I love planning trips that Hunter, Roscoe and I can take, so when a friend that lives in Philadelphia suggested meeting in the Finger Lakes, NY, I thought why not bring the dogs??
I really had no idea how dog friendly the area was. I knew there was some nice hiking in the area and I thought maybe the dogs could hang outside at some wineries. Little did I know until doing a little more research that the Finger Lakes is a very dog-friendly place to visit.
Located about four and half hours from Cleveland, the Finger Lakes region is located in Central New York. We stayed in Seneca Falls right on the Cayuga Lake. We were about 20 minutes away from most of the wineries on the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail, all of which are dog friendly. There are 14 wineries on the trail and all of them allow dogs inside the tasting room. We asked before entering each one though, just to be safe. (The weekend after our visit they were actually having a dog-friendly wine event at the wineries.)
Since you can only drink so much wine in a day, sadly, especially while transporting around dogs, we only visited four wineries along the trail – Varick Winery and Inn, Knapp Winery, Thirsty Owl and Buttonwood (dogs didn’t go into Buttonwood, although they would’ve been allowed as far as I know). The dogs were welcome at our stops and there was even water bowls already in most of the wineries.
Knapp Winery actually had a very dogs-and-people tolerant resident cat too.
At Thirsty Owl, we sat outside at the picnic tables and had a beautiful view of the lake while we ate lunch. The food and service were great, I’d definitely recommend it as a good stop for lunch along the wine trail.
Hunter loved the attention he got from the groups of women visiting the wineries for bachelorette parties, and Roscoe enjoyed the anonymity he could have by hiding out close to the bar. None of the wineries were too busy on our visit, so it made it pretty easy to bring the dogs along.
If wine tasting isn’t really your (or your dog’s) thing, there are some great hikes in the area, as well as other activities for dogs around the lake. At the end of the wine trail was Taughannock Falls State Park – a great place for a walk before or after the wineries to wear out the dogs. From where we parked it was about a mile walk to the Falls, which was definitely worth a visit and a great way for us to cool down on a hot day!
Taking the trail back we were able to stop and get some ice cream from Cayuga Lake Creamery. They served doggie cups for the dogs too.
Doing a little research, I also found that there is a dog park at the base of the Cayuga Lake in Ithaca, where dogs can access the lake, as well as play in doggy pools. You can also rent canoes or kayaks at Owasco Paddles and bring the dogs along.
We found an Airbnb on the lake in Seneca Falls that was dog friendly. The location was perfect and the price was good, and the place was not so nice I felt bad having the dogs there. More like a cabin (or motorhome actually). We saw a lot of options on Airbnb that were dog-friendly, so it shouldn’t be hard to find a place to stay with dogs.
In Seneca Falls, we also discovered a swanky dog-friendly hotel, Gould Hotel, if you are looking for accommodations that are a little more upscale than most of the cabin-type Airbnbs in the area.
Next time I go back I think I’d look for places a little closer to Ithaca, which is still close to the wineries and other good areas to hike. If you have dogs that enjoy a mix of hanging out and hiking, this is definitely a great dog-friendly trip to take. Since dogs and wine are two of my favorite things, I will definitely be back!
Lakewood dog-friendly retail store, Milo and Me, will be celebrating its first anniversary next month, capping off its first year of bringing fashionable clothes to Cleveland women and their dogs. The store offers a unique experience for the fashionable dog owner – a chance to shop with your dog, as well as lots of fun events for people to get out with their dog, my favorite thing of course!
Jessica Smith opened the store last April and has been hustling ever since, attending dog-friendly events and markets as well as being a regular vendor at the Cleveland Flea. The store offers a stylish collection of women’s clothing and accessories, as well as dog clothes, accessories and treats. And, thanks to the many dog socials she hosts, it has quickly become Hunter and Roscoe’s favorite place to go to try fun doggie treats like pumpkin spice lattes and shamrock shakes.
We love when a dog-centric business opens in CLE, so we wanted to hear from Jessica on how she got started and what she is planning for the future. Read on to hear more:
What were you doing before starting Milo and Me?
Back in 2012, I graduated from the Fashion School at Kent State University with my bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design. I was hired at Heather Moore Jewelry right out of college doing marketing and even designing jewelry. A few years later I decided to work at a boutique in Rocky River to see if I’d enjoy running my own small business. When I felt ready to turn my passion into a real business, I just went for it!
Why did you want to open a store like this?
Growing up, my parents had always owned their own businesses. So becoming an entrepreneur was always part of my plan. I fell in love with Cleveland and decided I wanted to serve the women here. I knew that breaking into the industry as another women’s apparel boutique would be hard, so I paired it with my love for dogs! My goal is to bring a higher end, fashion-forward selection of products to the area that cater to both women and their dogs!
Tell us about your dogs, especially the namesake of the store, Milo.
Well of course I have lots of dogs! Three to be exact but I would have more if I could! Milo, the namesake, is my oldest. He just turned 7 years old, is a Maltese and loves to greet our customers at the door. When he comes to the shop he isn’t bothered by his siblings and knows he’s King here! He loves people but tends to get overwhelmed during our doggie social events and will keep to himself. Milo is a bit large for his breed, weighing a whopping 15 lbs, but I say it’s because he has such a huge heart!
My other two dogs are a 5 year old Pomeranian named Thor and a 3 year old Goldendoodle named Stella. Stella is super shy, so you won’t see her at the shop too often. Thor makes appearances on Thursdays – It’s been dubbed THORsday! He loves coming in and giving his brother the day off.
Any upcoming plans or events you want to share?
Yes! April 6th is our 1 Year Anniversary Bash! (FInd out more info here: https://www.facebook.com/events/382844055599895/?ti=ia) It’ll be running all day, from 11am-7pm, with special giveaways and tons of treats & refreshments for both humans and their pups.
Also, we love throwing social events for the dogs on Saturdays (usually twice a month!) These always involve delicious treats for the dogs. Think ice cream, cupcakes… we’ve even served doggie pancakes! You can find all of our upcoming events on our Facebook page.
What advice do you have for others looking to start a dog-centric business?
Being only one year into my business, I still learn new things every day. So don’t expect to be perfect. And do not be afraid to let your original ideas evolve. I look back at my original plans for the shop and realize I was crazy to think that I could do it all at once! Seriously, you’d laugh! Just start somewhere – and add on as you go to build it up. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to take that leap! “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did.” – Mark Twain
What do you think of the dog-friendly community in Cleveland?
I think we are extremely lucky to have great outdoor spaces for our dogs. The metro parks and Edgewater are my two favorites places. I’ll sound like a broken record by saying that I crave an indoor dog park! We have some temperamental weather in Cleveland, so one of those would be quite valuable to dog owners in the area.
Where is your favorite place to take your dog?
Whenever I can bring along my dog to a bar/restaurant, that’s a plus! I enjoy going to McGinty’s in Lakewood during the winter because they allow dogs inside. During the summer, I attend a lot of baseball games at the Lakewood parks, so I love taking them along for those. Other than that, Edgewater Park is my other favorite and I love that we have a dog beach there.
Will you be at any upcoming events (Cleveland Flea, other markets)?
Yes, of course! You can find us at the Spring Flea on May 4 & 5. We always serve free scoops of doggie ice cream at our booth 😉 We love how dog-friendly the Flea is – such a great summer activity! We also plan on being at the Mutt Strut and Woofstock later this year.
The results are in! You voted on the best places in Cleveland for dog lovers, and we have the winners. Although there were a few surprises, in most cases, the places that are most involved in the dog community, with events and promotions aimed at dog lovers, ended up winning out.
The awards had a great response, so thank you to everyone who voted. I love how much the Cleveland dog community has grown and I am excited to see some local businesses that have really embraced dog lovers and gotten involved in the community receiving recognition.
So, without further ado, here are the winners:
Best Dog Park – Lakewood Dog Park
Lakewood Dog Park has always had a strong connection to the west-side dog community, so it’s not surprising to see it take the top spot. Although not technically a dog park, Edgewater Beach got a lot of votes as well, making it a close second. Read our dog park tour of Lakewood Dog Park here: https://dogsinthecle.com/cleveland-dog-park-tour-lakewood-dog-park
Best Patio – Luxe
Cleveland has a lot of great dog-friendly patios, so it’s not easy to just pick one. I think Luxe takes the top prize, not only because they do a dog-friendly “Bow Wow Brunch” every Sunday during the summer, but also because it’s just a really pretty patio, and it’s just nice when dogs are allowed on a patio that is one of the best in Cleveland. Visit their website here: http://luxecleveland.com
Best Hike- Rocky River Reservation
This was a tough call, as many people just put “Metroparks” or “Cuyahoga Valley National Park” as their answer. I guess I should’ve been more specific about naming trails or specific areas. Rocky River Reservation got the most votes for a specific part of the Metroparks, so it is the winner. With the Fort Hill stairs and the dog-friendly nature center, the North Olmsted part of the trail is one of Hunter, Roscoe and I’s favorite.
Best Dog-Friendly Brewery – Terrestrial Brewing Co.
It was a close call between Terrestrial and Sibling Revelry Brewing in Westlake. But with its numerous dog-friendly events, dog bowl promotions and generally being known as a place to bring dogs of any size, Terrestrial took the top spot for dog-friendly brewery. Follow them on Facebook to keep up with all of the dog events they host: https://www.facebook.com/terrestrialbrewing/
Best Dog-Friendly Store – Milo & Me
Happy to see Milo & Me take the top spot as this new business venture is really picking up a following among dog and fashion lovers in Cleveland. Jessica, the owner, hosts a lot of fun dog-events so this is definitely a top store for CLE dog lovers to visit. Follow on Facebook to find out about events : https://www.facebook.com/shopmiloandme/
Best Day Care – TIE -Camp Bow Wow and Inn the Doghouse
This tie is probably more indicative of where people live than anything else. Since people tend to pick daycares close to where they live, the answers can really vary for what is the best. Camp Bow Wow has a lot of locations around the city (Strongsville and Westlake got the most votes individually), and Inn the Doghouse is located in Lakewood and just opened a location in Mentor. Check them out at www.campbowwow.com and https://innthedoghouse.com/
Best Trainer – Fortunate Fido
I was happy to see Fortunate Fido win as I have taken Hunter there for several classes and love all of the trainers there. Fortunate Fido does a lot of fun classes, including Rally, Parkour and Scent Games. Hunter got his therapy dog certification done through them and is now taking Rally. See their upcoming classes at: http://www.fortunatefido.com/classes-training-all
Best Photographer – Greg Murray Photographer
An active member of the Cleveland dog community and pit bull advocate, it was no surprise to see Greg top the list. You may know him from his Peanut Butter Dogs book which gained national attention in 2017. Greg is not only a great photographer and a genuine dog lover, but just a really nice person overall. Check out his website at http://www.gmurrayphoto.com
Best Local Dog Instagram – Sweet Life of Rudy
Ok, so this one was funny. I really didn’t know what to expect, but since I love IG so much so I wanted to see what accounts others love. Pretty much everyone just voted for their own dog’s account (which hey, I would’ve done the same, no judgement), so there wasn’t a big standout winner. Sweet Life of Rudy did get the most votes, followed closely by Disco the House Elf. Give them a follow! @SweetLifeofRudy and @Disco.the.House.Elf
What CLE needs – Indoor space for dogs
I kind of figured this would be the answer, but always like to hear what other people think we need Cleveland. I totally agree we need more indoor spaces to take dogs during the winter. We live in a city with winter for six months, how do we not have an indoor park or activity center for dogs? CLE Run, which I recently wrote about, is the closest we have for now. Read about them here: https://dogsinthecle.com/the-cure-for-your-dogs-winter-blues-cle-run
Cover image photo collage: Soza Fitness and Wellness (middle left), Rescue Village (middle right)
Introducing the first ever Dogs in the CLE Dog-Friendly Cleveland Awards!
Since I started this website almost six (!) years ago the dog-friendly scene here in Cleveland has grown beyond my wildest expectations. The number of dog-friendly patios and dog events has grown exponentially over the last couple of years. And, it’s officially legal now in the state to take your dog to a patio! (So glad I am no longer aiding and abetting a crime.)
Since Cleveland has become so dog-friendly, it’s time to hear from you – CLE’s most engaged and active dog lovers – what the best places and activities are. From patios to trainers and dog parks, this is your chance to shine a spotlight on the best of the best.
I will keep the poll open for the next two weeks. Make sure to share with any local dog lovers in your life so that I can get a lot of feedback to determine the winners.
Inspired by one of my favorite Instagrammers, Andrew Knapp and his dog Momo (@andrewknapp) who live out of a van most of the year and travel around Canada (and sometimes the U.S.), I love to plan road trips with my dogs. Two years ago we went to Charleston, S.C., and had a blast soaking up the Southern charm and dog-friendly hospitality of the city. Last week, we took a road trip to Philadelphia to see a friend of mine and take in some American history in a big city. Philadelphia is about a seven-hour drive, seven and a half with traffic, but a fairly quick and easy trip to take from Cleveland.
This was a big trip of firsts – first time having the dogs stay at a hotel and first time visiting a big city with dogs! I’d been to Philadelphia before but I really didn’t remember much about it. It’s definitely busier, louder and hotter than I remember. Although we had a lot of fun, taking two dogs to a busy, hot city can be somewhat challenging. Here’s the run down on what we did:
Where We Stayed
We stayed at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco in the Center City area. I’ve heard great things about how dog friendly the Kimpton chain of hotels are so I’d been looking for an opportunity to check them out. The Kimpton has no dog fees and no limit to the number of dogs you can bring, so although it’s on the more expensive side, no pet fees makes it a more affordable hotel option for traveling with dogs.
I hate to complain too much about a hotel that welcomes dogs so openly, but I think due to the fact that they promote themselves as so dog-friendly, I expected a little more. The website mentions that they provide dog-friendly recommendations upon check in and that they have a dog-friendly wine reception, but none of that was mentioned to me when I got there. I ended up asking about what dog-friendly attractions were nearby and was just told one place and that any place with a patio would be dog friendly (which didn’t turn out to be true).
Overall, the staff was very nice and very welcoming of my dogs, so I wouldn’t say it was a bad experience, just not want I expected based on their marketing. I am sure the level of dog-friendliness varies by location too though! The hotel has beautiful décor and is in a great spot for exploring the historical parts of the city and has a lot of cute restaurants and cafes nearby, so I don’t have any big complaints.
We especially loved the wallpaper and yellow doors, and the cool dog lamp.
I will say the one thing I did not enjoy – taking the elevator to take my dogs out to potty. For some reason this didn’t occur to me when I booked a hotel. You would think they’d put dog owners on a lower level, but I had to ride the elevator seven floors early in the morning and every night to take them down. I don’t know that we’d do a hotel again. I think it’s good for some dogs, but not really our thing.
At least Hunter had a good view of the city…even if Roscoe didn’t love the elevator.
Things the dogs really enjoyed – the bed. I think sleeping in the hotel’s luxurious bed was the highlight of the trip for Roscoe.
Where We Ate
So as I mentioned we were told that dogs are allowed at any restaurant with a patio. Although we did find several that allowed them, one that we tried (which was the largest patio we came across) said they couldn’t allow dogs because there were high walls around the patio. Hmmm ok. Most of our options for dog-friendly dining in the city were small sidewalk patios, which are not my favorite. A busy street with dogs in a cramped space is not a great place to take my sometimes barky (looking at you Hunter) dog.
I had a hard time finding good suggestions when I researched places before the trip too. I think the city just doesn’t have as many great patios as we do in Cleveland. Visiting Philadelphia really made me appreciate all the space we have in Cleveland for large, back-of-the-restaurant patios. I didn’t see any like that in Philadelphia that allowed dogs.
If you are visiting the city, here are the places we went:
Belgian Café, 601 N 21st St, Philadelphia
North Third Restaurant, 801 N 3rd St, Philadelphia
Gold Standard Café, 4800 Baltimore Ave, Philadelphia
Belgian Café and North Third both provided water bowls, but that was about as dog-friendly as it got.
Originally we had planned to drive to a dog-friendly beach, but I cut the trip a little shorter than planned and we didn’t want to spend a day fighting the traffic. If you are looking for a dog-friendly beach near Philadelphia, Longport Beach on the Jersey shore is one option. It’s about an hour/hour and half drive from Philadelphia with traffic.
Since it was so hot and there aren’t a ton of dog-friendly things to do in the city, we mainly took walks and visited cafes. Philadelphia is not a very green city, but there are quite a few little parks around the historic area where we stayed that are pretty to walk through. Near where we stayed is Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell and Ben Frankin’s Grave, so it’s fun just walk through these areas and take in the history (the sites themselves are not dog-friendly, just the parks around them).
To give the dogs something fun to do, we decided to hit up the dog park at the Schuylkill River Boardwalk. I really liked this dog park, as it is divided into small and large dog areas and both spaces are fairly big. It also had pools for the dogs and a good number of dogs visiting on Friday afternoon. Hunter had a lot of fun cooling down in the pool.
We didn’t run the “Rocky” steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, but that is something you could do with your dog!
All in all, it was a fun adventure in a big city for the pups. Not sure it’s really their favorite kind of vacation, but it was a trip I will always remember since I had my dogs there with me. Next trip will definitely be cooler temps and more laid-back activities, probably a beach.
The Cleveland brewery scene is growing and the best part about it is that so many of the new breweries opening are dog friendly. Considering the amount of dog-friendly places that have opened up in the last two years, you have no excuse anymore not to bring your dog with you when you go out for a drink. Because what goes better with a locally made beer than your dog? I can’t think of anything!
A few of our local breweries are even dog friendly inside, making it a great rainy or cold day activity. Usually it depends on if the brewery serves food whether you can bring your dog inside. Hunter and I have hit up Sibling on multiple occasions, so I can let you know dogs are definitely always welcome there!
Here is a listing of all of the dog-friendly breweries in the Cleveland area:
Platform Brewery 4125 Lorain Ave, Cleveland
Dogs are allowed on the patio of this Ohio City brewery.
Terrestrial Brewing 7524 Father Frascati, Cleveland
Dogs are allowed inside and out of this Battery Park brewery.
Sibling Revelry 29305 Clemens Rd, Westlake
Dogs are allowed inside and out of this Westlake brewery. This is one of Hunter and I’s favorites, especially in the winter! A patio will be coming soon as well!
Great Lakes Brewery 2516 Market Ave, Cleveland
Dogs are allowed on the patio of this Ohio City brewery.
Market Garden Brewery 1947 W 25th St, Cleveland
Dogs are allowed inside and on the patio of this Ohio City brewery.
Brick and Barrel 1844 Columbus Rd, Cleveland
Dogs are allowed on the patio of this Ohio City brewery.
Bottle House Brewery 13368 Madison Ave, Lakewood and 2050 Lee Rd., Cleveland
Dogs are allowed on the patio at both the Cleveland Heights and Lakewood locations. (The Lakewood location lets well-behaved dogs inside, call ahead to check to confirm though)
Nano Brew 1859 W. 25th, Cleveland
Dogs are allowed on the patio of this Ohio City brewery. Hunter and I love Nano Brew!
Forest City 2135 Columbus Rd, Cleveland
Dogs are allowed in beer garden of this downtown-area brewery.
Railroad Brewing Company 1010 Center Rd., Avon
Dogs are allowed inside and on the patio of this Avon brewery.
1361 E. 55th St.
Dogs are allowed on the patio of this new Cleveland brewery.
Your official list of what to do with your dog is back! Sorry it’s a little late. I was hoping to get more updates on exact dates for events by doing it later. This year you’ll see many of the same events, but most updated with info for 2017. A few fun CLE events have dropped off, but we have some new things to do added to the list this year to make up for it.
This year there is something for every dog – from the active, social pup to the lazy, lounging pup. Take a look and mark off your favorites!
Run a 5K with your dog – Many races organized by Hermes Cleveland are dog friendly, including the Siberian Husky 5k/1 Mile “Idid-a-Run” sponsored by the Siberian Husky Club of Greater Cleveland on April 2 and the Love-A-Stray Fur Fun 5K on April 30. Check out their website for more info on races: http://www.hermescleveland.com
Go to a hockey game with your dog – The Cleveland APL’s Annual Pucks & Paws event will be Sunday, April 9. The Monsters will be playing the Grand Rapids Griffins at 5 p.m. Find out more info here: groups.theqarena.com/apl
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!
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 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 boot camp with your dog – Hunter, Roscoe and I love Thank Dog NEO Bootcamp so much that we make a 40 minute trek over to the east side to work out! 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). There is also a boot camp on the far west side, Thank Dog Fit. The classes are held in Amherst. Find out more here: http://www.thankdogfit.com/
Take your dog to a baseball game – I think Puppypalooza at Progressive Field is gone for good, so to catch an Indians game with your pup you’ll have to stay at home or visit a dog-friendly bar. However, you can still catch a minor league game with your dog! 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 cutest dog contests throughout the year. The annual Warehouse District Festival holds a Cutest Dog Contest in the summer and last year the Plain Dealer held a contest as well. Stay tuned for more details as these are announced!
Take yourdog to work day – This year’s “Take Your Dog to Work Day” will be held on Friday, June 23. 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. Other events to look out for: Woof, Wag and Wine, Lake Humane’s annual dog-friendly winery event, will be held on June 17th this year and Rose’s Rescue will hold a Wine and Dogs event at Barrel Run Crossing Winery in Rootstown on June 24th.
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 2017 TBA (it’s usually held in August).
Visit a dog park – The Cleveland area has a lot of great dog parks, so no matter where you live one should be close by. The Downtown Dog Park, Canine Meadows Dog Park and Carolyn Ludgate in Medina are a few of the newer dog parks opened in the last couple of years. Read more about them here: https://dogsinthecle.com/new-cleveland-area-dog-parks/
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. The Lakewood one is always held the Tuesday after Labor Day, so Sept. 5th this year. Stay tuned for more dog swim 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 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. https://dogsinthecle.com/dog-friendly-brunches/
Have a drink on a patio with your dog – There are so many great patios to hang out and get a beer with your dog in the Cleveland area. My favorites are Clifton Wine Bar, Nanobrew, Platform and Barrio in Tremont (the Lakewood location is not dog friendly). Check out the Where to Go page, to find one near you. Tip – please call ahead and verify you can bring your dog. Policies are always changing.
And if you enjoy having a drink with your dog, mark your calendar for one of the first Yappy Hours of the season on May 22. R.E.A.L Rottweiler Rescue will be hosting an event on Hofbrauhaus’ dog-friendly patio to raise funds for the rescue.
Go to a dog fashion show – One of my favorite events every summer is the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter’s Pawject Runway dog fashion show. You can enter your dog to be a part of the show and dress him or her up in a costume or bathing suit, or just go to watch cute dogs strut their stuff. I don’t see any dates for this yet, but it is usually held in August. Here are some photos from the event to tide you over: https://dogsinthecle.com/dogs-on-the-runway/
Takeyour dog to the beach – We are so lucky in the Cleveland area to have a lake nearby! Spending a day at the lake with your pup is a great summer activity. You can bring your dog along for a swim or to lay in the sand 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. Always ask before bringing your dog inside.
Get ice cream with your dog – One of the best things to happen last summer was a Graeter’s opening at Crocker Park. I am so excited they are in Cleveland now! And, as if I needed a reason to love them more, they do a special dog night the first Thursday of every month (date may change). Other good spots to have ice cream with your dog are any Mitchell’s location with outdoor seating and Mason’s Creamery in Ohio City (which often lets dogs inside, just ask first!).
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. You can learn more about dock diving at the Dog Fest of Zoar this summer. Held on June 9 in Historic Zoar Village about an hour and a half south of Cleveland, this fun festival will feature a number of dog-friendly activities, including dock diving.
Take your dog to a farmer’s market – Tremont and Gordon Square Farmer’s Markets are dog friendly, so you can get your grocery 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 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: https://dogsinthecle.com/paddleboarding-pup
Last summer Lake Metroparks hosted a few canoe/paddleboard with your dog nights at Fairport Harbor. Hopefully the event will be brought back this summer!
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 always dog friendly, but for the last few summers they’ve hosted pet nights to raise money for local rescue groups.
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. 27th 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. Visit the Cleveland Metroparks website to find out dates. NEO Dobes hosts pack walks, find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/NEOdobes/
Also follow Elite K911 and The Doggie Inn to find out about other pack events.
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: https://dogsinthecle.com/monster-mutt-dash/
Get up to date on the latest in dog trends – The Cleveland Pet Expo will be Oct. 14th and 15th 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.
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. Oberlin Doggie Doo and Pooch Parade is another fun Halloween event to check out this October.
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 is at its prettiest.
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! It’s definitely worth a trip to enjoy the scenery with your dog. The trails around the reservation also have dog water fountains, which is always great for long walks!
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. Here’s my favorite picture of Hunter and Roscoe with Santa Paws: https://dogsinthecle.com/category/santa-paws/
Go to a brewery with your dog – The Cleveland brewery scene is growing, and even better than the amount of new breweries opening is the amount of new dog-friendly breweries opening! One you definitely have to hit up with your dog is Sibling Revelry Brewery in Westlake. Dogs are always welcome there, so it’s a great spot to visit during the winter months when you want to get your dog out to socialize. Another brewery opening up this spring near Edgewater Park, Terrestrial Brewing Co., is expected to be dog-friendly as well.
Roadtrip with your dog to check out an indoor dog park – I would love a place where I could go play with my dog indoors when the weather is crappy, but unfortunately Cleveland doesn’t really have any options (only day care drop off options at Double Dog Day Care in Stow or Dog Stop Plus just outside of downtown). For now, you’ll just have to make a weekend trip of it and road trip down to Columbus with your dog to visit Tail Wags Playground. Hunter, Roscoe and I visited recently and it was a lot of fun. The staff is very friendly. Because they require every dog to be up to date on vaccinations and monitor interactions between dogs closely, this is a great alternative to the “anything goes” dog park atmosphere. Columbus also has lots of great dog friendly places too, read up on them here: https://www.bringfido.com/restaurant/city/columbus_oh_us/
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.
Teach yourdog 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, Canine Affair 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: https://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 Healing Waters Canine Experience, which does water therapy for dogs but you can also schedule time to just have your dog swim in their indoor pool. Find out more at http://www.healingwaterscanineexperience.com
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 recently got his certificate through Fortunate Fido in Columbia Station!
Teach your dog to use his nose – Roscoe and I did a nose work class 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. All Dogs Go to Kevin in the Akron and Kent area has nose work classes as well as Canine Affair on the east side. You can read about Roscoe and I’s experience with nose work here: https://dogsinthecle.com/doing-work-nose-work/
Visit a nature center with your dog- Most Cleveland Metroparks that have nature centers allow dogs inside. Hunter and I like to make a stop at the Rocky River Reservation Nature Center on really cold days to get out from the cold for a little bit. Brecksville Nature Center also allows dogs inside to check out their nature center.
What is your favorite things to do with your dog?
Please note that some cities have Breed Specific Legislation in place. As wrong-headed as this law is, I would advise you not to bring a Pitbull into any of these cities. Lakewood, Warrensville Heights, Parma and Brook Park all currently have BSL laws in place.