Dog Boarding in Des Moines
Find a loving dog sitter to watch your dog overnight at your sitter's home.
Kari recently booked dog boarding with Brianna in Des Moines
Brianna has watched Tucker a few times now and is always great. I love that she is willing to be flexible as needed and I trust her completely to watch Tucker when I'm out of town.
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See what owners are saying about dog boarding in Des MoinesDes Moines dog sitters were rated 5 out of 5 stars from 175+ reviews
Brandon's review on Jul 09, 2019
I would highly recommend her... she treats your pets as her own . She sends updates and photos . I felt very good with my kids in her hands.
Sarah's review on Jun 24, 2019
great sitter! She took Duke out to dog park and made him feel comfortable in her home. Would definitely use her again!
Justin's review on Jun 21, 2019
Matty took great care of my dog, Finn. Matty is very professional and provides a welcoming space and personality for your dog. His communication was great and I appreciated the daily updates and photos while I was away. I would definitely recommend Matty to anyone in need of a dog sitter.
Aubrey's review on Jun 17, 2019
Shae is a very welcoming person. She had my dog at comfort before i even left her home. Received pictures and I know he received lots of attention and love! Will be going back to her!
Kathy's review on May 23, 2019
We are so happy with the care and love that our baby Cooper got from Kristi in her home while we were on vacation! She sent pictures every few days and kept us up to date with how he was doing. We will absolutely have her keep him again in the future!! Kristi, thank you so much!!
Brittany's review on May 19, 2019
Crystal and her family were great with my little one! They have a fenced in backyard, clean house, played with her, sent pictures and updates during my vacation. I am certainly going to ask her to watch Frosty again!
Chris's review on May 14, 2019
Michael was greate with our dogs, and would trust him to take care of them anytime!
Joe's review on May 03, 2019
Couldnt do without summer making the visits to give me a piece of mind when I leave for work
Top Dog Parks in Des Moines
Dogs are welcome on-leash at this multi-use trail that offers a string of trailside parks as it follows along Walnut Creek. Lions Park starts at the west end of the trail and connects to two other main trails: The Heart of the Warrior Trail, which runs three miles west, and the Raccoon River Valley Trail, which travels west and then north for more than eighty miles to Jefferson. There’s a little bit of everything in this Greenbelt. You’ll also pass by suburban neighborhoods as you head east. The trail eventually turns into the Walnut Creek Trail, which turns into other paths along the expansive network of Des Moines area trails. You and your pup will love the view of city hall and the public library before you head into the lush forest greenery, all while passing other dog walkers, joggers, and cyclists.
This trail is one of the 1,600 rail trails supported by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a nonprofit company that is working to create a nationwide network of trails from former rail lines. Your dog must stay on-leash, but will enjoy walking along this 20.9-mile previously unused railroad corridor in Polk County. Because the path is mostly concrete and asphalt, it’s also a great option for cycling, in-line skating, and, in winter, cross-country skiing. The trail currently connects East Des Moines with the suburb of Ankeny to the north and the suburbs of Pleasant Hill and Altoona to the northeast. The goal of the nonprofit is to eventually link several central Iowa communities over a 35-mile course. For now though, it’s the perfect workout because it’s flexible; you can walk as little or as long as you want, depending on how much time you have.
Just eleven minutes away from Des Moines downtown center, Raccoon River Dog Park in West Des Moines is a twelve-acre fenced dog park where your furry friend can run around off-leash, with a nearby river to cool off. You’ll need a permit to enter the area, but it’ll be worth it to see your dog socialize and romp around. Plus, the sale of these permits provides funding to maintain and enhance the dog park. There are also nearby trails that you can enjoy, and separate areas for small and large dogs to avoid any social anxiety your pet might have. You’ll find the park just east of the softball complex.
The 167-acre Gray’s Lake Park in the heart of the city features a 1.9-mile lit trail that encircles a lake and sits on a former sand and gravel excavation operation. Although it’s a great spot to take a stroll, dogs are not allowed on the swimming beach and must be on a leash while in the rest of the park. You’ll still be able to see views of the water, where you can watch people swimming, fishing, sailing, and canoeing. Because you’re sharing the trail with many others, be sure to clean up after your animal. Pet waste stations pop up every half mile of the path, as well as in the parking lots.
Des Moines's Bark Score
How Des Moines got their Bark Score
We love crunching numbers almost as much as we love caring for dogs, which is why we came up with the Bark Score. It's all about how dog-friendly a city is, and is determined using census statistics, local business information, and our own data. Des Moines received a 32 out of 100 in vet availability, which includes the number of emergency veterinarians, regular vets, specialists, and the average premium for pet insurance in the area. For pet services—like groomers available, number of dog trainers, and count of Rover sitters—this city earned a 55. For the parks and fun category, Des Moines received a 52 for its number of dog parks, sunny days, and dog-friendly restaurants and hotels. And last but not least, for quality of dog life which includes overall dog population, average yard size, and number of dog-friendly property rentals, this city earned a 51.
Top Dog Neighborhoods in Des Moines
Historic East Village
The East Village is just between the Iowa State Capitol and the Des Moines river. It’s truly a convenient hub, as the entire neighborhood is easily walkable. You and your dog can pass by the many shops and restaurants, as well as the State Capitol Building and the Simon Estes Riverfront Amphitheater, right on the banks of the river. You’ll have to leave your pet at home if you decide to enter the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, which is also nearby. If you’re low on pet supplies, head into Jeff and Monkey’s Dog Shoppe on Locust Street, established in 2009. They can even provide you a map of pet-friendly destinations in the area.
Western Gateway Park
Western Gateway is a zone of urban development that features residences, businesses, and retailers all surrounding a park. The park itself is 13 acres and is located in the western entrance of downtown Des Moines. Take a stroll and witness the 4.4-acre John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park, home to 28 sculptures designed by some of the world’s most famous artists. It was created as an outdoor museum in open air. Keep walking and you’ll see the outside of the Des Moines Central Library, The University of Iowa John and Mary Pappajohn Education Center, and the Temple for Performing Arts. The headquarters of Meredith Corporation is within Western Gateway, which developed the seasonal prairie gardens near the edge of the park.
Developed in the early 1870s, Sherman Hill is the oldest neighborhood in Des Moines (it’s been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1979) and is within walking distance of downtown. The area has retained its original character, with its historic street lighting and distinct architecture. Sign up for a walking tour, where you can view homes and gardens from the 19th and early 20th century. You can also stroll by Hoyt Sherman Place, built in 1877. Although it was originally a mansion, it’s now home to a theater and art gallery. However, you won’t be able to bring your dog with you if you decide to venture inside.
Historic Court District
The Historic Court District has seen many changes since its inception in 1846. Polk County Courthouse has been nestled at the west end for the past 100 years, and you can also walk past period street lamps, planters, and park benches on the sidewalks as they connect east to the Meredith Trail and the Principal Riverwalk. The former extends for five meals in an urban setting, while the Riverwalk consists of a 1.2-mile long loop complete with public art, unique pedestrian bridges, and archways that connect 300 miles of Central Iowa trails. While on the loop, you’ll also pass by Hansen Triangle Park, at the corner of Grand Avenue and 2nd. Check out the Farmer’s Market between May and October, which boasts around 300 vendors each Saturday, making it one of the country’s largest outdoor markets. During the winter, the market moves indoors to Capital Square.
Why do dog owners love Des Moines?
Des Moines, incorporated in 1851, is the capital of Iowa and is its most populous city with a population of 217,521. The 90.65-square-mile urban area is also the county seat of Polk County, but a small section extends into Warren County. Des Moines gets its name from the Des Moines River, which it is directly on. The river is a tributary of the Mississippi River and the largest flowing river across the state of Iowa. Often credited as a major center of the United States insurance and finance industry, the city is the headquarters of major businesses like the Meredith Corporation, EMC Insurance, and Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, as well as home to branches like Wells Fargo, Voya Financial, and Marsh. An important city when it comes to presidential politics, it’s the site of the first caucuses of the primary elections, and many candidates set up campaign headquarters there. If you’re interested in antiquing, the Valley Junction neighborhood is the perfect area for you, as it’s filled with quaint shops. This section of town hosts the Valley Junction Art Festival, where you can find hidden treasures in antique and specialty shops, art galleries, and fashion boutiques. In the same area, The Walnut Creek Trail in West Des Moines seamlessly connects both Clive Greenbelt and Raccoon River Valley. It also provides access to Colby Park, a recreational facility in Windsor Heights that features a community center, pavilion, ball fields, and a playground. Follow the paved pathway of the park to enter the Bill Riley Trail, which also ties into the Des Moines expansive trail network. Drive twenty-two minutes out of Des Moines, and you’ll find the town of Ankeny, home to Ankeny Dog Park. The 7.5-acre enclosed area, located at the intersection of Southwest Goodwin Street and Southwest Ankeny Road, features separate large and small dog areas, a half-acre pond, and water fountains. If your doggie would prefer to hike on-leash, Ankeny also holds the 27.1-mile High Trestle Trail, part of the rail trail network. Looking to stick within the Des Moines city limits? No problem, as there are other places to have off-leash fun, like Ewing Dog Park, which, at 8.5 acres, is the city’s largest dog park. You can also try Reno Memorial Dog Park and Riverwalk Dog Park. Or, if you want to keep your furry friend on a leash, you might love walking through the Robert D. Ray Asian Gardens. Dog owners in Des Moines, Iowa will love everything the city has to offer, and you’ll have one happy pup!