Paddleboarding Pup

Hunter tried paddleboarding this past weekend –



And loved it!

We hit up Hinckley Lake for our paddleboarding adventure. You can rent paddleboards there, or boats and kayaks. Although Hunter was the only paddleboarding dog, there were several other dogs out on the water, one riding in a boat and a few just hanging out.

I wasn’t sure at first how Hunter would do. He does like to be out on the water, but he can sometimes have problems sitting still, so I figured it could go either way. He did much better than I expected though. He only had one moment of panic when he got on with my friend and jumped off the board as they pulled further out. Luckily, he dog paddled out like a pro (and also had a life jacket on).

When he got on the board with me, he was a paddleboarding pro! He just sat there and didn’t move an inch. I was so proud.

I was also so excited to use Hunter’s life jacket! I bought it on a whim at a dog fair the first year I got him and haven’t used it since. I am so glad that we are finally living out my dream of lots of water adventures! Next up – boating and kayaking!


It’s Swimming Time!

Pools, beaches, swimming – summer is finally here! Since my furry friend prefers snow to sun (and who can blame him considering he has a permanent fur coat on?) I’ll be looking for ways to keep him cool while still getting out and enjoying the warm weather.

In addition to getting him one of these:

dog pool


We’ll be hitting up local dog friendly beaches and dog swim events to stay cool this summer. No matter what side of town you live on, there’s a dog friendly beach near you. Here’s what beaches to hit up this summer:

Columbia Road Beach, Bay Village Where Columbia Rd. dead ends into Lake Ave.

Bow Wow Beach, Silver Springs Park in Stow.

Fairport Harbor Lakefront Park Beach, Fairport Harbor The dog swim area is located at the east end of the beach between the two signs clearly marked “Dog Swim Area.” This is the only place dogs are allowed on the sand.

Edgewater Park Reservation, Cleveland Located north of Cleveland Memorial Shoreway (U.S. Routes 6 and 20 and State Route 2), follow the signs for the designated dog beach area.

Cleveland dog beaches
Columbia Rd. Beach


If the beach isn’t your thing, several dog events have dog swimming activities as well.

Swimming events

Paws in the Park Pawty  – This dog festival will include swimming, trails, walks, games and demonstrations. The festival will be held on Aug. 17 at Freelander Park in Wooster and all proceeds benefit the Wayne County Humane Society. Visit to find out more.

Dog Paddle & Pet-a-Palooza – Visitors can bring their dogs to swim at Ledge Pool on Aug. 24.  There will also be a dog fair with exhibitors and vendors. For more info visit:

Lakewood Dog Swim – Foster Pool will be hosting the Lakewood Dog Park Swim on Tuesday, Sept. 2 from 5 to 7:00pm.

Does your dog like swimming? What beaches or events will you be hitting up this summer?


New dog beach

Did you know there’s now an official dog swimming area at Edgewater?

So exciting! Too bad it’s the middle of September and I am just finding this out now. I’ve heard that dogs have always been unofficially allowed here, but now they are welcomed with their own area of the beach. To reach the designated dog beach area, take the path from either parking lot down to the beach. Signs will point you toward the dog beach area. It’s not fenced in or sectioned off, but it appears to be the area behind the second set of signs. Of course when I went, there were no dogs there, so it was hard to tell. But that was most likely because it wasn’t very warm.

So many rules…
Designated Dog Area
Hunter approves

For a full list of beaches in CLE, check out my list (and let me know if I’m missing any!)

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 if you know of any others!