What to do with your dog in August

Even though it’s been a *couple*of years since August meant back to school for me, the dread of August rolling around and the end of summer still hits me every year. The summer is almost over, people! Lucky for us there are some fun dog events this month to get us outside and enjoying the summer a little longer.


Here’s a rundown of some of the best dog events this month:

Aug. 4 – Cleveland’s Cutest Dog Competition

The month kicks off with Cleveland’s Cutest Dog competition at the Warehouse District Festival on August 4. Dogs will be judged not on their looks, but on their costumes – specifically cuteness, creativity, unique, and use of color.  To enter your dog, fill out the registration form during the Warehouse District Street Festival from 1-3 p.m. All entries must be made before the event, which starts at 4 p.m. The cost to enter your dog is $10.


Aug. 10 – Mutt Strut

Lake Humane Society’s annual Mutt Strut will be held on Sat. Aug. 10 at the Mentor Municipal Center starting at 9 a.m. After raising pledges for the Lake Humane’s homeless animals, supporters take part in a variety of activities – a one-mile walk, canine games and contests, prize raffles, an agility course and a “Project Ruffway” a runway show of adoptable dogs at LHS. You can create a fundraising page to support this event here.All fundraisers who raise $25 or more in pledges may attend the event free of charge and will receive a complimentary Mutt Strut t-shirt.


Aug. 11 – Summer Scoop

Known as the “Old Dog Party of the Year,” the Summer Scoop held at the Oak Grove Pavilion on Valley Parkway in the Brecksville Reservation, will feature prizes, contests, raffles, treats, food, and the “Old Dog Olympics.” Dog contests include best summer attire, best in shades, coolest canine couple, coolest dude, coolest gal, human/canine look-alikes, oldest dog, farthest travel, and goofiest dog. The party goes from 12-3 p.m.For dogs 7 and up.


Aug. 17 and 18 – Canine Fun Days and Greyhound Reunion

Organized by Greyhound Adoption of Ohio, the 20th Annual Canine Fun Days & Greyhound Reunion will be held at the Cleveland Metroparks Polo Field in Moreland Hills. The event will be held Saturday and Sunday, with games, a dog show, an agility course and a special appearance by the Olate Dogs, winner of America’s Got Talent. Dogs of all breeds are welcome.


Aug. 25 – Dog Paddle and Pet-a-Palooza

Take your dog for a swim and enjoy a dog fair, hike and K-9 demonstrations at the Dog Paddle and Pet-a-Palooza at the Ledge Pool in the Hinckley Reservation. The event, held from 1-5 p.m., costs $5 per dog and the proceeds will go to the Medina SPCA. A liability waiver, which can be found here, must be completed for every person entering the event. Make sure to bring the waiver with you the day of the event.





See the complete list of dog events at http://www.dogsinthecle.com/#!what-to-do/cwvn. Anything to add? Email me at dogsinthecle@gmail.com

Road Tripping

My dog is a big fan of road trips, which is lucky for me since we take a lot. Whether it’s just a couple of blocks to the pet store or a longer trip down to Columbus or Akron to see family, my dog is always excited to get in the car and go somewhere new.

This past weekend we took a drive to Columbus. Although it’s only a two hour drive, I take a few precautions ahead of time to make sure that the ride goes smoothly for the both of us.

1. Harness
Within a couple of months of getting Hunter I got a harness for him to wear in the car which hooks into the seat belt. This has been a great help on road trips. It gives him a little space so that he doesn’t feel totally confined, but keeps him out of the front seat and off of my lap, which would be his seat of choice. I have to admit the harness isn’t his favorite thing, since like all dogs he likes to stick his head out the window. So from time to time on shorter drives, I do let my dog have free rein in the back seat so he can stick his head out the window and enjoy a little more freedom.

2. Toys
Before a road trip I always give him a special toy. I like it to be something like a bully stick or a stuffed Kong that will keep him busy for a while. I usually throw in a few of his other toys as well, just so he has a mix of things to play with.

3. Water
Especially on summer trips, it’s important to keep your dog well hydrated during the drive. I’ve usually just put a bowl of water back there, but that can get messy. Lately I’ve been looking into a better way of having water for him in the backseat. I’ve been thinking about getting one of those no-spill bowls, or water dispensers with tray, that would also be good for the dog park.

4. Seat covers
My car is covered in fur, even shortly after vacuuming. I have a seat cover that works pretty well, but I would love to hear from you all what, if anything, works to keep the fur from taking over your car. Anyone have success with any particular seat covers? This is definitely something I’d like to invest in considering how much time my dog spends in the car.

Stay Tuned for Part 2 later this week – Dog Friendly Road Trip: Columbus

Dog Friendly Spotlight: Nano Brew

The water bowls placed around the patio at Nano Brew tell you immediately that this is a place where your dog will be welcomed. Although a lot of places say that they are dog friendly, few are as open about it as this Ohio City brewpub. In addition to the consideration for your dog’s hydration needs, the patio is perfectly set up to be a comfortable place to hang out with your dog and enjoy a few drinks and a bite to eat. With long picnic-style tables along the side of the building and more tables in back, the bar offers a lot of space for you and your dog.

We stuck mainly to the picnic tables on our visit but due to the sudden outpouring of rain had to move over to the covered patio area in back. The staff was very welcoming and excited to see my dog, offering treats which was enough to win him over. There was only one other dog when we got there so my dog got a lot of attention. It seemed that the bar-goers and the staff were both happy to have a dog there- always a key factor in whether a place truly is dog friendly or not. Add in the delicious food and great selection of beer, and this a place that my dog and I will definitely be back to soon.

The details
1859 W. 25th St.
Ohio City

Open at 4:30 weekdays and noon Saturday and Sunday.
Open until 2:30 am 364 days a year and serving food until 2am every day.

Dogs are allowed every day on the patio.


Dog day at the beach

I recently took my dog to check out two local doggie beaches. The two dog friendly beaches that I know of, Columbia Rd. Beach in Bay Village and Bow Wow Doggie Beach in Stow, offer very different experiences for dogs, but my dog had a blast at both.

Columbia Rd. Beach
I didn’t know about this beach until a Dogs in the CLE reader informed me of its existence (I LOVE reader tips, hint hint). It seemed to be one of those hidden spots that no one really talks about much. Located where Columbia Rd. dead ends into Lake Rd., this dog-friendly area is a great place to take your dog on a casual stroll on the beach or play a little catch. I took my dog on a Monday in the early afternoon and it wasn’t too crowded. Considering that it’s not a very large stretch of the beach, I imagine it could get crowded during peak times though.

The sign out front requests that dogs stay on leash, but most of the dogs that I saw there were off leash. It is kinda hard to play catch with a dog on a leash, so it’s understandable most weren’t. However, as always, use caution if you want to take your dog off leash. Especially if it’s his or her first time at a beach since many dogs tend to run when scared. The beach is not fenced in and if you have a runner she could pretty easily take off. All in all, I would say Columbia Rd. is a great place to introduce your dog to the beach, since you can leisurely take a stroll and let him test out the waters in a fairly contained area.

Bow Wow Beach

Once you’ve introduced your dog to the beach at Columbia Rd., the next step is to take him to Bow Wow Beach. This is the ultimate in doggie beaches. Located in Silver Springs Park off of Stow Rd., the 7.5 acre beach offers several different fenced in areas for small or large dogs, a dog agility course, a dock jumping area and doggie wash area. I have to admit I was a little overwhelmed when I took my dog. The park is huge and there are dogs running free everywhere. I was glad to see that there was a fenced in small dog area that was actually fairly big and contained actual small dogs. This area is fenced in away from the lake, but it’s a good spot to go if your small dog needs a break or doesn’t love the water. I also learned later that main area surrounding the lake is the large dog area, and that there is a small dog area with lake access as well right by the other small dog area.

Besides the lake, there is a dog agility course (that no one used when I was there) and lots of open space for your dog to roam around. The beach is all fenced in, but there is A LOT of space, so you might want to make sure you’ve practiced your “come” command before letting your dog off leash here.

Swimming tips

I’ve been told that all dogs instinctively know how to “doggie paddle” but I took it slow and let my dog test out the waters. He wasn’t too into it at first, but was definitely curious. He was much more into it the next time, splashing around and chasing dogs in the water. I kept him on leash for our visits, but next time I will try off leash with these tips* from the AKC about how to make sure your dog can swim. Or, maybe I’ll get him a stylish life vest. Just don’t judge me if you see us out at the beach.

  • Never throw your dog into the water.
  • Start in shallow water, and call your dog’s name. You can also try to coax him in with a treat or toy – but always keep your dog within reach.
  • Another way to introduce your dog to the water is with a dog that already swims and is friendly with your dog. Let your dog follow his friend.
  • If your dog begins to doggy-paddle with his front legs only, lift his hind legs and help him float. He should quickly catch on and will then keep his back end up.
  • Swimming is a great form of exercise, but don’t let your dog overdo it. He will be using new muscles and may tire quickly.
  • Be careful of strong tides that are hazardous for even the best swimmers.
  • Never leave your dog unattended! You should always be in a position to help him get out of the water


Are there any other beach areas you take your dog? I’ve also heard of dogs at Edgewater, and seen a few at Rocky River Park, but I don’t think those are officially dog friendly. Email me at dogsinthecle@gmail.com if you know of any others!

What to with your dog in July

Now that the summer is in full swing, it’s time to focus our attention on all of the dog friendly events coming up this month. It won’t be long until we’re all back to being trapped indoors, trying to find ways to keep our dogs active when it’s too cold to go outside. Now is the time to enjoy some time with your dog outside!

Here’s a rundown of some of best dog events this month:

July 2
Kick off the month with “Bark in the Park” at the Lake County Captains game vs. the Lansing Lugnuts. Purchase a $5 “pooch pass” for your dog and a portion of the proceeds will go to local animal charities. “Dawg Night” will also feature appearances by former Cleveland Browns’ players and a Webkinz plush dog giveaway for the first 500 kids under 12. Purchase tickets at https://www.ticketreturn.com/prod2/Buy.asp?EventID=89558#.UdBu-r7D_IU.

July 6
Although this isn’t an outdoor event, it’s still worth a mention. Bring your dog to the Gladiators’ game for “Helmets and Hounds” and enjoy some local arena football action starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 for Humans (in advance)  $5 for Dogs and can be purchased at  http://www7.ticketingcentral.com/V2/Quantity.aspx?t=FC0E64F78D042EB0B34853E. A portion of the proceeds will go the Lake Humane Society.  At the game there will be also be drink specials and a post game field party.

July 11
Looking to make some new dog friends? Make your way to Sunny Lake Park in Aurora for a 2 mile walk around the boathouse pavilion. The Freedom Fairweather Walkers will meet at 6:45 p.m. for the leisurely walk. They will even have dogs on hand to walk for anyone who doesn’t have a dog of their own. Just call ahead so one can be arranged for you – 330-562-0555. The event which is held monthly April-October is organized by the Freedom Greyhound Rescue of Aurora, but all breeds are welcome.

July 21
The 2nd Annual Woodmere Wag Tail is a free dog friendly event organized by Get Pets Wet, the Brook Park-based supplier of dog water safety products. The “Wag Tail” will feature vendors, a DJ, Swifty the Clown and demonstrations. Starting at 10 a.m. and going until 4 p.m., the event will be held at the Village Square Shopping Center in Woodmere.

Don’t forget to check out the events calendar for more July activities http://www.dogsinthecle.com/#!CAKE-GALLERY/cwvn