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Can Dogs Go On Tennis Courts?

dog and tennis balls
  • Are dogs allowed on tennis courts?
  • Why do dog owners like their dogs using them?
  • Why do many tennis players not like it?
  • Are tennis courts bad for dogs?

In all my years playing tennis on my local courts, I’ve never seen dogs and their dog owners using them.

To the best of my knowledge, there are no signs up anywhere which prohibit dogs from running around on them.

It might be because the courts are often in use and they are surrounded by a large green space,  which is plenty big enough for dogs to get some fresh air and exercise.

However, in a more general sense, a quick search online reveals that many dog owners let their canine pals have a run around on tennis courts.

And it’s certainly a controversial topic…

can dogs go on tennis courts

Can I take my dog to a tennis court?

I think in most cases, if we’re talking about public courts, unless there is a written rule prohibiting dogs on tennis courts, it’s probably not a case of can you take your dog..

..but should you do it.

Bear in mind that this only applies to hard courts. A dog could destroy a clay or grass court very quickly!

I have nothing against dogs, especially with responsible dog owners.

If a pooch wants a quick run around on a public tennis court when it’s not in use, I don’t really have a problem with it.

But it does depend on how well trained the dog is and how conscientious the dog owners are.

Something different for dogs

Dog owners like Rachel, from The Dog Geek, clearly understand the primary focus of a tennis court is to actually play a game of tennis, and not use it as a dog park.

She stresses that she only uses the court very early in the morning or late in the evening, and not during peak hours or for long periods of time.

Rachel also explains how letting her dogs use a court at a local park enables her dogs to do something different, by chasing some balls without using their leashes.

I don’t think many tennis players would have a problem with this.

yorkshire terrier with a tennis ball in his mouth

The dangers of dog mess

However, when irresponsible dog owners and their dogs use tennis courts that’s a different matter entirely…

..and it primarily involves dog mess.

There’s nothing more frustrating than stepping onto some dog faeces, and it would bug the hell out of me if there was some left on a tennis court.

It’s frustrating, extremely unhygienic and it gives all dog owners a bad name.

You can see here what some tennis players think about it!

Furthermore, at private tennis clubs, dogs on tennis courts are most certainly out of the question.

If members are paying a monthly fee to use some pristine grass, clay or hard courts, the last thing they expect to see are some dogs running on the courts.

However, you may be allowed to bring dogs on site as long as they are on a lead.

Is concrete bad for dogs paws?

There’s also another angle about dogs using tennis courts..

..and that’s on how the hard-wearing surface affects their paws.

Although dog paws are quite tough, after spending some time running up and down a tennis court, it could cause some pain for them later on when they get home.

Dogs love running around in the park and chasing things, and dog owners often don’t realise the damage hard-surfaces can do for canine paws.

Furthermore, tennis hard courts also contain some abrasive material which stops tennis players from slipping, and this can also make things worse for dogs’ feet.

Is it ok to put shoes on dogs?

As a dog owner, if you still want your pooch to have a run around on a tennis court, it might be worth buying some booties (affiliate link) for them to protect their feet and paws.

blue tennis court

Are there any dog friendly tennis courts?

You should be able to find some in your local area, but make sure you check the rules and regulations online first.

If it clearly states dogs are forbidden that’s fair enough, but if you can’t find anything, I would still check for any signs outside the tennis courts which may state dogs are prohibited.

If you still can’t see anything, then you’re probably ok to try them out..

..just please be like Rachel.

As a tennis player myself, I’d really appreciate it!


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