2018 Halloween events for Cleveland dog lovers

October is one of the best months for dog lovers in Cleveland.  There are costume contests, Halloween and fall-themed photos and yappy hour parties spread all throughout the month. For those of us who love seeing dogs dressed up in costume (and who doesn’t really?) this is going to be a fun month.

Here is a list of some of October’s can’t-miss Halloween events. Oct. 20th is going to be busy day with no less than five Halloween events that day! Pace yourself! And, don’t forget to check out the dog-friendly events calendar for everything else going on this month for dog lovers.

Oct. 13 – 2nd Annual Corg-a-ween Meetup

Held from 11 am- 2pm at Wadsworth Community Dog Park, bring your corgi (or other friendly corgi-loving dog) to enjoy some frapping and costume contests. The contests, which include Scariest Corgi Costume, Most Original Corgi Costume, Most Creative Corgi Costume, The Spooky Corgi Race, begin at 12pm. Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1089478957872152/

Oct. 13 – Howl-o-Ween Fall Festival and Fundraiser

The annual event features a kid and canine friendly costume contest, as well food, games, raffles and entertainment from police dogs. The party will be held from 11 am to 3 pm at B.A.R.C. Akron Dog Park on Memorial Parkway. Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/events/316413672267920/ 

howl o ween

Oct. 18 – Yappy Hour Halloween Party

Yappy hour at Pet-Tique is back! Dress up your dog and celebrate Halloween while supporting City Dogs Cleveland. Event will be held under the tents outside and a $10 donation is suggested at the door. Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/events/469253593568865/

Oct. 19 – Howl-o-ween Party for Dogs

Stop by the Mentor Dog Park from 5:30 to 6:45 pm for a fun Halloween party just for dogs! There will be contests and prizes. Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/events/561284184286873/

Oct. 20 – Spooky Pooch Parade

This is one of the most fun Halloween events in Cleveland! Come see the parade of dogs dressed up in some very creative costumes, or register your dog to walk in the parade and strut his stuff. There will also be vendors there and prizes for the best costumes. Pre-registration for the parade is $10 per dog and day-of registration is $15 per dog. Festival begins at 12:30, but the parade starts at 2pm. Find out more in this month’s issue of CLE Dog Magazine, or visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/1575118199274186/

Oct. 20 – Halloween pictures at Grateful Dog Bakery

Bring your dog (with or without a costume) for a fun fall-themed picture. The cost is $12 for a 4X6 framed print. The pictures will be posted Facebook for a costume contest and winners will be selected for the funniest, cutest and most creative categories.  Proceeds will benefit Friendship APL. No appointment is needed. Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/events/254844688451696/

grateful dog

Oct. 20 – Dogtoberfest

K9 Cleveland will be celebrating its grand opening with a fun Halloween themed party from 4pm to 7pm at its facilities near downtown Cleveland. You can enjoy some tasty Oktoberfest themed food, while your dog can enjoy a dog-safe “beer.” Admission is free. BYOB, dog beer available for purchase. RSVPs are appreciated at https://www.facebook.com/events/307624826681525/

Oct. 20 – “Here for the Boos” Halloween party at Nano Brew

Hosted by Rescue Ohio English Bulldogs, bring your furry friend and enjoy an early Halloween party at Nano Brew in Ohio City. Raffles, photos, costumes, and more starting at 5pm. Find out more here:  https://www.facebook.com/events/1988085587931374/

Oct. 20 BarkHappy Cleveland: Trick & Treat Trivia & Costume Pawty

This fun Halloween party includes a costume contest as well as raffles and Trick-or-Treat Trivia. Tickets start at $10 and include a free digital photo of you and your dog from Lindsay Marie Photography, a free daycare pass from Max & Alayna’s Paws Play and other free prizes! Tickets should be purchased in advance and a portion of the proceeds will benefit a local rescue. Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/events/321131795327787/?active_tab=about


Oct. 27 – Pumpkin Patch Pet Photos

Held from 12 to 3pm at Happy Healthy Dogs Mayfield, you can have a photo shoot for your dog in a Pumpkin patch. The cost is $5 for a digital photo and all proceeds will benefit Second Chance Animal Rescue. Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2108304706090641/


2018 Cleveland Dog Swim Events

Summer’s not over yet! August and September are full of dog-friendly events to get out and have some fun with your dog. One end of summer event you definitely don’t want to miss is the chance to take your dog swimming. All over town over the next month there will be dog swim events at community pools and recreation centers.

To attend these events, dogs should be up to date on vaccines and on leash when not in the pool. And please remember to clean up after your dogs! No one wants to hang out with their dogs in a dirty pool.

Cleveland Dog Swims 2018

August 15
Dog Dayz at Manry Pool

Cost is $2 per dog and proceeds go to the Lake Humane Society. 6 to 7 pm Small Dogs (weigh under 50 pounds) only and 7 to 8pm Large Dogs (weigh over 50 pounds) only.

August 18th
Doggie Dip Day

1pm-4pm at Mentor Civic Center Park Pool. Cost is $5 per dog.

Aug. 25
Brookpark Recreation Center

11 am to 1 pm, admission is free for residents and includes a picture with your pet.

pool1Aug. 26
Dog Paddle & Pet-a-Palooza

11 am to 2pm at Hinckley Ledge Pool. Cost is not listed yet, but is typically $5- $10. A liability waiver should be filled out prior to admission. You can find it here: https://www.clevelandmetroparks.com/getmedia/95e3e3f1-4280-4209-a5f3-5c9b3a749637/2018DogPaddleWaiver.pdf.ashx

Sept. 4
Lakewood Dog Swim

5 pm o 7pm at the Foster Pool at Lakewood Park. Cost is $8 for one dog, $7 for each additional dog. Proceeds benefit the Friends of the Lakewood Dog Park. Fill out your waiver here: https://www.lakewoodrecreation.com/user/files/dog_swim_waiver_2017.pdf 

Hunter swimming at a dog swim event last year.
Hunter swimming at a dog swim event last year.

Rocky River Dog Swim

For Rocky River residents, this dog swim will be held 6:30-7:30 pm at the Rocky River Rec Center outdoor pool.

Sept. 8
13th Annual Big Splash Dog Party38689041_10157638225422519_4178010629245763584_n

This dog swim benefits Love-A-Stray animal rescue and will be held from 12-5pm at the Ellen Trivanovich Aquatic Center. This event is always very popular, so to avoid the long lines you can pre-register online for $20 and avoid waiting in line. Day of the event admission is $10. Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/events/288457821734245/?active_tab=discussion

There are also dog contests and fun activities for dogs and people.


September 9th
Doggie Swim

For Willoughby residents from 1pm-3pm at Osborne Park Pool, 38575 Lakeshore Blvd. Cost is $3 per dog.

September 22nd
Doggy Paddle

11am-2pm at Twinsburg Water Park, 10260 1/2 Ravenna Road, Twinsburg. Cost is $2 per dog at the door. Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/events/300695434017971/ Bring a donation for Never Surrender Pet Pantry.

Hunter is a Therapy Dog!

I have always thought that Hunter would make a great therapy dog. I have never met a more loving, friendly and laid-back dog. I’ve seen kids push him, kiss him, back him into a corner and he barely reacts. And since being a therapy dog is much more about personality than obedience or training (although they do need to be under control and obedient), it seemed pretty likely to me that this would be something he would excel in.

And now it’s official! Hunter passed his evaluation and observations in May and became a member of the Alliance for Therapy Dogs last month. As part of the process of being accepted as a member, Hunter had to complete an evaluation by an approved tester, do three observations at a nursing home and I had to do a background check. Being accepted into the Alliance for Therapy Dogs mainly means that Hunter now has insurance through them (in the event something would happen at a therapy dog visit). It also means that as a member of this organization we can be informed of therapy dogs opportunities in the area.


It’s important to do research on which therapy dog organization you want to be a part of, as I learned, since some places only work with certain therapy dog organizations. Alliance for Therapy Dogs came highly recommended to me from several different people and so far it seems like there are a lot of opportunities for therapy work as a member of their organization.

Although schools, nursing homes and hospitals are the most common places for therapy dogs to work, I have seen a lot of other interesting opportunities since becoming a member of the local Cleveland group. There was a request for therapy dogs to attend a memorial service (the deceased woman had asked that there be therapy dogs at her funeral) as well as a request for dogs to attend a trade show.

And, for Hunter’s first therapy dog experience he got to go comfort patients waiting to get Lasik (or other eye surgeries) at Clear Choice Laser in Brecksville. He had a blast! He will be back there again next week bringing joy to people as they wait.

2018 Edition – 50 Things To Do With Your Dog in NE Ohio

2018 marks the fifth year of this list! Woohoo! Even though it’s always a monster to complete, I have so much fun compiling the list every year. I love to see all the new events and dog-friendly places that are added, as well as the events that the dog community continues to support each year. Since I started this blog in 2013, Cleveland’s dog-friendly community has grown so much. I think we are well on our way to becoming one of the most dog-friendly cities in the country!

So, once again, whether you have an active dog, a lazy dog or a somewhere-in-between dog, there’s something on this list he or she will enjoy. Check it out:


collage 1

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 Photography
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
You can read about Roscoe and I’s experience with nose work here: http://dogsinthecle.com/doing-work-nose-work/


year in review


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
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! Good Soil Lutheran Ministries in Lakewood allows dogs on the first Sunday of every month at 2pm for its Pets are Welcome Service (PAWS). Although the church is Lutheran, all faiths are welcome. Visit them online at http://www.goodsoillutheran.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.

New Dating App for Cleveland Dog Lovers

I think most single dog lovers have tried to use their dog to pick up someone, or at least hoped that their dog might spark a conversation with someone they want to date. Because let’s face it, a true dog lover has to involve their dog in the dating process. Not only are they your best friend, but if a potential partner doesn’t like your dog, it’s never going to work.

That’s why it seems so perfect to have a dating app that brings your dog into the love match. And good news for Cleveland dog lovers – a new dating app will be launching here soon to do this very thing! Fetch dating app, launching this summer, takes a new approach to meeting people via app and avoiding those awkward “Hi, how are you?” introductions. The app will encourage members to build profiles that include info on their dogs to hopefully spark a more interesting conversation and make a connection based on a mutual love for dogs.

Photo courtesy of Fetch dating app – http://www.fetchdatingapp.com

I checked in with the developer of the app, Elisabeth Smith, to get the lowdown on the app before it launches. You can visit the website now fetchdatingapp.com to be added to their email list and find out when it launches. They will also be hosting some meetups this summer, so keep your eye on their website and Facebook pages.

HOW DOES YOUR DOG PLAY INTO FINDING A MATCH? Think about the interactions you have with people when your dog is involved. Having a dog is a great way to meet people in the real world – when you’re at the dog park, on a walk around the neighborhood, at a festival, you tend to have warmer and more open conversations. I’m trying to recreate the same experience digitally. My hope is to design the app so you share information about yourself at least partially within the context of your relationship with your pup. For instance, what’s the greatest adventure you and your pup have taken? Where did you get the idea for your pup’s name? Tell your favorite story of your pup.

These are just examples of the type of information I would like to encourage users to share.

WHERE DID YOU GET THIS IDEA FROM? I have always been a dog lover. I have a pup of my own named Dexter who does everything with me. Last summer, I worked at Purina and did a lot of research on the humanization of the pet industry. We treat our pups differently than in the past. They are more than just animals, they are our four-legged members of the family! I’m also single and have tried a couple of the dating apps. I find it really difficult to have meaningful conversations with people when the opening line is “Hey, how is your night?” I sort of just thought one day, what if you could connect over something a lot more interesting and important? And that’s when I came to the idea of connecting over something as important as our pups, who play such a big role in our lives.

Photo courtesy of Fetch dating app - www.fetchdatingapp.com
Photo courtesy of Fetch dating app – http://www.fetchdatingapp.com

WHY LAUNCH IN CLEVELAND? I am originally from the Cincinnati area of Ohio, but came up to Cleveland about 10 years ago to do my undergrad at Case. I fell in love with the city and am so happy to call it my home now. I love the revitalization that is occurring in Cleveland and I am thrilled to be launching my app here!

WILL IT GO TO OTHER CITIES? Absolutely! I want to use Cleveland as the launching ground, learn about what people do and don’t like, and launch in other markets.

WHAT IS THE COST? This piece hasn’t been finalized yet, however, it will be in line with the other apps on the market.


The Ones Who Seem to Have Given Up

I came across this photo recently on Instagram from a rescue group I follow and it really struck a cord with me.

photoMy dog Roscoe is one of these dogs. Sadly, had I not been lucky enough to foster him, I probably would’ve never considered adopting a dog like him. When I first took Roscoe in, he was extremely shy, fearful of being touched and cowered in the corner for the first few days. It took a long time for him to build up enough trust to let me pet him or put a leash on him. He still has issues to this day and will never be the type of dog that runs to greet me at the door (well, he does, but he also runs away as soon as I get too close) but I’ve learned that none of that really matters. Seeing the capacity a dog has to love, even after being through a traumatic event, is a remarkable thing that bonds you together like no other experience. Roscoe is such a special soul, I can’t imagine not having him in my life.

What would I do without this face in my life everyday?


As I learned with Roscoe, you don’t really know what a dog is like until they receive the love they deserve. Most dogs in shelters, or when they first get into foster homes, are shut down and stressed out. How they are acting is just a reflection of their environment, not who they truly are. Of course, you should know what you can handle in your own life before taking on a challenging dog, but if you have the time and love in your heart to take on a dog that needs a little extra patience, it will be worth it. For me, I think it helped that I had one dog already that was very much the opposite of Roscoe, so when Roscoe would run away from me or show his teeth when I tried to pet him, I could walk away and give attention to my other dog.

Roscoe, the first day. So scared.
Roscoe, the first day. So scared.


Happy Roscoe at the beach in Charleston!
Happy Roscoe at the beach in Charleston!

This is also why fostering is so crucial. Like I said, most dogs do not put forth their best selves when they are stuck in a shelter environment. Getting a dog out of that environment and into a home where they can receive love is key to unlocking their true personality. I was so glad to see that the Cleveland Kennel began a fostering program earlier this year. If you’ve ever considered fostering, my advice to you is to do it! You learn so much and play such an important role in saving the lives of so many dogs. And, maybe, you’ll be lucky enough to meet a dog like Roscoe and fall in love.

If you want to read more about my adoption story with Roscoe, check out Lucky Puppy Magazine: http://www.luckypuppymag.com/lucky-puppy-of-the-week-roscoe-the-long-haired-chihuahua/ Roscoe was the Lucky Puppy of the Week!

Do you have a story about a “challenging” dog you adopted? I want to hear it! I’d love to start sharing local adoption stories, so drop me an email (contact@dogsinthecle.com) or comment below.




#Dogs4Cavs Part 2

It’s been a pretty stressful NBA finals so far, but I know two dogs who are very excited about the Cavs being in Game 6 of the NBA Finals tonight!cavs fans

Dogs all around Cleveland are pretty excited about this year’s finals and dressing up to show their support for the Cavs winning their first NBA championship. I received several photos of dogs dressed up for the game, including a few adoptable dogs looking for a home for Game 6.

homer kyrie princess schoeder


And these Cavs fans watching the game from the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter but hoping for a home for the rest of the series.



Meet Martha! She loves people and dogs and might be the perfect fit for your family. Meet Martha Kai in Kennel #6. http://cuyahogadogs.com/en-US/Adopt-Me.aspx


Meet Sosa! He is a 3 1/2 year old Pit Bull/American Bulldog mix male. This striking guy with the ice blue eyes will give you plenty of reasons to smile! He loves rolling around in the grass and likes nice long walks. He will need some training with accepting restraint so we feel that a home without young children would be best. Come meet this stunning guy in kennel #37. http://www.cuyahogadogs.com/en-US/Adopt-Me.aspx



Yale is a 3 year old Pit Bull male. This guy has an amazing blue and white coat that will catch your eye for sure. He is a playful guy who is looking forward to the next chapter in his young life. Could that be with you? Yale is in kennel #46 ready to meet you. http://www.cuyahogadogs.com/en-US/Adopt-Me.aspx

Go Cavs!

Ways to Celebrate National Pet Week

Happy National Pet Week! A week dedicated to spoiling your pets and showing them how much you love them. (Wait, that’s every week, isn’t it?) In case you’ve been slacking lately though, this week is your chance to show appreciation to your furry friends who give you so much to be thankful for every day of the year.

My two favorite pets:


If you’re looking for some fun ways to celebrate, here are some ideas of things to do with your dog this week. Unfortunately, some of these may not be possible due to this week’s rainy forecast, but I hear Tuesday is supposed to be nice!

Hit up a dog-friendly patio

The Cleveland area has many dog-friendly patios, mainly concentrated around the west side and downtown areas, but there are more popping up on the east side too. Check out the patio list for ideas for where to take your pet when the weather clears up:  http://dogsinthecle.com/dog-friendly-cleveland/patios/

Schedule a photo shoot

The Cleveland area has so many great pet photographers. Hunter, Roscoe and I have had photos taken by Boots & Bee Photography, Chewbone Studio and Greg Murray Photography. Getting professional photos taken of your dog is something every dog owner should do. I am so happy to have the photos that I have.

Some of my favorite professional photos:

(photo on the left taken by Boots & Bee, right by Chewbone Studio)

Hike the CVNP

If you haven’t visited the Cuyahoga Valley National Park with your dog, now is the perfect time to check it out (when it’s not raining).  Rated one of the most dog-friendly national parks, we are lucky to have this national treasure right in our backyard. Hunter, Roscoe and I especially like the Blue Hen Falls area of the park.

Attend an event for local pets

There are two events in Cleveland this week to benefit local pets. On Thursday, Tails from the City is hosting Cinco de Meow at Clifton Wine Bar (we love cats too!) and this weekend Multiple Breed Rescue is hosting, Bark, Woof, Bid, a live auction fundraiser. Find out more info on Bark, Woof, Bid here: https://www.facebook.com/events/456084804581031 and on Cinco de Meow here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1683291225272077/

What will you and your dog be doing to celebrate?

Is Cleveland a Dog-Friendly City?

Who better to ask than the people who live in a city whether or not it’s dog friendly? The verdict on Cleveland from its residents? The city is dog-friendly, but it could be more dog-friendly.

I got a lot of feedback in my recent survey about how the city could be more dog friendly and what services dog owners are most interested in. Regarding the dog-friendly atmosphere here, dog owners think there are some good things going on, but would like to see:

  • More dog-friendly restaurants and shopping locations
  • More dog events and chances for dog owners to socialize
  • More indoor options for exercising your dog
  • More dog parks

(Just as a reminder, here’s a list of dog-friendly patios and dog parks. A lot of new additions in recent months!)

Besides just amenities for dogs, several people mentioned dog welfare issues like removing BSL (breed specific legislation), providing free or affordable access to training resources for  pet owners and better access to affordable vet services, as ways to make CLE a more dog-friendly city.

Although around 60% of respondents said the city is dog-friendly, around 40% said it isn’t. The responses from those who said it’s not dog-friendly were:

  • Too many people who have dogs here do not train them and makes for little fun walking your own dog when they let their run amok either off lead or on a flexi.
  • Few options, especially training and exercise opportunities, especially on the east side there’s almost nothing
  • Not enough walkable areas with nearby green space and businesses that welcome dogs.
  • BSL in surrounding cities; constantly overflowing and run down pounds; lack of dog friendly shops / restaurants

Dog- Friendly Business Wish List

So what dog-friendly businesses are Cleveland residents most interested in? Indoor play options topped the list, followed by a dog-friendly café option of some sort. Other ideas suggested:

  • More dog bakeries and locally made supply stores
  • An indoor track to walk in the winters
  • Dog splash pad, owner / dog swimming, more dog parks with small dog only areas
  • Some gyms have child care while you work out. I’d like to see doggy day care so I could work out.
  • I would love to see more support/communication between businesses and large owner groups. A large breed specialty store would be great!

The Dog-Friendly List

Based on these results, Clevelanders probably won’t be surprised to see that we didn’t make the latest list of dog-friendly cities as rated by SmartAsset. The financial consulting company rated cities on their dog friendliness based on several factors: the city’s dog accessibility, as in the number of dog parks, dog-friendly shopping areas and dog-friendly restaurants, as well as the city’s quality of life, including walkability, weather and housing costs.

Cleveland will always lose out in the weather category, but we definitely have an opportunity to increase our dog friendly rating by improving on what we all said we need more of –  dog parks and dog-friendly restaurants!

Here is the list of the most dog-friendly cities in the U.S.:


Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/most-dog-friendly-cities-in-the-us_us_5703eb8be4b0daf53af100be

Thanks to everyone who took the survey! We got close enough to my response goal that I did draw a name for the gift card prize. The winner is Rebecca Stolarsky! I’ll be in touch to arrange how to get your prize.


Helping Local Pets: Pet Oxygen Masks

There are so many ways to help local pets – volunteering, fostering, donating food and/or money, but one way you may not have thought of is donating to local fire stations.

Having a fire at your house when your pets are left home alone is probably every pet owner’s worst fear. I know it’s mine. Although I hope it’s something none of us ever have to deal with, it does happen. Last year a friend of mine, a devoted animal rescuer who takes in sick and elderly dogs, had a fire at her house. Thankfully, someone walking by noticed the fire and called the fire department. And even better, that local fire station, the Euclid Fire Department, had pet oxygen masks. The fire department took great care of the pets and because they had pet oxygen masks, they were able to save many of them.

wag n
Photo credit: Wag’N O2 Fur Life – http://www.petoxygenmasks.org

I didn’t realize until this happened that not all fire departments have pet oxygen masks. For the pets in these cities, if they are rescued from a house fire the fire fighters would not be able to treat them for smoke asphyxiation. It’s a scary thought, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

So how can you help?

  1. Contact your local fire department to find out if they have pet oxygen masks. Even if they do, they may need more or they may need replacements, so find out all the details. If they need them or need replacements, you can purchase pet oxygen masks for your local department through the Wag’N 02 Fur Life Program – http://www.petoxygenmasks.org
  2. Contact your local station and let them know about Invisible’s Fence’s Project Breathe, which donates pet oxygen masks to local fire stations. Fire Departments can go to the website http://ifbbeta.invisiblefence.com/why-invisible-fence/project-breathe and fill out a form to get oxygen masks for their station.
  3. Spread the word! Make sure all pet lovers know about the need for pet oxygen masks.

And thank you, to all of the firefighters out there who risk their lives to save our families, furry and non-furry!