There are so many great things to do with dogs these days, places to go that are dog friendly, and activities that are fun to do together.
In the past ten years or so, more and more restaurants and business are encouraging well-behaved dogs on leashes to accompany their owners. Many cafes and restaurants now allow you to bring your dogs if they have outdoor seating. Always check first, because each place will have different ideas on what is acceptable. The Wet Dog Cafe in Astoria, Oregon encourages well-behaved, leashed dogs on its patio. They even bring treats and a water bowl!
The best way to find out about restaurants that allow dogs in your area is to check either with the local chamber of commerce or with a smaller retail store that sells pet supplies. The owners of independent shops are generally very well informed and happy to give you local information about places to go with dogs in the area. It is also possible that a larger retail chain will know about places to go with dogs in the area, but we have found that the individual boutiques seem to have a better pulse on what to do locally and are usually extremely helpful.
Dog Friendly Beaches
In almost every place where where shoreline exists, you can locate dog friendly beaches where you can swim with your dogs.
Some beaches have built in park areas right on the beach that will allow your dogs to be unleashed. Many designated pet beaches, however, are not fenced and will require you keep your dogs leashed. If you want to let your dog swim, a retractable dog leash is quite helpful, as it will allow a sense of freedom. Each state, and even individual counties and cities, will have different rules and regulations to follow. Welcome centers for the area are a good source of information on pet friendly beaches to visit.
Be sure to visit our resource page about dog friendly beaches to find great pet beaches in both the US and Canada.
Hiking and Camping
Dogs love being out in the great outdoors, and many dogs enjoy the rigor of being on a trail with their best friend. In preparation for a trail hike, it is really important to get their stamina, muscles, and paws conditioned beforehand. Running with or cycling safely with your dog can help build muscle and toughen up their pads and is an enjoyable way to help ensure that they will be ready to meet the demands of a hike. If terrain in your home area is easy and flat, be sure to challenge them to pre-hikes in a more challenging area before taking them on a longer hike.
When planning for a hike or camping trip with your dog, be sure to consider all of the following:
- Protect paws with booties, if needed, and have emergency first aid items with you for injuries.
- All vaccinations should be current. Take any of your dog’s medications or supplements with you.
- Bring the necessary amount of food and water. There are excellent backpacks and dog gear, so your dog can carry some of the load. Your veterinarian can give you an idea of the appropriate weight.
- Always have your dog wear an ID tag. If the phone number on the tag will not be helpful. Cover it with a bit of waterproof tape and indicate what to do if your dog is found.
- Pest Control- Check with your veterinarian about the best way to protect your dog from fleas, ticks and other insects you may encounter. At the end of each day, carefully check his/her coat and pads for ticks and any foreign objects.