By Dr. Jess Trimble
To a dog parent, there is nothing like spending quality time with your canine. A lot of times, being a dog parent means making sure the places you want to visit are dog-friendly.
Whether you’re just taking your pup on a casual outing, going on a double date with another dog-lover, or looking for activities in a new area, here are ten doggy date ideas that will be sure to please. WATCH A MOVIE
While there may not be tons of options for a dog-friendly movie theatre that is indoors, summer is a great season to catch a drive-in or outdoor movie with your dog. Many local parks conduct outdoor movie events which you can often find in a quick search on your local park’s website. Or, if you’re lucky enough to have one nearby, you can bring your dog to an old-school drive-in movie theatre!
VISIT A FLEA MARKET, FAIR OR FESTIVAL
If you love to shop or see interesting things, most outdoor flea markets, fairs, and festivals are pet-friendly. There are events geared toward all types of interests, so the options for doggy dates are never-ending. There are even dog-themed fairs and festivals, where you and your dog can meet other owners and pets to shop around for new products such as toys and treats.
You don’t need to be an early riser to catch the best meal of the day—brunch! Although most restaurants do not allow animals indoors for health code reasons, many offer dog-friendly outdoor seating so you can enjoy your late morning breakfast while chilling with your best friend. Need a San Francisco brunch recommendation? We’ve got you covered. TAKE A HIKE
If you and your dog are adventurous or outdoorsy, head over to your favorite hiking spot or a trail you’ve never tried before. Not only does this provide quality time with your dog, but this activity incorporates the added benefit of quality exercise. Make sure to bring plenty of water for you and your dog to stay hydrated as you explore the outdoors. It’s even better if you can find another dog family to join your doggy date. WATCH THE SUNSET
For the romantics out there, there is nothing like catching a good sunset. Whether you’re in your own backyard, out in the country or at the beach, this doggy date lets you take some time to sit, relax, and enjoy the sunset. If you and your dog are early risers, then a morning sunrise will do the trick.
Geo-what? Geocaching is a modern-day treasure hunt involving GPS coordinates and a small treasure, waiting to be found. You can find geocaches all over the world, making it a great doggy date option anytime, and anywhere. It is definitely a great way to spruce up your normal walking routine, and your dog will love the adventure. Although you don’t get to keep the “treasures” you find, most caches have log books so you can sign and date you and your dog’s name and document your successful explorations.
HEAD TO THE BEACH
When the summer days get hot, head to a dog-friendly beach for some quality time. Dog-friendly beaches will allow dogs on a leash, and some even have off-leash areas for you and your dog to run around and play. Better yet, there are some dog beaches where you and your dog can meet with other canines and their owners. DRINK CRAFT BEER
Visit a local watering hole with your dog on a night that’s not too crowded. There are many bars, taverns, and pubs that offer dog-friendly outdoor seating so you can enjoy a refreshing beer and people-watch with your dog.
Check out a few of our San Francisco recommendations:
Black Hammer Brewing (544 Bryant St, San Francisco, CA 94107) – This establishment loves dogs almost as much as they love beer. You can expect treats for your pup and beer for you.
Barebottle Brewing Company (5714, 1525 Cortland Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110) – Fur children and real children welcome.
Southern Pacific Brewing (620 Treat Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110) – Dogs are invited to join their owners on the front patio.
Some establishments may even offer live music to enjoy on certain nights of the week, but remember dog ears are very sensitive so don’t sit anywhere that’s overly loud.
HAVE A PICNIC
Whether you’re preparing your own food or getting take-out at your favorite cafe, picnics are fun, relaxing, casual and always dog-friendly. Spread a blanket out in your yard or at the park and remember to bring plenty of treats and water for your doggy date.
GRAB A COFFEE
Sometimes, a good date is nothing more than spending quality time with your best friend over a good cup of coffee. In fact, you can order your favorite coffee drink at your local Starbucks, as well as a puppaccino for your dog. Other dog-friendly coffee shops may also provide water and treats for your dog to enjoy.
Ready to head outside? Check in with a vet to make sure your pup is ready to go.