This list was such a big hit last year that I wanted to update it and improve it for 2015. This year’s list has new information on many of the things on last year’s list, as well as some new activities for you and your dog. So check it out and let me know what your favorite activity is (or what activity you can’t wait to try this year)!
1. 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).
2. Work out with your dog – This fun dog- friendly workout is held outdoors at a park during the summer and early fall, and indoors during the winter. The workout focuses on exercise for you and your dog as well dog behavior training. Visit http://thankdogneo.com for more information. Read about our experience with it here: http://dogsinthecle.com/dog-friendly-workout-thank-dog-neo-bootcamp/
4. 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.
5. Take your dog to brunch – Luxe in the Detriot 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.
6. Take your dog to a baseball game – The Cleveland Indians host an annual Puppypalooza event where you can bring your dog to a game and area minor league teams allow dogs at certain games. Last year’s Puppypalooza at Progressive was in June, stay posted to this site for dates!
7. Take a road trip with your dog – Popular dog friendly spots within a short drive are Hocking Hills and Columbus. Read all about having a dog friendly weekend in Columbus here: http://dogsinthecle.com/dog-friendly-road-trip-columbus/
8. 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! I am working on hitting all the parks this year, but here’s a post about some of my favorites: http://dogsinthecle.com/cle-park-tour-part-1/
9. Help out a local rescue group – Rescue groups hold numerous events every year where you bring your dog and enjoy all sorts of activities. Woofstock, Rescue Village’s annual fundraiser held in September and the Lake Humane Society’s Mutt Strut are two good ones to keep your eye out for this year.
10. Go on an Easter egg hunt with your dog – On Saturday, March 7, the Cleveland APL will be holding a “Doggone Easter Egg Hunt.” The dog walk will take place from 6:30 to 9:30 am and admission is a donation to the Cleveland APL. The Easter Bunny will be on hand for photos as well. There will be refreshments for the humans and treats for dogs along the route.
11. Visit a botanical garden – Since dogs are no longer allowed at the Cleveland Botanical Garden, a trip to the Holden Arboretum is your best way to take a scenic walk through gardens with your dog.
12. Go backpacking with your dog – Adventures Unleashed based in the Central Ohio area plans camping and backpacking trips you can take with your dog. Visit www.adventureunleashed.org for more info, or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to be notified of trips.
13. Make a thanksgiving tradition with your dog – If you’re an ambitious type who likes to get out and be active on the laziest day of the year, sign up for the annual Turkey Trot and bring your dog along!
14. Enter your dog in a contest – A variety of Cleveland dog events hold dog fashion shows and cutest dog contests throughout the year. Last year the Cuyahoga Animal Shelter held an event called Pawject Runway and the Warehouse District Festival has held a Cutest Dog Contest the last two years. Stay tuned for more details as these are announced!
15. – Go skijoring/sledding with your dog – Check out the Siberan Husky Club in Cleveland, they hold an annual Sled Dog Race (it was cancelled for this year, but is usually in January) and host a variety of activities for Husky owners.
16. Have a glass of wine with your dog – Hit up Clifton Wine Bar in Cleveland outside of downtown or Market Ave. Wine Bar in Ohio City to enjoy a glass of wine on a patio with your dog.
17. Dress your dog up and go for a run – 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.
18. Take your dog to the ultimate dog party – Every August The Greyhound Adoption of Ohio hosts Canine Fun Days – a two day party for dogs and their people. The event includes swimming, dock diving, contests and more.
19. Find or plan a dog meet up – There are a few dog meet ups currently: http://dog-events.meetup.com/cities/us/oh/cleveland, but it seems like there’s an opportunity for more. I was recently informed of a Husky/Malamute group, check them out at https://www.facebook.com/groups/920218864656598
20. 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. 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.
21. Get your pet’s photo taken with Santa – 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).
22. 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. The course teaches dogs how to handle distractions and behave politely with people and dogs.
23. 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.
24. Go to happy 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 Griller’s Pub in Parma (dogs are welcome on the patio when it’s open!). Stay tuned to the site for more info on these events!
25. Go pumpkin picking with your dog – Patterson Fruit Farm, 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.
26. 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, Fairport Harbor.
27. Celebrate Valentine’s Day with your dog – Celebrate Valentine’s a little early with your dog by taking him shopping at Live, Love, Rescue’s Valentine’s Pop-Up Shop and Adoption Event at Alpha-Dog Pet Center in Amherst. Held on Feb. 8, you can enjoy pet vendors, adoptable dogs and refreshments. Find out more here: http://www.liveloverescueohio.com/valentine-pop-up-boutique.html
28. Take a walk in one the best 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.
29. 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 (since unless you have a very small dog, most stores don’t allow dogs inside), but many stores on Main St. do allow dogs inside.
30. Take a Nature Hike – If you are tired of taking walks on your own, Cleveland Metroparks host a number of dog friendly nature walks so you can take a guided walk with your dog. http://www.clevelandmetroparks.com/Main/EventsProgramsCalendar.aspx
31. Take your dog to work day – This year’s “Take Your Dog to Work Day” will be held on Friday, June 26.
32. Schedule a Spa Day for your dog – Fetch in Rocky River and the Barkley Pet Hotel in Orange offer luxury dog grooming services like pawdicures and facials. If you’re looking for a new way to spoil your dog, this is it!
33. 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
34. Get up to date on the latest in dog trends – The Cleveland Pet Expo will be Sept. 12 this year at the IX Center. You can bring your dog along as you peruse the latest in pet gear.
35. Run a 5K with your dog – Many races organized by Hermes Cleveland are dog friendly, including the Love-A-Stray race which will be in April and the Monster Mutt Dash in October. Stay tuned for updates on more 5K races.
36. 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!
37. 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.
38. 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.
39. 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.
40. Go to a hockey game with your dog – The Cleveland APL’s 6th Annual Pucks & Paws event will be Sunday, March 8. The Monsters will be playing the Chicago Wolves starting at 3 p.m.
41. Have a playdate – PetPeople hosts playgroups for small and large dogs at different area stores. Check out their calendar for dates: https://www.petpeoplestores.com/calendar.html
42. Road trip for Dog Fest of Zoar – Located about an hour and half south of Cleveland in Bolivar, Dog Fest will be a weekend long event featuring dog related events, demonstrations, and activities featuring a competition conducted by Buckeye Dock Dogs. Find out more here: http://eventful.com/bolivar_oh/events/dog-fest-zoar-/E0-001-071808100-8
43. Hang out on an island with your dog – It might be stretch to call Lake Erie a “beach” but it’s fun to pretend. If you’re looking to get that beach vibe, Whiskey Island is a great spot for you and your dog.
44. Visit a vineyard with your dog – Several area vineyards allow dogs to visit on designated nights of the week. Some area wineries that hold yappy hours during the summer include Debonne Cellars, Winery at Wolf Creek and Thorncreek Winery. Stay tuned to the site for more details on these events!
45. 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. People get very creative with the dog costumes, so it’s always an entertaining activity for you and your dog.
46. 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.
47. Schedule a stay at a swanky pet friendly hotel – Looking for a fun in-town vacation for you and your dog? The newly opened The 9 downtown is dog friendly and has an indoor dog park so it’s fun for you and your dog.
48. Throw your dog a birthday party – Your dog may not know it’s his birthday, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t celebrate. You can get a birthday cake for your dog from Grateful Dog Bakery (they no longer rent out their back room for parties) or a “Birthday Bone” from One Lucky Dog Bakery in Medina.
49. 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.
50. 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).
51. Visit a historic cemetery with your dog – Normally taking your dog for a walk through a cemetery would not be a very fun activity, but this particular cemetery is a little different than most. Founded in 1869, the Lakeview Cemetery has over 285 acres of beautiful scenery, including views of Lake Erie, along with historical monuments and the final resting spots of John D. Rockefeller and Eliot Ness, among others. Find out more here: http://www.lakeviewcemetery.com/famouspeople.php (Thanks to a reader named Killian for the tip!)
52. 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
53. Go bikejoring with your dog – The Trailbreakers Sled Dog Club (which is hosting a meeting this Sunday, Jan. 25) hosts the annual Dryland Sled Dog Challenge, usually held in November. The race is done with scooters, bikes and three-wheeled carts pulled by sled dogs on “dryland.”
54. 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
55. 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!
What would you add? Let me know your favorite activity to do with your dog in the comments!
Main page photo courtesy of the Office of Ohio Tourism.