1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204
Yes, dogs are welcome visitors to most Portland parks, trails, and natural areas! When visiting parks with pets, remember:
Off-leash dogs seriously compromise the health of parks and natural areas. Portland Parks & Recreation's designated off-leash areas are thoughtfully sited to avoid environmental impacts. Allowing even a single dog off-leash can disturb wildlife, and impact the habitat Portland Parks & Recreation works so hard to protect.
Absolutely. Dog waste contains bacteria and organisms that can spread disease in people and other dogs. In humans, contact with dog waste can cause stomach illnesses and rashes. Dog waste also spreads disease among dogs, including serious illnesses like giardia and parvovirus.
Dog waste also has environmental impacts. Unlike human waste, which is directed into sewage pipes, dog waste left on the ground eventually pollutes our waterways. Left on the ground, dog waste also deposits excessive amounts of nitrogen fertilizer to the soil, increasing the spread of nitrogen-loving weeds at the expense of native plants.
Off-leash areas are just one of the many types of recreation amenities requested by park users. Other requested facilities and equipment include sports fields, playgrounds, swimming pools, gardens, and activities. It is not possible to provide every one of the 200+ parks in Portland with all of the facilities requested by individual interest groups.
No dogs (whether leashed or unleashed) are allowed on fields maintained for sports use. Sports fields are intended for use by sports teams, and dog use creates serious health and safety hazards, including:
Design and construction costs vary depending on the location and size of the off-leash area, and whether the area is fenced or unfenced. Costs currently run around $200,000 for a new off-leash area. Maintenance and operation costs also vary depending on factors like turf repair, bark chip replacement, fencing repairs, environmental mitigation efforts, and volume of site use.
PP&R is not able to consider changes to or adding new off-leash areas at this time. The staff time, resources from various work groups to plan, design, build and maintain new sites and changes are beyond our current capacity. When new parks are designed, we do consider whether an off-leash area would be appropriate at that time. Creation of a new off-leash area in that context would be funded as part of the new park’s development process.
An off-leash area is a designated area in a park where dogs can play and exercise off-leash. Off-leash areas may be fenced or unfenced; unfenced off-leash areas are identified by boundary markers. Off-leash Area Locations and Hours
Though many dog owners are respectful park visitors, disregard for leash/scoop laws is an ongoing concern in many parks and natural areas. To increase compliance with leash and scoop laws, Portland Parks & Recreation uses a variety of education and enforcement strategies, as well as providing off-leash areas for dog-owner recreation.
Citations of up to $150 per incident may be issued for violation of leash/scoop laws.
Multnomah County Animal Control officers and PP&R Park Rangers.
Portland’s parks, natural areas and trails are extensively used for all types of recreation, and off-leash dogs and dog waste have significant impacts on the health, safety, and enjoyability of park lands.
Obeying leash laws: