Gowanus was formally an industrial area, but it is slowly morphing into a residential mix of creatives and hipsters. It is located around a canal of the Gowanus Bay. Homes are generally three or four story brick apartment buildings that sit flush with one another. The sidewalk is wide, but there is no divider between sidewalk and street and streets tend to be busy, so you will often find yourself needing to walk your dog on a close leash while exploring the neighborhoods of Gowanus.
As you come closer to the canal, the area becomes more industrial, with warehouses and other buildings having been converted into housing for artists and their studios. For the most part, you will not be able to walk down to the canal, as most of the shoreline has buildings running right up to the water. One exception to this is the walkway of the Gowanus Canal Sponge Park that offers pleasant grassy areas and a lovely walking trail along the canal.
Streets in Gowanus are generally crowded, with apartment buildings pushing right up to the road and making this a neighborhood a bit lacking in freedom. A pleasant park does exist near the water called the Gowanus Canal Sponge Park, where you can let your dog walk on a looser leash and enjoy the view of the canal.
Another nearby escape from city streets is Carroll Park with its several ball fields and walking paths under attractive tree cover. The Old Stone House and Washington Park are also nearby, offering a wide, grassy area where you can play a game of frisbee or ball with your dog. The Red Hook recreation center and its ballparks are nearby as well. While most of this park is for ball games and not a good place for you to walk your pup, there are several grassy areas for you to enjoy and walking paths through the tree cover around the playing fields.
There are several green spaces accessible to Gowanus so that you can escape from the stuffy city walking. Several regional parks are nearby, including Gowanus Canal Sponge Park and Carroll Park. These parks will provide you with a lovely place to let your dog walk on a loose leash.
If you want more extensive exploration than what the local regional parks can provide, you will have a bit of a walk to Prospect Park. Prospect Park is a huge natural area that has some ball fields but also has miles and miles of walking trails through forested areas. Prospect Park Lake will give you the opportunity to see all kinds of wildlife and you can be sure that you'll see ducks at Duck Island. Your dog will love the opportunity to smell around the lake, and you will both enjoy the cooling breezes. Large grassy areas in this park will also provide you and your dog room to play a game of ball or fetch.