Northern Virginia’s Best Neighborhoods for Dogs

July 16, 2022 | Love Where You Live | By: The Goodhart Group

Northern Virginia magazine has released a list of the top dog-friendly neighborhoods in the area. Not surprisingly, four of the top ten were in Northern Virginia, with Arlington’s Ballston neighborhood topping the list. The ranking factored in several key criteria including the number of animal-friendly apartments, pet stores, veterinarians, dog-friendly establishments, parks, as well as the availability of pet services. Below is the list of Northern Virginia’s four winners, along with our favorite dog-friendly spots in each.


Ballston, Arlington VA Homes & Community Guide | The Goodhart GroupThis Arlington neighborhood is a haven for dogs and their owners with plenty of pet-friendly apartment buildings. Check out Ballston Quarter’s annual “Yappy Hour” each September. Does your pup need training? WOOFS! Dog Training (4241-A N. Pershing Drive) offers science-based training classes and private lessons as well as doggie daycare and boarding. If you need a vet, Ballston Animal Hospital (5232 Wilson Boulevard) is a highly regarded practice, named to “Arlington’s Best” in 2018.

Old Town Alexandria

You’ll find dogs galore in Old Town Alexandria!

You’ll know Old Town is dog-friendly when you see how many water bowls are outside many of Old Town’s shops and restaurants.

Check out the waterfront Windmill Hill Park (501 S. Union Street), which is a haven for Old Town dogs (for a complete list of Alexandria dog parks, click here).

Afterward, stroll up King Street to check out Old Town’s dog boutique, The Dog Park (705 King Street). The Dog Park offers specialty dog items you won’t find at big-box retailers, such as all-natural dog food, collars, harnesses, toys, beds, coats, sweaters, and bowls. Additionally, The Dog Park also sells great dog-centric artwork, greeting cards, mugs, picture frames, magnets, and other fun items.

End the day with a cool cocktail at Jackson’s 20’s popular Barks, Brews & Bites Happy Hour, which takes place the Jackson 20 (480 King Street) courtyard every Thursday from 4 to 7 PM. The pups will enjoy the provided “pup-tinis” and tasty treats. This happy hour is a great chance for dogs — and owners — to socialize!

For more ideas on things to do with your dog in Alexandria, read our related post.


The Shirlington Dog Park (2710 S. Oakland Street) is a very popular spot for the dogs and owners in this South Arlington neighborhood to convene. This two-acre park was one of the first officially recognized off-leash dog exercise areas in the region and is consistently named one of the best dog parks in the DMV.

After, give your pup a treat from Dogma Bakery (2772 S. Arlington Mill Drive). Dogma is perhaps best known for its dog treats baked on-site, made with human-grade ingredients, with no added salt, sugar or preservatives. Dogma also sells premium dog food, snacks, toys, and accessories. Dogma also provides wonderful grooming services and was named to Washingtonian Magazine’s “Washington’s Top Pet Care” list. Owners will enjoy sitting with the pups on the patio of one of Shirlington’s many restaurants including Copperwood Tavern and Guapo’s.

West Falls Church

Falls Church Animal Hospital (1249 W Broad Street) and Barkley Square’s professional pet sitting and professional pet grooming are just two of the many reasons West Falls Church is popular with dog owners. Passionately Pets also offers dog sitting and walking in Falls Church.

The Bottom Line

If you’re house hunting with a dog in the Northern Virginia area, fret not. There are so many wonderful and welcoming dog-friendly communities for you and your furry friend. Be sure to read our post on the key signs of a dog-friendly neighborhood!

If you love your dog-friend community, please let us know so we can recommend it to our clients!

Contact Us

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Newsletter Signup

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.