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Dog-Friendly Activities in the City

Many people love to spend time in the great outdoors with their dog. But what if that doesn’t mean hiking trails through lush forests? What if your “great outdoors” is tall buildings, busy sidewalks and strategically planned green spaces? Well, if you’re wondering “What are some fun activities for urban dogs?” you’re in luck. Whether you live in a city or you’re just visiting, there are oodles of dog-friendly activities for both you and your furry best friend to explore.

Before You Leave for a Day in the City

Keeping your canine companion safe is your greatest priority. So before heading out to explore some new urban areas, make sure their collar ID tag and their microchip are up-to-date with your contact details. The city is alive with loud noises, weird smells, fast movement and other dogs, all of which have the potential to scare your dog. Correct identification will help ensure your furry friend makes it home if the two of you do become separated. And don’t forget their leash — many places will only allow leashed dogs to enter.

What Are Some Dog-Friendly Activities in the City?

If you’re looking for a pet-friendly place to hang out with your dog or a fun place for dogs to meet new furry friends, you should be able to find plenty of fun things in the city. Here are a few dog-friendly attractions we found:

  • Dog park: The dog park may be the most obvious place to take your dog, but some have pretty cool features like an agility course, splash pad or fire hydrants that spray water!
  • Dog-friendly beach: Some dog parks call their lakeside area a “beach.” Fun!
  • Green spaces: All that grass to run, play fetch or chase squirrels up trees…
  • Dog-friendly stores: Ask your BFF whether they think that shirt’s right for you!
  • Take a boat ride: Some waterfront cities offer dog-friendly boat tours. All aboard!

Take Scout Out to the Ballpark

If you’re in a city that’s home to a major or minor league baseball team (and it’s the right time of the year), there’s a good chance your dog can attend a game. Many stadiums offer special days where dogs are invited to the game for Bark at the Park, Dog Days or Pups in the Park, to name a few. As a nice bonus, it’s common for some of the ticket proceeds to go to local animal shelters or charities. Your dog may even get to circle the bases after the game or take home a special keepsake. So much fun!

A Comfy Spot to Rest and Recharge

So. Many. Fire hydrants. After a busy day taking in the sights and smells of the city, you and your furry companion will be ready to take a break. There has been a steady increase in the number of dog-friendly restaurants, coffeehouses, sports bars and cafes, so hopefully you will be able to track down one that suits both of your tastes. There are even some that have an outdoor patio or dog park attached so that while you’re relaxing your dog can get a few more zoomies in before the day is done. And if you’re both really pooped from your day in the city, you should be able to find a pet-friendly hotel or other pet-friendly accommodations where you can recharge.

Getting Around the City

If you want to explore areas that are out of “walkies” range, there are a few options to consider. However, most depend on the policies of local transport companies, so make sure you check their website while you’re planning your day as not all dogs may be allowed.

If you’re traveling on Amtrak, dogs and cats up to 20 pounds (including the weight of their pet carrier) can go on trips of up to seven hours on most routes for a fee. If you’re in the Big Apple, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority requires dogs and other animals to be in a bag or other container and carried in a way that doesn’t annoy other riders. Social media has shown that rule is definitely up for interpretation!

For many local bus companies, it’s at the drivers’ discretion whether they will allow your dog on board. Similarly, some rideshare companies are now dog-friendly, but you need to call your assigned driver to make sure they’re OK with your dog coming along for the ride. There are also rideshare companies that will take all dogs, so check what’s available in your area and what the rules are. Of course, certified service dogs are an exception to everything we have listed in this section.

Who’s a Good Doggy?

Whichever transport you decide to use, it’s important that your dog is socialized well, knows basic obedience commands and is comfortable around strangers. Some of these public transport options may feel weird to your dog, so if they don’t like new experiences, then trains, subways and buses may not be the best option. If you’re going on a long trip, it’s a good idea to bring dog treats and entertainment for your dog.

Go Find Those Dog-Friendly Spots!

If you’re new to a city or just visiting, there are many websites that can help you find dog-friendly places. These could be sites specific to the city you’re visiting (like a visitor center), or ones that help you find dog-friendly places all over the country (and the world). For example, BringFido helps you find places to stay, play and eat with your dog. Or just go out and ask some locals. However you explore the city with your dog, we hope you have fun!


RELATED POST: 5 Surprise Dog Breeds for City Living


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