Today, domesticated dogs spend most of their time sleeping, laying around and anxiously awaiting your arrival from work. Their ancestors used to live busy lives of hunting, protecting livestock, and herding. The lifestyle they lead now can lead to depression or obesity. Don’t let this happen to your dog, consider visiting your local dog park. Dog parks are a great way for dogs to:
Expend Pent-up Energy – Your dog can chill off-leash, investigate new smells, wrestle with other dogs and fetch balls. Many dogs are so mentally and physically exhausted by a trip to the dog park that they snooze for hours afterwards
Develop and Maintain Social Skills – Dogs are highly social animals. At the dog park, your dog can practice interacting variety of other dogs’ (breeds and sizes) and using communication skills, and becomes comfortable meeting unfamiliar dogs on a frequent basis. These valuable experiences can help guard against the development of fear and aggression problems around other dogs.
Fun for You Dogs aren’t the only ones who enjoy dog parks. People do, too. They can exercise their dogs without much effort, socialize with other dog lovers, bond and play with their dogs, practice their off-leash training skills, and enjoy the entertaining antics of frolicking dogs
If you are like the folks at UGODOG, you have thought about taking a summer road trip this year, but still haven’t planned it. Summer is already in full swing and it is time to get away. You’re in luck UGODOG found 5 fun, dog-friendly spots. You can go for weekend trip or even turn it into an extended vacation. All you need is a few days, a map, and your best friend (your dog of coarse) – ’cause we’ve worked Fido into our game plan. Check out these locations that are happy to have you and your pup.
1. Denver, Colorado
One of the most pet-friendly cities in the nation, Denver has a myriad of nature hikes, swimming wholes and even pet-friendly dining. If you are looking for a hotel in Denver, check out the Hotel Monaco it’s excellent for families and pets alike. This boutique hotel goes above and beyond in service, it has everything from bicycles to borrow to free to a hosted wine hour and coffee, they even have a pet spa so your pup can get a “Pawdicure”. It is even walking distance to dog park and exercise area.
After a good night’s rest, start your day off at St. Marks Coffee House in the heart of the active neighborhood on 17th Avenue. There is a large patio, local coffee and pastry fans enjoy the outdoors here with their friendly dog pals all day long. Your dog can enjoy some water from a bowl, while you enjoy the sunshine and an iced late.
Once you’ve gotten your caffeine fix, pack up and spend the day on a long nature hike. Try Sand Creek Regional Greenway if you are looking for a nice half day hike. Make sure to pack plenty of water and snacks because this is a 13.5 mile hike and is moderately difficult. It is near Denver metro so it won’t take you long to get there. But, if you are looking for something less challenging you can try Green Mountain Open Space 4.3 mile hike.
There are many great spots in Denver where you can dine with your dog. It is a rare occasion when you can have an upscale dinner where dogs are welcome. Dine at the Black Pearl where everything is local, all the produce is seasonal and ingredients are fresh. The belief behind Black Pearl is that where and how your food is produced is as important as how it tastes. Bring Fido and enjoy this fantastic contemporary American cuisine restaurant.
There is no better way to end a hot day than with ice-cold scoop of delicious ice cream. Bring you pooch to Skoops Ice Cream and More to enjoy its delightful selection of ice cream. Not only does this joint allow you to enjoy a cool treat but your dog can too. Skoops sells ice cream and yogurt specifically made for dogs. Open late every night, it’s the great end to a sun-soaked Denver day.
Before leaving town enjoy a historical lunch, at the Old Capitol Grill. It is actually located in the original state capitol building that housed its first legislature sessions from 1866 to 1867. Enjoy casual American cuisine on its outer tables where you may bring your leashed, well-behaved dog. Old Capitol Grill even has bowls of water available for your thirsty pal.
2. Newport Beach, California
This high-end, famous coastal town has several attractions that will keep the whole family happy. Pull into town and check into Island Hotel Newport Beach, the hotel is dog friendly for dogs up to 50lbs and requires a pet deposit so lay down your indoor dog toilet so there are no accidents, you don’t want to have to pay for.
If you enjoy shopping make your fist stop Fashion Island, it is one the few outdoor malls that allows you to walk around with your dog. And it’s one of the bigger attractions in Dog Friendly Newport Beach. The mall lies along Upper Newport Bay and features fun spots like Muttropolis – a fun pet store with a fresh concept or Newport Coast’s Dogma, a store where you can learn a wealth of information about healthy dog food.
If you get hungry whilst shopping stop at Bloomingdale’s 59th & Lex Café on the outdoor patio they allow you to dine with your pup. After lunch, take time for stopping and admiring the koi pond and fountains before packing it in.
By now your pup will want to get out and get some exercise, head out Newport’s dog friendly beach. Leashed dogs are allowed on the ocean front of the before 10am and after 4:30pm which leaves you plenty of time to catch sunset, on one of the famous beaches of the OC. In the evening you can go to famous Spotlight on Balboa Island where you can dine, shop and enjoy beautiful ocean views. Check out Balboa Sushi 21, they allow dogs on their patio.
2. Sonoma Valley, California
The scenic West Coast gem of Sonoma, California, is most known for its beautiful vineyards and open green fields. Surprise! Sonoma is also the ideal spot for a relaxing weekend with Fido. Did you know that expansive wineries you see in Sonoma aren’t strictly for humans? In fact there are over 50 wineries that dog friendly establishments. Our personal favorite is Mutt Lych Winery a wonderfully whimsy winery where wine and “all things dog” collide into something truly special. Sample the award winning wines with dog-awesome labels. Feel good about the money you spend there since Mutt Lynch Winery is proud to support local animal rescue organizations in their tireless efforts to save pets’ lives. A portion of proceeds from every bottle of Mutt Lynch wine is donated to support local animal rescue organizations. So pack your picnic, make sure it is filled with plenty of cheese, grapes, jerky treats and tennis balls. At this relaxing winery you can take a break, lay down a blanket and play some ball with your pup. But, if you are looking for something more upscale will love Sebastiani Vineyards and Winery, Tuscany style wines and are known for their reds. Located close to downtown and Friday nights in the summer they have live music.
After a day in the sun and tasting assorted wines, grab some chow at Howards Station Café or at Glen Court Café, both spots offer doggy menus making dining together as family possible. If you prefer many other restaurants in the area offer dog friendly balconies and good food too.
Now that you are dog tired, check into one of the many pet friendly, quaint Bed and Breakfasts in the sleepy town of Glenwood. We recommend Olea Hotel situated in a friendly neighborhood with walking space and green roads.
When you wake up the next day and your dog needs some more time outdoors, feel free head over to one of the regional parks in the area for some doggy one-on-one time. Hikes range from easy to difficult depending on the park so make sure to choose according to your dog and your experience level.
3. Austin, Texas
Roll into town and book at the Lake Austin Spa and Resort. Reasonably priced luxury rooms with packages that include all your meals, you may never want to leave. The spa takes advantage of its proximity to the Highland Lakes and the Hill Country by offering such activities as combination canoe/hiking trips and excursions to view the wildflowers. The aromatic ingredients for soothing spa treatments, such as a honey-mango scrub, are grown in the resort’s garden, also the source for the herbs used at mealtimes.
If you can pull your-self away from the grounds of the hotel, experience one of the 12 off-leash parks, Austin has to offer. Whether cooling off in the creek at Bull Creek District Park or taking a tour of the city in horse-drawn carriage, there are plenty of ways for your dog to enjoy themselves while in Austin. A large number of restaurants and stores welcome dogs, so be sure to take them out with you when you’re hitting the town and enjoy the sights of this beautiful Texas city with your best four-legged friends.
When you’re ready to leave the mountain life behind, it’s time to take your dog on an urban adventure. In Austin, you and your dog can travel most anywhere together. Most retail establishments have adopted a dog friendly attitude as long as the dogs are well-behaved and friendly. Most restaurants in Austin follow a similar mindset and allow for your furry friend to hang out on the patio as you take in the sights as well as the food of the thriving city.
When the cityscape begins to become overwhelming for either you or your dog, Austin also offers over 15 off leash dog parks to take your pooch to unwind and socialize. It is very important on a trip like this to observe your dog’s emotions and take care of their instinctual needs.
4. Orlando, Florida
Looking for a place to stay when in Orlando, thanks to the location of Disney World and Universal Studios, many hotels in the area are pet friendly and even offer dog-sitting services while you and your family go and enjoy the park. Try La Quinta Inn Orlando International Drive it is pet friendly! Up to two pets of any size are allowed in each room for no additional fee. Pets may not be left in the room unattended for long days away so remember to pack your UGODOG, a porch potty to put on the balcony, so you can check out some of the not-so dog-friendly sites.
A must do is the Big Toho Airboat Rides on lake Tohopekaliga in Kissimmee. On the lake you will be allowed to observe gators, birds, and other types of wildlife in their natural habitat. Dogs are allowed on these tours as long as they are well-mannered and accustomed to boating. After spending a morning on the lake take your dog to play at the off-leash park Barber Dog Park great for small dogs with own separate section or Baldwin Park where water dogs can swim in the lake.
Sunday morning wake up and check out Lake Eola Park lively farmer’s market that is held from 10am to 4pm leashed pets are also welcome. Although Lake Eola Park is technically not a dog park, the one mile walking path around the lake is popular with pets and their owners. There are also several pet-friendly events held throughout the year at the park.
Or if you are looking for a camping adventure Turkey Lake Park is the place for you and your pup. Turkey Lake Park is a pet-friendly Orlando campground that features a butterfly garden, hiking trails, games, and more. While in town be sure to visit Sam Snead’s, the location where Governor Jeb Bush signed the doggy dining law that allows well-behaved dogs to sit with their owners at outside locations.
5. Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Cape Cod has a quite a few quaint hotels that allow dogs, and is one of the best pet-friendly destinations in the world. Cape Cod’s dog-friendly hotels are concentrated most around Provincetown. It is recommended you call well in advance to make bookings. Top recommended hotels for dogs are Cascade Motor Lodge, located in the heart of the vacation destination, and Comfort Inn Hyannis. There are no dog walking services here either so bring your UGODOG in-door dog potty.
A good way to check out many sites at once is on Hy-Line Harbor Cruises, located at Ocean Street Docks in Hyannis, Massachusetts they welcome well behaved dogs on their vessels as long as they are leashed. On Hy-Line Harbor Cruises you take a traditional ferry to both Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.
If beaches are your thing there are many in the area and are widespread but you must watch out for summer dog restrictions on some of the beaches. Truro, Wellfleet, Orleans, and Eastham Beaches are those that are always accepting our pups. On these beaches, dogs are allowed anywhere there isn’t a designated swim beach for humans so stake out a nice sunny spot for you and your dog and feel free to relax and enjoy your surroundings.
A good old fashion family night out is always fun. At Wellfleet Drive-in Movie Theater, located at 51 Highway 6 in Wellfleet, Massachusetts you’ll have the unique opportunity of experiencing movies the way they used to be watched, but this one allows your dog. If you do bring your do dogs they must be quiet, well-behaved, leashed and cleaned up after.
Raising a dog in the city can be quite challenging, especially if you live in a high-rise apartment building. Dog owners without a fenced-in yard live under special circumstances that demand a lot of time and attention toward dog walks, exercise requirements, and potty breaks. Balancing a dog’s walking schedule with your own busy schedule can be a daunting task that not every city dweller is suited for.
However, one advantage to living in the city with a dog is that it can actually be better for both you and the dog. With no fenced yard to let Fido into every time he wants to go out, he will get more quality attention, walks, and exercise from you. Dog owners with yards are more apt to become lazy and use the yard in lieu of regular walks, exercise, and quality time.
Challenges of city living with a dog often revolve around the lack of a fenced-in yard. These challenges can include:
·Finding time for three to five walks a day
·Leaving your dog alone in your living space for eight or more hours a day during the work week
·Having enough space for a larger dog
·Getting the dog enough exercise
·Difficulty in making frequent trips outside to go potty
Of course, there are many advantages to owning a dog in the city, including protection, never leaving your apartment empty for the day, having a great daily walking partner to get outdoors with and stay in shape, and the many joys of the constant companionship of a dog. For many city dog owners, once they learn to work around the yardless issue, the advantages of owning a dog well outweigh the challenges.
How to Make City Living with a Dog Easier:
Tip # 1: Get on a Regular Walking and Feeding Schedule
Dogs like schedules and routines. Most dog owners have probably noticed that their dog expects to be fed and walked at the same times each day. This is good for both the dog and you, because you can predict when they will need to use the bathroom. Dogs on regular walking schedules also understand when it’s time to play and release energy (at walk time) and when it’s time to rest and be quiet (indoor time).
Most dogs need to be walked three to five times a day in order to get enough exercise and take a sufficient number of bathroom breaks. That’s a lot of walks to fit into a busy schedule. But two or three of these walks can be shorter bathroom breaks, and one or two of the walks, such as the walks you take before and after work, can be longer, exercise-centered walks or trips to the dog park.
Tip # 2: Hire a Dog Walker
If you work long hours or have a long commute to work, it may be impossible for you to fit in five walks a day or make a trip home on your lunch break to take the dog out. Having the help of a dog walker makes owning a dog in the city a much easier task. A midday dog walk with a dog walker will ensure that your dog gets the exercise he needs, a bathroom break, and some time outside the apartment while you’re away for long stretches of time.
Families with older children who get home from school before their parents can also help fulfill the role of a dog walker. If your child gets home from school several hours before you get home from work, a 30-minute walk outside with the dog may be just what they both need after a long day of sitting indoors.
Tip # 3: Purchase an Indoor Dog Potty
The UGODOG is one of the best investments you can make when it comes to owning a dog in the city. While this eco-friendly and convenient indoor dog potty should not take the place of regular walks, it can certainly make the dog-walking schedule a lot easier and less worrisome. Further, it can allow you to leave your dog alone in your apartment for long hours without having to worry that he won’t be able to relieve himself, or that he’ll do it on the living room rug.
If you need a few minutes to regroup or have a snack before your dog walk when you get home at the end of the day, an indoor dog potty can buy you this extra time. Fido may be desperate to get outside to play after being indoors all day, but at least you’ll know that he isn’t desperate to relieve himself. Dog potties are also extremely helpful at night when your dog needs to go out one last time and you’ve already gotten ready for bed.
Tip # 4: Take Advantage of Dog Parks
Dog parks have been growing in popularity over the last ten years, so it’s not too hard to find one near your home in most cities. Provided that your dog gets along with other canines, a dog park allows him to socialize with other dogs and gives you both much-needed space for play and exercise. Dogs should get a variety of forms exercise—not just walks—and a dog park can allow your pooch to run, swim, and play games of catch and frisbee.
Tip # 5: Get Dog Obedience Training
It won’t do you any good to purchase an indoor dog potty or hire a dog walker if your dog is so ill-behaved that he has to spend the whole day in a crate or can’t be walked by anyone but you. Crate training is great for puppies but doesn’t work well as a long-term solution or replacement for obedience training. You will enjoy your dog a lot more and you’ll both be a lot happier if you can trust him alone in your apartment, train him to use an indoor dog potty, take him to the dog park, and let a dog walker exercise him with other dogs.
Looking to spend some quality time with man’s best friend? All dogs look forward to spending time accompanying their owners outdoors. A simple walk or quick jog can provide that necessary physical outlet your pet craves and the one on one connection you seek. However, for an enjoyable change of pace, you may wish to consider excursions other than your usual routine around the neighborhood.Dog parks are an increasingly popular alternative that not only allow for mutual exercise, but meet social needs and provide a natural opportunity for various pet training experiences. Many larger canine parks offer different sections to separate smaller from larger dogs for your comfort. General offerings include the chance for pet owners to accompany their dogs on scenic hikes featuring natural landscapes of the region. A number of outdoor sites work great if you need a large, open field for playing a relaxing round of catch with your pet. These facilities usually offer doggie litter bags for your convenience. Most importantly, dog parks offer the chance for canines to enjoy each other’s company.Different critics have chosen what they believe to be the best dog parks in the nation, allowing you and your special pet an invigorating experience you won’t soon forget. Think of the activities you and your four-legged friend would enjoy most in a dog park prior to visiting one of the best. If any of these are near enough to you, it’s time to grab that leash and treat your pet to a bit of doggie heaven while providing a natural, safe setting to enjoy along the way.
1. Dogwood Park – Jacksonville, Florida
For those canines with behavioral concerns, obedience training courses are offered at this location. Owners can register for courses that teach dogs the basic commands, as well as etiquette. Agility classes are available for your dog to learn new tricks while experiencing a fun outlet along the way. This park also features bathing services for your dogs and swimming at “Lake Bow Wow” – a lake designed specifically for canines.
For those that seek water play, this highly rated facility offers three small ponds amongst its many acres for visitors and their canine companions to enjoy. Dogs are separated by size and can take advantage of the washing stations if needed. The secluded, scenic environment makes for a delightful getaway from busy life.
3. Howard and Erna Soldan Park – Lansing, Michigan
A large open field awaits those seeking space in which to let their pets run, play Frisbee, or retrieve balls. In addition, separate drinking fountains for owners and their pets, as well as a scenic pond are included to accommodate you.
This park rates as a top notch destination with dog drinking fountains, as well as picnic grounds and shady, cooler areas. Dog exercise and training equipment is available for pet use. A refreshing, low key day awaits animal lovers visiting here.
Dog lovers desiring scenic excursions can count on this location for a relaxing walk in the woods along creeks, as well as the exploration of beautiful rolling hills. The park also offers weather shelters for the convenience of visitors during seasons of extreme conditions.
Accommodations here include trails that are lit and plowed during the winter months. Lucky dogs that visit have the chance to dig and play at a large sand pile known as “Doggy Mountain.” If you so desire, birthday parties are also available for your canine companions.
If you are looking for fun group events that your dog can participate in, you can’t go wrong with this choice. Besides a unique pet parade each year, Freedom Bark Park offers a costume contest for your dogs in October, and pictures taken with Santa the following month. Striving to maintain a natural appearance, Freedom Bark Park has made use of fallen trees to create split log benches for visitors to enjoy.
This top pick also deserves an A+ for creativity. Special events such as “Bark in the Park,” a vendor event with various games, offer fun for all. Park officials currently have plans in the making for a memorial wall with pet names displayed to honor former canine visitors that have passed on.
Your pets will be easily entertained with this elaborate dog playground, complete with inclined hills, jumps and tunnels. Pets can drink from their own water fountains after working up a thirst from a day of frolicking through the lush meadows designated just for them.
If you prefer a camp-like setting, this lakefront locale near Columbus caters to both visitors and their canines. The water keeps pets cool and refreshed, while owners can take advantage of biking trails, boat rentals and camping grounds.Dog lovers should keep in mind that a dog park doesn’t have to be top rated to be fun. With proper research, one can find a park in their own region where they and their pet can build a closer bond. Every dog park can give you the proper environment in which to enjoy special time outdoors with your pet and make lasting memories along the way.