Public pools go to the dogs

Aug. 5, 2019
a black Portuges water dog named Hercules mid-air as he leaps into a pool
Hercules shows off his diving abilities. Photos by Cyrus McCrimmon.

We are in the “dog days of summer,” when the mercury climbs and the days are long. Yet fall is around the corner.

Sadly, that means some public pools in Colorado soon will be closing for the season, as teen lifeguards have to go back to school.

Not everyone is mourning the end of summer, however. If your dog loves water, this is a very special time of year when some pools go to the dogs for one day of glorious dog paddling, tennis-ball fetching and deck-side booty sniffing.

If your pooch wants to show off his diving abilities or your puppy wants to prance in the shallow end before pool managers drain the water for the season, don’t miss these fun events with irresistible names like the “Pooch Plunge” and “Dog-a-Pool-ooza.”

a dog splashes into a pool with a tennis ball in teh background
Splashing is allowed and celebrated when the dogs take over public pools throughout Colorado.

Dog swimming events at public pools

Doggie Dip – Arvada, Saturday, Aug. 17

11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Lake Arbor Pool, 7451 W. 83rd Way

Secrest Pool, 6820 W. 66th Ave.

No open swim for people.

Space is limited.

Advance purchase: residents $7, non-residents $9; day of: $10

A black lab with a tennis ball in its mouth during dog day at a pool
Both tennis balls and pooches fill public pools during end-of-season dog days at Colorado public pools.

Dog Daze at the Bay, Broomfield, Sept. 7

250 Spader Way

Multiple sessions

Pre-register to guarantee your spot and time

Dog-a-Pool-ooza – Denver, Aug. 11 & Sept. 1

Cost: $5 per dog, no re-entry. Sessions sell out, so arrive early.

Garfield Pool, Sunday Aug. 11

1295 S. Lowell Blvd.

Session 1: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Session 2: 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Cook Park Pool, Sunday, Sept. 1

7100 E. Cherry Creek Dr. South

Session 1: 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Session 2: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Berkeley Pool, Sunday, Sept. 1

Scheitler Recreation Center, 5031 W. 46th Ave., 720-865-0640

Session 1: 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Session 2: 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

Session 3: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.

Stapleton Denver, Dog Daze at F-15 Pool, Sept. 7

F-15 Pool, 2831 Hanover St.

$5 in advance. $10 on the day of the event if space is available.

Session 1: 1 to 1:45 p.m. for small dogs

Session 2: 2 to 3 p.m. for large dogs

Swimming for dogs only, not humans.

Register in advance. Only 200 small dogs and 150 large dogs allowed.

a dog swims with its hind legs out fo the water at a pool during doggie day
A unique take on the dog paddle.

Pooch Plunge, Fort Collins, Sunday, Aug. 25

4 to 6 p.m.

Fort Collins City Park Pool

1599 City Park Drive

$8 in advance (per person and per pooch); $10 day-of

Buy in advance for VIP (very important pooch) early admission

Greeley Discovery Bay’s Doggie Day, Saturday, Aug. 24

Session 1: 10 a.m. to noon – dogs under 50 pounds

Session 2: 1 to 3 p.m. – dogs 51 pounds +

Discovery Bay Waterpark
715 E. 24th St.

$8 in advance; $10 at the door

Number of dogs limited. Buy in advance to guarantee admission.

three yellow dogs swim out of a pool with tennis balls
A confab of labs and golden retrievers at doggie day.

Littleton, Doggie Dip at Deer Creek Pool, Aug. 19

5:30 to 7 p.m.

$12 per dog. Registration required in advance. Each dog must have a handler. Learn more and register.

Deer Creek Pool, 8637 S. Garrison St.

Longmont, End of Summer Dog Swims, Kick-off, Aug 13 + Aug 14-25

Roosevelt Activity Pool, 903 8th Ave., Aug. 13, 9 a.m. to noon and 4 to 7 p.m.; Aug. 14-16 & Aug. 21-23

Kanemoto Activity Pool, 1151 S. Pratt Parkway, Aug, 17-18 and Aug. 24-25

Fee: $4 per dog. Click here for more details.

Paws for a Dip, Thornton, Aug. 17

10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Thornton City Pool, 2141 E. 95th Ave.

$5 per dog with one human companion; $1 for each additional human. Children age 12 and under are free. No swimming for humans. No unsupervised children. Proof of dog’s current vaccination required.

Barker days in Parker, Sept. 7

9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

H2O’Brien Pool, 10795 Victorian Drive

$6 per resident dog in advance. Walk-up: $8 for resident dogs and $10 for non-resident dogs

Pups at the Pool, Pueblo, Sunday, Aug. 25

10 a.m. to 2 p.m., $5 per dog

Pueblo City Park Pool

221 S. Parkside Lane

Please note:

  • Boulder typically offers its very popular multi-day Dog Dayz in September, but due to construction, the event will be on hiatus this year. Click here for more information. And stay tuned for 2020.
  • The Poochy Paddle at Old Town Hot Springs in Steamboat typically takes place both in mid-September and in April. More details to come about this fall’s event.
  • Colorado Springs’ public pools do not offer dog swimming events.


About the author

Katie Kerwin McCrimmon is a proud Colorado native. She attended Colorado College, thanks to a merit scholarship from the Boettcher Foundation, and worked as a park ranger in Rocky Mountain National Park during summer breaks from college. She is also a storyteller. She loves getting to know UCHealth patients and providers and sharing their inspiring stories.

Katie spent years working as a journalist at the Rocky Mountain News and was a finalist with a team of reporters for the Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of a deadly wildfire in Glenwood Springs in 1994. Katie was the first reporter in the U.S. to track down and interview survivors of the tragic blaze, which left 14 firefighters dead.

She covered an array of beats over the years, including the environment, politics, education and criminal justice. She also loved covering stories in Congress and at the U.S. Supreme Court during a stint as the Rocky’s reporter in Washington, D.C.

Katie then worked as a reporter for an online health news site before joining the UCHealth team in 2017.

Katie and her husband Cyrus, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, have three children. The family loves traveling together anywhere from Glacier National Park to Cuba.