parks require you to keep your pup on their leash.

Q: Can I take my dog onto school grounds/fields?
A: Yes, as long as you abide by the School District signs at each location.

The city recognizes the need to exercise our canine residents, and we hope you enjoy walking your dogs along our many trails and open spaces. By abiding by the rules, it helps us support the public spaces that do allow dogs. 

Dog License

Dog licenses are mandatory for all dog park users. Owners of unlicensed pets are subject to monetary fines, possible removal of the animal and other judicial punishments. Edmonds residents can purchase pet licenses over the counter at the Edmonds Police Department more details.