50 Things to do with your
dog in northeast ohio
"50 Things to Do with Your Dog in NE Ohio" was written by local blogger Ann McDonald. Her blog, "Dogs in the CLE," aims to bring attention to all that Cleveland has to offer for dog lovers, from events and activities to dog-friendly places and local businesses.
winter & spring
Participate in the puppy bowl – Cleveland will have its very own first-ever puppy bowl, thanks to newish dog-friendly brewery Terrestrial Brewing Company. On Feb. 4 from 1-5 stop by for a football themed doggy-costume contest, a Limited Edition Terrestrial dog collar and $1 off full house beers for all dog bowl club members (they have a dog bowl club, how cool is that?). Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2007755742846036/
Attend a winter yappy hour – A winter happy hour you can take your dog to! It’s a miracle. This shows me how truly dog-friendly Cleveland is becoming. This Saturday, Jan. 20, visit Bottlehouse Brewery for a yappy hour to benefit Rescue Me Ohio. You must get tickets in advance, find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/events/776086845909909
Another BarkHappy yappy hour will be held Feb. 24 at Terrestrial Brewing Co. Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1151650434971227/
Schedule a photo session for your pet – You can’t consider yourself a true dog lover until you have professional photos taken of your dog! Trust me, it’s worth it. On February 3, Chewbone Studio will have “Sweetheart” mini sessions just in time to have your dog’s photo taken for Valentine’s Day. Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/events/140810376631277/
One of my favorite professional photos, credit: Brittany Graham Photograph
See the Easter Bunny – Throughout March there will be a lot of opportunities to get your dog’s photo taken with the Easter Bunny. Just a few events already announced: on March 3, Mutts in a Rut will be hosting photos with the Easter Bunny at the Bark Club (https://www.facebook.com/events/534466863589782) and Alpha Dog Pet Center will be hosting the Easter Bunny for photos on March 18 (https://www.facebook.com/events/120042075342179 ).
Go to a hockey game with your dog – This season’s dog-friendly Pucks and Paws game will take place on Sunday, April 8th at 3:00pm at Quicken Loans Arena as the Monsters take on the San Antonio Rampage. Proceeds go to the Cleveland APL. Find out more info here: http://groups.theqarena.com/paws
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 7 and the Love-A-Stray Fur Fun 5K on April 29. Check out their website for more info on races: http://www.hermescleveland.com
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! http://dogsinthecle.com/dog-friendly-day-trip-chagrin-falls-main-street/ Spring is a great time to visit.
Visit a botanical garden – There really aren’t that many botanical gardens that allow dogs, so we should be very appreciative that we have the Holden Arboretum. This is a beautiful place to take a walk with your dog when spring is in bloom.
Teach your dog to use his nose – The only training class I would take my shy dog Roscoe to is a nose work class. Nose work 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. Fortunate Fido has a class starting in February. Find out more here: http://fortunatefido.dogbizpro.com/public/registration/index.aspx?schedule=375
Take your dog to a baseball game – Even though it seems that Puppypalooza at Progressive Field is gone for good, you can still catch a minor league game with your dog. The Lake Erie Captains have already announced a couple of dates – April 21 is the first game. Akron Rubber Ducks and Lake Erie Crushers have also hosted dog-friendly game nights. Stay tuned for more details as they are announced. https://www.facebook.com/events/2025836000987345/
Visit a vineyard with your dog – I look forward to the summer for a lot of reasons, but one of the main reasons is that I can drink wine outside with my dogs! We are so lucky that several area wineries host yappy hours during the summer including Debonne Cellars, The Winery at Wolf Creek and Thorncreek Winery. Check out one of my favorite events Woof, Wag and Wine, Lake Humane’s annual dog-friendly winery event on June 16th this year. https://www.facebook.com/events/155346205095582/
Go to the ultimate dog park – If you haven’t visited Bow Wow Beach in Stow yet, this is a must do for any Northern Ohio dog lover. This huge park has a lake right in the middle and significant space for your dog to run around. There is a small dog area as well.
Enter your dog in a frisbee competition – As part of Lake Farm Park’s Working Dog weekend June 8-10, your dog can participate in the area’s biggest frisbee competition. There will be six major events that weekend, find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1996721460606302/
Go to an old dog party – Just because your dog is old, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t like to party! The Sanctuary for Senior Dogs holds their annual “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. This year’s date is TBA (it’s usually held in August).
Visit a dog park – No matter where you live in Cleveland, a dog park should be nearby. 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. Most dogs enjoy a chance to run around with other dogs, so it’s a great way to have your dog burn off some energy. See my list of dog parks here: http://dogsinthecle.com/dog-friendly-cleveland/dog-parks.
Take your dog swimming – If your dog likes to swim, keep your eye out for local dog swim events that occur near the end of summer. Lakewood Dog Park’s annual dog swim and Dog Paddle and Pet-a-Palooza are two fun events held every year. 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 – A great spot to hit during the summer for brunch is Luxe in the Detroit Shoreway. They host 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. http://dogsinthecle.com/dog-friendly-brunches/
Have a drink on a patio with your dog – The list of dog-friendly patios is increasing every year. If you haven’t checked out my list lately, view it here: Where to Go page. My favorites are Nanobrew, Platform and Barrio in Tremont (the Lakewood location is not dog friendly) and Sibling Revelry. Tip – please call ahead and verify you can bring your dog. Policies are always changing.
Photo courtesy of Great Lakes Facebook page
Go to a dog fashion show – The Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter hosts is annual Pawject Runway dog fashion show every summer where you can enter your dog to be a part of the show and dress him or her up in a costume or bathing suit. It’s usually held in August. Terrestrial Brewing Co. also hosted a dog show event last year, so stay tuned to see if they do one this year.
Take your dog to the beach – Hunter, Roscoe and I are big fans of the lake. You can bring your dog along for a swim or to lay in the sand at Edgewater and Fairport Harbor beaches. A few other areas allow dogs as well, but are more under the radar (like Rocky River Park). Edgewater and Fairport have designated beach areas for dogs, so you always know it’s ok to take your dog there.
Take your dog shopping – I am always hesitant to name stores that allow your dog since that can change based on management and staff at each location. I do know that several stores at Crocker Park and Legacy Village including Apple and Barnes and Noble, and many shops on Main St. in Chagrin Falls, are dog friendly. Always ask before bringing your dog inside.
Get ice cream with your dog – Last summer Graeters at Crocker Park hosted a dog night on the first Thursday of every month (date may change this year) with special treats for dogs. 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!). Mason’s Creamery loves dogs so much they even have an Instagram account – @PuppiesofMasonsCreamery to highlight dogs that visit. Your dog might get famous on your visit!
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 usually find them at events throughout the summer.
Take your dog to a farmer’s market or Flea Market – During the summer we like to check out the farmer’s market near us, Frostville Farmer’s Market, which allows dogs. The Tremont and Gordon Square Farmer’s Markets are also dog friendly. Dogs are also allowed at the Cleveland Flea to accompany while you shop local vendors and eat local food. Check out @dogsoftheflea on Instagram to see pups enjoying the Flea Market.
Go Paddleboading and/or boating with your dog – Everyone should try paddleboarding or boating with their dog at least once. Here in the Cleveland area you can take your dog to Hinckley Reservation, where dogs are allowed on row boats. Portage Lakes near Akron is another good spot for water activities with your dog. You could also borrow a paddleboard and take your dog paddleboarding pretty much anywhere. Read about our paddleboarding adventure here: http://dogsinthecle.com/paddleboarding-pup
The last two summers Lake Metroparks hosted a few canoe/paddleboard with your dog nights at Fairport Harbor. Hopefully the event will be brought back again 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.
Do Yoga with your dog – Exercising is so much better when you can bring your dog! At Your Yoga in Hinckley you can do “Doga,” ie: Yoga with your dog. Check out their site for upcoming dates and time: https://youryogacleveland.com/services/doga-yoga-pooch/ Last summer there were also several different dog-friendly yoga events throughout Cleveland during the summer. Stay tuned for dates!
Get a cup of coffee with your dog – Lucky’s, Civilization, (both in Tremont), and Rising Star Coffee 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. Bring your dog along on your family’s next camping trip.
Go to a drive- in movie – Aut-o-Rama Drive In in North Ridgeville hosted a few pet nights last year to raise money for local rescue groups. The drive-in is always dog-friendly though if you have a quiet, laid back dog who wants to go sit and watch a movie outside with you.
Fundraise for a local rescue group – There are a lot of fun events in the fall hosted by rescue groups to help them raise money for the dogs in their care. Woofstock, Rescue Village’s annual fundraiser held in September, is a fun event held every fall which includes a dog walk and fun activities and vendors for dogs. Date TBA.
Join a pack with your dog – Cleveland Metroparks hosts a number of dog-friendly walks every year as a great way to get out and explore a park you might not regularly visit. Visit the Cleveland Metroparks website to find out dates. There are also many local hiking groups to get your dog out and enjoying the company of other dogs. Elite K911, The Doggie Inn and NEO Dobes all host pack walks throughout the year. Check them out on Facebook to find out dates and locations.
Go to boot camp with your dog – One of our favorite Northern Ohio dog-friendly activities is Thank Dog NEO Bootcamp, and I don’t even like to work out! Working out is just so much more fun when you can do it with your dog. The bootcamp goes all year round (moving indoors during the winter), and now there is also a boot camp on the far west side in Amherst, Thank Dog Fit. Find out more here: http://www.thankdogfit.com/ Read about Hunter and I’s first experience with it here: http://dogsinthecle.com/dog-friendly-workout-thank-dog-neo-bootcamp /
Dress your dog up and go to a Halloween party – Monster Mutt Dash, hosted by Berea Animal Rescue Fund, is a fun annual Halloween event to check out. You can dress your dog up in a Halloween costume and run a 5K or participate in a 1-mile walk. Monster Mutt Dash also includes a Halloween after party with vendors and activities for dogs.
Hike in a National Park – We are so lucky to have the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in our backyard. Believe or not, a lot of national parks aren’t dog friendly (crazy, I know). And fall is definitely the best time of year to visit. Hunter, Roscoe and I love exploring the area around Peninsula and enjoy checking out the waterfalls at Blue Hen and Buttermilk Falls.
Dress up your dog and join a parade – One of the best Halloween events every year is the Spooky Pooch Parade in Lakewood. Held in early October, it’s a must do event for anyone who likes to see dogs dressed up in costume strutting their stuff through the streets of Lakewood. Date TBA.
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 try to compile a list every year, so stay tuned! Here’s my favorite picture of Hunter and Roscoe with Santa Paws: http://dogsinthecle.com/category/santa-paws/
Go to a brewery with your dog – With the influx of new dog-friendly bars, there’s so many more indoor spots you can take your dog in the winter. Two of my favorites are Sibling Revelry Brewery in Westlake and Terrestrial Brewing in the Edgewater area. Dogs are always welcome at both places, so either is a great place to visit during the winter months when your dog is tired of being trapped inside.
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. Find out more here: http://www.cabtc.org/agility
Go to church with your dog – So now there’s really no excuse not to go to church (if you’re Lutheran)! Faith Lutheran Church in Lakewood allows dogs on the first Sunday of every month at 2pm for its Pets are Welcome Service (PAWS). Visit them online at www.faithlutheran.org
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 I only see a large dog playgroup coming up in Hudson, but check back for more dates. Also, Grateful Dog Bakery hosts a small dog play group at their North Ridgeville store.
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.
Teach your dog a new trick – Dogs get bored in the winter. Especially when we have a month of days with below freezing temperatures. Getting your dog out to learn some new tricks is a great winter time activity. 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.
Go to an art gallery with your dog – Did you know the 78th Street Studios are dog-friendly? You can bring your dog along while you visit the studios on the third Friday of every month when they open up the studio for an art walk with gallery exhibits and shopping. Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/events/140425613315912/
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 – I was so proud of Hunter when he got his CGC certificate through Fortunate Fido in Columbia Station. It’s a great course to take to teach your dog manners if you like to take him to dog-friendly patio visits, or if you want to find out if your dog has what it takes to be a therapy dog. Most area training places offer classes to earn the certification.
Please note that some cities have Breed Specific Legislation in place. As ill conceived as this law is, I would advise you not to bring a Pitbull into a city with this ban in place. Lakewood (being lifted soon), Warrensville Heights, Parma and Brook Park all currently have BSL laws in place