West Des Moines has been listed among the 100 Best Places to
Live and Launch. The town, originally named Valley Junction, was home to a railroad
switching and repair station. By 1937, the trains stopped, and the community reinvented
itself, becoming West Des Moines. Now the tenth largest city in Iowa, this bustling puptown loves its furry friends, and boasts twelve veterinarians
and clinics ready to handle whatever your pooch requires.
The Three Dog Bakery offers unique treats and special occasion canine cakes to celebrate the best of times with your pup. Your pooch will wag-it-like-he-means it for one of their famous Pupcakes. After indulging, set your stride for the Jordan Creek Trail, a pleasant wooded trail that links neighborhoods and shopping areas, and runs through two of the main parks in town--Jordan Creek Park and the Raccoon River Park. The Raccoon River Dog Park has two separate and fenced areas that include trails to explore and acres to run.
Pull on your walking shoes and grab Fido's leash as you take off to the Jordan Creek Park for a dogtastic walk on the paved trails. Your pup will enjoy exploring for squirrels in the wooded part of the trail, and you'll enjoy checking out the activity in the community gardens next to the trail. There's plenty of running and fetching space in the open grassy lawns often used by community sport teams for practice. After a great workout, stop in at Menchies Frozen Yogurt for a celebratory treat with your pooch. Enjoy one of their 100 rotating flavors and 70 rotating toppings at one of their outdoor tables.
Check out Ashawa Park where there's something for everyone. Bring your family along to enjoy the sport fields, playgrounds, and open field areas. Your pup will enjoy a pawsome leashed walk on the paved trails and an exuberant round of Fetch or Frisbee on the lush green grass. The park trails also connect to the Jordan Creek Trail if you’re looking for a longer trek. Bring along fixin’s for a picnic to cook on the grill. Enjoy in the shaded shelter during the summer, or just roll out your blanket under a tree on the grass. Restrooms and water fountains are available in this park.
Come on to Willow Springs Park with your pup and enjoy this great little park in a quiet neighborhood. A small bridge leads from the parking area, across a creek and onto a walkway that circles the park. There are playgrounds, a basketball and tennis court. The big open space is a great place for the older kids to play and also for Fido to get a chance to run a bit and chase the Frisbee. Bring a picnic lunch and relax at the picnic tables for a little more time in the out-of-doors. The park has restrooms and water fountains for a wonderful day out.
Quail Cove Park has a snifftastic walking path that you and your fur baby will enjoy as you get in a little exercise in the neighborhood. This park is also great for children, so load up the kids and the pup and enjoy the afternoon. Bring along a picnic you can all share around one of the picnic tables and enjoy a little more time in the fresh air and sun before heading home. If you're traveling through, stay at the dog-friendly Sleep Inn and Suites West Des Moines nearby with up to two pups for an additional fee per night.