When it comes to finding a place to call home, that place should be somewhere that’s right for everyone in your household — including your favorite four-legged friends. As you look for a new neighborhood, you’ll find that some features and amenities can improve the quality of your family’s life and your dog’s.
Dog-friendly communities in New Jersey have a lot to offer your pup, including neighborhood dog parks, an abundance of walking or hiking trails, convenient access to dog-friendly beaches and restaurants, and plenty of neighbors who also have dogs.
A few cities across the state consistently top the list for being exceptionally dog-friendly. They include:
- Jersey City – With panoramic views of the iconic NYC skyline, this city also has lots to offer dogs and their humans, including lots of off-leash dog parks, dog-friendly beaches, and hotels that welcome four-legged guests. It’s easy to understand why Travel & Leisure named it one of the top 10 most dog-friendly cities in the country!
- Cape May – In far southern New Jersey, Cape May is exceptionally dog-friendly. Many restaurants, shops, and hotels welcome dogs, and the city’s beaches are even dog-friendly from November through March.
- Princeton – This central New Jersey city has an abundance of dog-friendly restaurants, off-leash dog parks, and even farmers’ markets that welcome canines.
Best Dog Parks in New Jersey
While a home with plenty of indoor and outdoor space is great for your pup, dog parks let him run freely and socialize with other animals (and their people!). Some parks are fenced, and some have designated areas for small and large dogs.
- Freedom Dog Park, Medford: This 20-acre park includes water features, an agility course, covered seating areas, and a children’s playground.
- Donaldson Park, Highland Park: A 90-acre riverfront park with a separate area for small dogs, along with picnic areas, playgrounds, and sports fields.
- Wantage Dog Park, Wantage: This small 8-acre park includes agility equipment, toys, and water hoses for dogs, plus a covered gazebo and restrooms for humans.
Dog-friendly Beaches in New Jersey
What dogs (or people!) don’t love a day at the beach? Dogs are welcome to enjoy the sun and sand at many New Jersey beaches. However, some only allow leashed dogs in certain seasons, especially when there are many visitors.
- Asbury Park Dog Beach: This quaint beach allows dogs all day from September through May, as well as early mornings in the summer. Well-trained dogs are also permitted off-leash.
- Berkeley Township Dog Beach: A riverside beach that permits dogs all year long in areas that don’t have lifeguards. There’s also a dog-friendly trail.
- Wildwood Dog Beach: Playful dogs absolutely love the giant fire hydrant sculpture, and your furry friend can also enjoy a swim in the ocean here.
Dogs need ample exercise, and dog-friendly hiking or walking trails offer a natural setting that benefits both you and your pup.
- Watchung Reservation History Trail, Mountainside: This 6.3-mile tree-lined trail includes several interesting historical and geological sites.
- Blueberry Hill Loop, Gibbsboro: With South New Jersey’s Pine Barrens as the scenic backdrop, this 1.8-mile trail offers plenty of benches for resting and opportunities to spot wildlife.
- Thompson Park Trails, Monroe Township: Thompson Park has seven trails ranging from easy to moderate for dogs of different activity levels.
Dog-friendly Restaurants and Shops
New Jersey residents enjoy indulging in some retail therapy or grabbing a bite to eat with their pets in tow. Some public areas only allow dogs in outdoor or open-air spaces, such as patios, but when the weather’s pleasant, there’s no better place to be.
- Belford Brewing, Belford: Enjoy local brews on the dog-friendly outdoor patio.
- Jersey Shore Premium Outlets, Tinton Falls: This open-air shopping mecca includes over 120 stores and several common areas for leashed pups.
- Sunset Beach Shops, Cape May: Dogs are welcome inside and outside the shops here all year.
When searching for a new community for you and your pet, it’s clear New Jersey is the place to be. Let experienced Rumson, New Jersey real estate agents Dennis Lynch and Marshall Lynch help you find the perfect dog-friendly home. Follow Dennis Lynch and Marshall Lynch’s Facebook Page, Twitter, or at their homesite: https://dennisandmarshalllynch.com/