2017 Edition – 50 Things To Do With Your Dog in NE Ohio

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

See the Easter Bunny – Over the next month there will be a lot of opportunities to get your dog’s photo taken with the Easter Bunny. On March 19 Pet’s General Store will be hosting pet photos with the Easter Bunny from 2- 4:30 p.m.( https://www.facebook.com/events/1232910503457858/)  and on April 1 and 2nd you can visit Elite K911 Warehouse in North Ridgeville for photos with the Easter Bunny from 11 am to 4:30 p.m. (https://www.facebook.com/events/792629050893495/)

Hunter & Roscoe IMG_0947
Hunter and Roscoe love the Easter Bunny! (Maybe)

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 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 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/

Read about Hunter and I’s first experience with it here: http://dogsinthecle.com/dog-friendly-workout-thank-dog-neo-bootcamp /

Schedule a photo session for your pet – The Cleveland area has some great pet photographers. Our favorites are Greg Murray, Boots and Bee Photography and Chewbone Studio. You can’t consider yourself a true dog lover until you have professional photos taken of your dog!

In May, Chewbone Studio will have a “Mom and Me” photo special for all of the fur moms to get their photo taken with their pup(s). Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1105922869535334/

One of my favorite photos from my professional photo session with Boots & Bee Photography.
One of my favorite photos from my professional photo session with Boots & Bee Photography.


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 your dog 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: http://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. http://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: http://dogsinthecle.com/dogs-on-the-runway/



Take your 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: http://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!

At Fairport Harbor
At Fairport Harbor

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: http://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 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 is at its prettiest.

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 last year. Northeast Ohio Corgi meetup will hold their first meetup of the year on April 29 at the Wadsworth Dog Park: https://www.facebook.com/events/591839837692543

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: http://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.

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 Looks like most of the upcoming ones are at the Hudson location. 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, 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: 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 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!

I swear he did pass the class, despite not being able to sit nicely for this photo.

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: http://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.

Author: dogsinthecle

The source for what to do with your dog in Cleveland.

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