Take the pup with you!

dog friendly places in charlotteDogs aren’t just pets. They are our kids—at least we think so. They are our constant companions who love us in good times and bad. And we want to take them with us when we go out. But outside of walking them around the block, where can we take our furry kids?

Where can I exercise my dogs?
Several dog parks in the area are open year-round. Find off-leash parks here: http://charmeck.org/mecklenburg/county/ParkandRec/Parks/DogParks/Pages/default.aspx.  York County boasts Spencer Park in Rock Hill, where the city invites dogs and their owners to Paws in the Park in October. http://www.visitrockhillsc.com/events/spencer-park-grand-opening-rock-hill-dog-park/ Mary Warner Mack Dog Park at Anne Springs Close Greenway is also dog friendly and requires a monthly fee http://www.ascgreenway.org/join/dog-park-membership.

What if I have a social dog?
You can take your pup to The Dog Bar http://www.dogbarcharlotte.com/. Believe it or not, this is an off-leash bar in the NODA district for you and your little ball of fur (over age 21, we presume!) A small annual membership is required, along with an application.
Canine Café http://caninecafe.net/ offers parties for the K-9 in your family, as well as treats and cakes, year round.
Meet-up groups via Facebook offer social interaction for dogs. Some are breed specific, while others are more social or active. www.meetup.com/Fluffsofluv/
Open shopping areas and restaurant patios (just not inside)! Panera Bread and Starbucks are two that we know for sure! Bruster’s Ice Cream will even give your loved one a doggie sundae! http://www.brustersicecream.com/promotions_instore.asp When we take our pups on errands, many of them offer doggie treats! And PetSmart promotes doggie shopping!
One great place to take your leashed dog is the U.S. Whitewater Center http://usnwc.org/visit/faqs/general-faqs/

Local festivals
You might have seen our booth at the Bark in the Park Festival this year. http://charmeck.org/mecklenburg/county/ParkandRec/Parks/DogParks/Pages/BarkInTheParkTopDogFestival.aspx Next year’s date is set for April 9, 2016.
Pet-Palooza, sponsored by The Humane Society of Charlotte http://humanesocietyofcharlotte.org/hsc-in-the-community/pet-palooza/ We also participate in this event!
Dog Gone Good Time Festival is sponsored each September by The Humane Society of York County. http://humanesocietyofyorkcounty.org/news/excitement-building-prep-years-dog-gone-good-time-festival

One of the Family
The Charlotte Knights Bring Your Dog to BB&T Park is usually in May. Many Major and Minor League teams participate in this fun event around the country.
Pet photographers welcome pets and their families. They will come to you, you can go to them, and some will go to an outdoor area. Several good pet photographers are in our area. Simply search on-line and ask for references, examples of work, and what breeds they prefer. Most people will work with all breeds, but some prefer small dogs or large dogs, bully breeds or poodles.
Many on-line sites list pet friendly hotels. TownePlace Suites by Marriott provides pet-friendly suites, as well as a treat basket when guests arrive with their pooch.

A great resource for pet parties and pet behavior is author and radio host, Arden Moore http://www.fourleggedlife.com/pet-books/dog-books/.
Other pet-friendly hotels, restaurants, and vacation spots are available at Bring Fido http://www.bringfido.com/.

Always remember to take water, a bowl, bags to clean up after your pets, and a first-aid kit when you take them on an outing. If you’ll be gone for several hours, pack some food in a bowl or a snack, as well.

If you enjoy events and outing with your dog, comment below to share them!

By Beth Crosby