Keeping Dogs in the City Busy: Things to Do This Spring with Your Pet

Whoever said the city was no place for a pet never had a pet in the city. As the weather warms up, you’ll find plenty of things to do with your dog in Philly, from enjoying a meal outdoors to running free at a local dog park.

You know it’s spring in Philadelphia when the parks fill up on a weekend and when the seats outside of popular restaurants and bars are more in demand than the seats inside. People who own dogs in the city realize that spring is a great time to take advantage of the local parks and outdoor seating opportunities. The weather’s warm, but not so hot that taking your pet outdoors is hazardous to his/her health. Along with heading to the park or requesting patio seating, there are a few ways to enjoy living in Philly with your pet this spring.

Go for a Nice Stroll

This spring, take your dog’s regular walk to the next level by heading to one of the many trails throughout the city. You and your pet can explore the recently finished boardwalk along the Schuylkill Banks, or head out for a day of relative peace and quiet by hiking on Forbidden Drive, near the Wissahickon Creek in Fairmount Park. Just remember that dogs in the city, even those on trails, need to be on a leash at all times, according to the city’s leash law.

Let Them Run Free

There are some exceptions to the leash law, though. If you want to give your dog the chance to run freely, without a leash, it’s best to bring them to a dog park. The Schuylkill River Dog Park is located near the boardwalk and river trail and is open to the public. Seger Dog Park is another off-leash option and is located in Center City. The dog runs can get crowded during peak times, so if your pet is a bit skittish around other animals, it might be a good idea to bring them during off-peak hours, such as the middle of the day on a weekday.

Eat Lunch (or Dinner) Together

When out enjoying the city on a lovely spring day, you and your dog are bound to get hungry. Luckily, plenty of places in Philly are dog-friendly, or at the very least, will let your pet hang out with you in the outdoor seating sections. After a day of hiking along Forbidden Drive, stop in at the Valley Green Inn for lunch or dinner, or if it’s the weekend, for brunch. Grab a seat outside so that you and your dog can relax together. If you ask, the server will bring over a bowl of water for your pet.

Plenty of restaurants in the downtown area are also dog-friendly. If you love people (and pet) watching, grabbing an outdoor table at Parc Restaurant, next to Rittenhouse Square, can be an ideal way to spend a weekend afternoon with your dog. Rouge is another restaurant along the side of the park that lets you dine with your dog in the outdoor seating area.

Educate Your Pup

While you love your dog, you might not love some of his/her behaviors. This spring, sign the two of you up for a group class with Philly Unleashed. Whether your pet needs to learn (or re-learn) the basics of obedience or is ready for a more advanced class that focuses on traveling around town, a class is a great way to help your pet learn new skills and forget about undesirable behavior.

After a long and freezing winter, and right before an unbearably hot summer, spring gives your dog a chance to really explore and get to know the city. Take advantage of the mild weather and go explore a park or trail you’ve never experienced before.

Image Source: Flickr/Derek Yu

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