Van Nest is an older neighborhood situated in east Bronx just to the east of the Bronx Zoo. It is considered a working-class neighborhood and consists mainly of single-family homes but is home to a few tenements. In recent years, it has been become a larger concentration of lower income working families as they have moved from other areas. You can find a pet store to the west in West Farms and grooming and pet stores are also available in Park Chester to the south. You will find mainly small businesses such as delis and small eateries in Van Nest, so if you are out walking and looking for a bite to eat, you should be able to find something.
You can enjoy walking through these neighborhoods from spring through fall although be careful walking during the heat of the summer as hot pavement can be a problem for your pup’s feet.
The good news is that most of Van Nest is flat, so if you do not love the idea of walking up hills, you will not have to worry about that. This area does have some hills and is on the border of some hillier areas, so if you would like a bit of a challenge when walking, you will find it at the west end of Van Nest.
Many of the roads through Van Nest have wide sidewalks and plenty of trees. What you will not find through this neighborhood is much in the way of grass. With no place natural for your dog to walk, good foot and paw pad care is vital. This means checking the weather for the possibility of hot pavement or freezing conditions but also being mindful of what is along the concrete as you walk. Remember that if it could harm your feet, it could just as easily harm your dog's feet.
Unfortunately, there are not a lot of options for dogs when it comes to greenways in Van Nest. All the parks in this neighborhood are actually playgrounds and dogs are simply not allowed in. The Bronx River Park also does not allow dogs. So if you really want to find a taste of nature for your pup, you will need to hop in the car and go for a drive.
A short drive north on the Bronx River Parkway will take you to Van Cortlandt Park which does allow dogs in certain areas. This large park can keep you busy for most of the day. With 1146 acres, it offers multiple hiking trails as well as places where your dog can run to their heart's delight. The park is also a conservancy, so make sure to keep your dog to areas where they are allowed and always keep them on a leash unless the rules say otherwise.