A new year means it’s time to make your 2016 list of things to do with your dog! I originally started the list two years ago to find things to do with Hunter and I am so pleased to see how many of things I’ve checked off the list two years later. We still have a few events and activities we haven’t done though, so we are not done yet!
This year I decided to switch it up a little and organize it by season to make it easier to know what you should be doing with your dog all year long. The list includes many things from previous years, but the information has been updated as times/details change from year to year.
Let me know anything I am missing, Hunter, Roscoe and I are always up for more adventures!
Go on an Easter egg hunt with your dog – The Cleveland APL hosts its annual “Doggone Easter Egg Hunt” in March. Date is TBA. In previous years, the dog walk has been held at Southpark Mall and included Easter Bunny photos as well. Keep an eye on the APL’s Facebook page more details as they are announced.
Go to a hockey game with your dog – The Cleveland APL’s Annual Pucks & Paws event will be Sunday, April 10. The Monsters will be playing the Rochester Americans at 5 p.m. Find out more info here: https://clevelandapl.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Pucks-and-Paws-Word-Flyer.pdf
Visit a botanical garden – If you are looking to take a fun walk with your dog, the Holden Arboretum is a great choice. And there’s no better time to visit than in the spring!
Schedule a Spa Day for your dog – Get your spring cleaning started — with your dog! If you’re looking for a new way to spoil your dog, Fetch in Rocky River and the Barkley Pet Hotel in Orange offer luxury dog grooming services like paw-dicures and facials. Hunter had a fun spa day at Fetch’s spa: http://dogsinthecle.com/hunters-day-at-the-spa/
Sign your dog up for a flyball class – Flyball is a competitive sport for dogs that involves jumping hurdles and retrieving balls. The Cleveland All Breed Training Club offers flyball classes, contact them for more details: http://www.cabtc.org/specialty/flyball-class
Visit a dog park in a State Park – The Northern Ohio area has three state parks that also have dog parks with lake access – Mosquito Lake, Portage Lake and Wingfoot Lake. For more info, visit: http://parks.ohiodnr.gov/petfriendly
Go see waterfalls with your dog – Chagrin Falls is one of the most dog friendly places in the Northern Ohio area. If you haven’t taken your dog there for some shopping and waterfalls viewing, you (and your dog) are missing out! Hunter and I love to go there! http://dogsinthecle.com/dog-friendly-day-trip-chagrin-falls-main-street/
Go to the ultimate dog park – Bow Wow Beach is basically a dog’s dream. With a lake right in the middle and tons of ground to explore, your dog could spend hours here (if you let him).
Go to bootcamp with your dog – Hunter, Roscoe and I love Thank Dog NEO Bootcamp and we really wish more people would do it so we could convince Heidi to start a bootcamp on the west side! For now we have to make the trek over to the east side, but it’s worth it! It’s a fun way to get your dog out and get some exercise in our beautiful parks. And, it goes all year round (moving indoors during the winter). Read about Hunter and I’s first experience with it here: http://dogsinthecle.com/dog-friendly-workout-thank-dog-neo-bootcamp /
Take your dog swimming – Lakewood Dog Park’s annual dog swim and Dog Paddle and Pet-a-Palooza are two fun annual events to take your dog swimming. Stay tuned for dates this summer! Also, Paws by the Lake, a doggie daycare facility in Avon, also offers pool passes for guests to come and take advantage of their lazy river. Contact them at (440) 933-5297 for more details.
Take your dog to a baseball game – Last year there was no Puppypalooza at Progressive Field, so I am not holding my breath there will be one this year. Considering they added the Corner Bar in the seats they used to sell for Puppypalooza, it seems unlikely it’ll be back this year. I’ll keep an eye on it though. You should still have the opportunity to take your dog to a baseball game at one of the minor league fields. Last year, the Lake Erie Captains, Akron Rubber Ducks and Lake Erie Crushers all hosted dog-friendly game nights. Stay tuned for more details as they are announced!
Enter your dog in a contest – A variety of Cleveland dog events hold dog fashion shows and cutest dog contests throughout the year. The last two years the Cuyahoga Animal Shelter held an event called Pawject Runway and the Warehouse District Festival has held a Cutest Dog Contest for several years as well. Stay tuned for more details as these are announced! Here are some photos from last year’s Pawject Runway: http://dogsinthecle.com/dogs-on-the-runway/
Take your dog to work day – This year’s “Take Your Dog to Work Day” will be held on Friday, June 24. Start petitioning at your work for this now!
Visit a vineyard with your dog – Some area wineries that hold yappy hours during the summer include Debonne Cellars, The Winery at Wolf Creek and Thorncreek Winery. Stay tuned for more details on these events! Woof, Wag and Wine, Lake Humane’s annual dog-friendly winery event, will be held on June 18th this year.
Go to an old dog party – The Sanctuary for Senior Dogs holds “Summer Scoop” also known as the “Old Dog Party” every summer offering activities for senior dogs, including the Old Dog Olympics, an agility course for older dogs. Date for 2016 TBA!
Go to Yappy Hour with your dog – For those of us who can never make it to a happy hour because we have to be home for our dogs, yappy hour season, where you can bring your dog along to a bar, can’t come soon enough. Voices in the Dark Animal Rescue hosts one on every third Friday at Rivals Sports Grille in Middleburg Heights (dogs are welcome on the patio when it’s open!) and Tremont Tap House has hosted dog friendly nights the past several years. Stay tuned to the site for more info on these events.
Visit a new dog park! – Several new dog parks opened last year or in recent years, including the Downtown Dog Park, Canine Meadows Dog Park and Carolyn Ludgate in Medina. Read more about them here: http://dogsinthecle.com/new-cleveland-area-dog-parks/
Take your dog to brunch – Luxe in the Detroit Shoreway area is a popular place for dog lovers who also love brunch. The restaurant hosts a Bow Wow Brunch on Sundays in the summer, choosing a Dog of the Week each week to feature on their Facebook page. Other good brunch choices are Rocky River Wine Bar, Nighttown in Cleveland Heights and Lucky’s in Tremont. Hunter and I love brunch! http://dogsinthecle.com/dog-friendly-brunches/
Take your dog to the beach – Who doesn’t love a day at the beach? You can bring your dog along for a swim at Columbia Rd. Beach, Edgewater and Fairport Harbor. All of these beach areas have designated spots for dogs to enjoy the lake.
Take your dog shopping – Crocker Park and Legacy Village and many shops on Main St. in Chagrin Falls are all dog friendly. Crocker and Legacy are mainly just for window shopping, but several stores at Crocker and on Main St. do allow dogs inside.
Put those jumping skills to use – Buckeye Dock Dogs offers dock diving classes for active dogs who love the water. Check them out at: http://www.buckeyedockdogs.com
Take your dog to a farmer’s market – Tremont and Gordon Square Farmer’s Markets are dog friendly, so you can get your shopping done and take your dog on a walk!
Go Paddleboading and/or Boating with your dog – At Hinckley Reservation, dogs are allowed on row boats. You could also borrow a paddleboard from a friend like I did and take your dog paddleboarding! Portage Lakes near Akron is another good spot for water activities with your dog. Read about our paddleboarding adventure here: http://dogsinthecle.com/paddleboarding-pup
Go to a summer festival with your dog – Clifton Arts Festival, The Taste of Tremont and The Warehouse District Festival are common dog-friendly festivals. If you have a calm dog that is good with crowds, this is a fun summer activity.
Get a cup of coffee with your dog – Lucky’s and Civilization, both in Tremont, and Gypsy Bean are all good dog friendly spots for coffee lovers. So bring your dog along next time you want to sit outside with a cup of coffee.
Go camping with your dog – Many area campgrounds are pet friendly including Country Acres Campground in Ravenna, so you can bring your dog along for some hiking and star gazing.
Go to a drive in movie – Aut-o-Rama Drive In in North Ridgeville is dog friendly and last year they hosted a pet night to raise money for Multiple Breed Rescue.
Fundraise for a local rescue group – Rescue groups hold numerous events every year where you can help them raise money for their group and participate in a fun activity! Woofstock, Rescue Village’s annual fundraiser held in September and the Lake Humane Society’s Mutt Strut (Aug. 6 this year!) are two good ones to keep your eye out for this year.
Join a pack with your dog – Cleveland Metroparks as well as many training groups hold regular pack walks. There are also many local hiking groups to get your dog out and enjoying the company of other dogs. Keep an eye on the calendar for dates.
Dress your dog up and go to a Halloween party – Berea Animal Rescue Fund’s Monster Mutt Dash is your chance to dress up your dog up in a Halloween costume and run a 5K or participate in a 1 mile walk. Monster Mutt Dash also includes a fun Halloween after party. Here are some photos from the Monster Mutt Dash Hunter and I went to: http://dogsinthecle.com/monster-mutt-dash/
Get up to date on the latest in dog trends – The Cleveland Pet Expo will be Oct. 8 and 9th this year at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds. The event is dog friendly, so bring along your pup to see training demonstrations, try out new products and learn about local pet businesses.
Run a 5K with your dog – Many races organized by Hermes Cleveland are dog friendly, including the Love-A-Stray race which is usually held in April and the Monster Mutt Dash in October. Stay tuned for updates on more 5K races.
Dress up your dog and join a parade – If you like to dress your dog up for Halloween, mark your calendar for the Spooky Pooch Parade in Lakewood in early October. People get very creative with the dog costumes, so it’s always an entertaining activity for you and your dog. Photos from this year’s Spooky Pooch Parade: http://dogsinthecle.com/photos-from-the-spooky-pooch-parade/ Oberlin Doggie Doo and Pooch Parade is another fun Halloween event to check out this October.
Take a scenic dog hike – I love Cleveland Metroparks. There are so many great trails and the best thing is that the majority are dog friendly! Here are some of my favorites: http://dogsinthecle.com/cle-park-tour-part-1/
Go pumpkin picking with your dog – Szalay’s Farm and Pick n’ Save Orchard are a few dog friendly pumpkin patches in NE Ohio, so you can bring your dog along to pick out this year’s pumpkin. Hunter and I love to pick out pumpkins! http://dogsinthecle.com/dog-friendly-pumpkin-patches-in-northeast-ohio/
Take a walk in one the best National Parks in the nation – GoPetFriendly.com ranks the Cuyahoga Valley National Park as one of the best dog friendly parks in the nation and I agree! Make sure you and your dog take advantage of this NE Ohio treasure, especially during the fall when it’s at its most beautiful.
Find or plan a dog meetup – More and more dog meetup groups are popping up around Cleveland. I know of a Husky/Malamute group, a Corgi meetup group, a Cleveland Italian Greyhound Meetup and I started a Pomeranian meetup group this year. We had our first event and are planning a dog park meetup soon! http://dogsinthecle.com/pom-party/
Visit a castle with your dog – Not only is the North Chagrin Reservation in Willoughby Hills a really beautiful park, but you can take a trail that leads to a castle! Hunter loves pretending he is the king of the castle when we visit (oh wait, he always thinks he’s the king).
Start a dog scout troop – Dog Scouts of America is an organization that provides educational resources for dog owners, as well as hosts camps and seminars to promote responsible pet ownership. Any dog can be a dog scout, the only requirement is that the dog and owner must be able to pass a test to prove the dog is well mannered and the owner is responsible. For more info on starting a troop, visit: http://dogscouts.org/base/troops/start-a-troop
Go see Santa Paws! Don’t miss your chance at the end of November and early December to get your dog’s photo taken with Santa (I will remind you, don’t worry). Hunter, Roscoe and I went to see him this past year: http://dogsinthecle.com/category/santa-paws/
Go to an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party – Voices in the Dark Animal Rescue host an Ugly Christmas Sweater fundraiser party every year where you can dress your dog up for an ugliest Christmas sweater contest. Stay tuned for date and time!
Certify your dog as a good canine citizen – If you are looking to teach your dog some manners, or maybe even want to find out if your dog has what it takes to be a therapy dog, sign him up for a Canine Good Citizen course. Most area training places offer classes to earn the certification. Hunter and I did it with North Coast Dogs.
Put your dog through an obstacle course – If you have an active, energetic dog, you may want to check out Agility. Canine University of Ohio and Cleveland All Breed Training Club are two area training facilities that offer classes.
Join an indoor playgroup –PetPeople hosts playgroups for small and large dogs at different area stores. Check out their calendar for dates: https://www.petpeoplestores.com/calendar.html Also, Grateful Dog Bakery hosts a small dog play group at their North Ridgeville store. Hunter and I checked out some playgroups last winter: http://dogsinthecle.com/the-cure-for-boredom-playgroups/
Teach your dog a new trick – Teaching your dog new tricks is a great winter time activity, and it’s even better when you can do it in a group setting with a trainer. Fortunate Fido and North Coast Dogs offer a variety of classes to work on everything from puppy socialization and behavior issues to new tricks. Here are some fun trick ideas to try at home: http://dogsinthecle.com/category/trick-of-the-month/
Go swimming at an indoor pool – At the Barkley Pet Hotel you can reserve time in their pool to take your dog swimming! Another option for those who are further south is the UltiMutt Inn & Pet Resort you can call ahead to book swimming time for your dog at their indoor pool.
Go to an indoor dog park – There is only one indoor dog park that I know of in the Cleveland area where you can just go for an hour or so and play with your dog indoors – Double Dog Day Care in Stow.
Teach your dog to use his nose – Roscoe and I did a nosework class last year and it was so much fun! This is a great activity for fearful or aggressive dogs, since although it’s often done as a group class, dogs do the work on their own so they don’t have to interact with other people or dogs. I did the class through Pit Bull Zen, but I don’t see any classes currently scheduled with them right now. All Dogs Go to Kevin in the Kent area does have some upcoming nose work classes, check it out here: http://www.dogstokevin.com/group-classes.html You can read about Roscoe and I’s experience with nose work here: http://dogsinthecle.com/doing-work-nose-work/
Schedule a photo session for your pet – The Cleveland area has some great pet photographers. One of our favorites is Brittany Graham of Boots & Bee Photography who we did two photo sessions with last year. Other favorites are Greg Murray and Chewbone Studio. You can’t consider yourself a true dog lover until you have professional photos taken of your dog.
What would you add? Let me know your favorite activity to do with your dog in the comments!