Summer is for Pups: Exploring Dog-Friendly DC



5 places to explore with your dog this summer in the DC area:

The weather’s nice, and both you and your furry friend want to be outside together. There’s just the small problem that your dog may not be allowed everywhere you are. Well, we’ve rounded up five of the best things to do and places to go with your best friend in D.C. this summer.

If you’re planning to check out one or more of these cool activities, make sure you snap a picture (everyone loves dog photos) and tag us at #DCFray and #Fraylife.


Find the ultimate in dog-friendly patios

The question on everyone’s mind: where can I go have a drink and bring my dog along? And while there are plenty of dog-friendly patios in Washington D.C., these go the extra mile to really make your pet feel welcome.

If you’re wanting the full experience, check out Art and Soul, which provides pups with their own menu of bones, kibbles, and biscuits. There may be some peanut butter and sirloin steak involved too. Your dog will absolutely love that they get to have a special treat, and you’ll love their outdoor area.

Want a little space for your dog to play while you get your drink on? Bardo Brewing may be the best spot for you. Think of this place as a hybrid between a dog park and a beer garden. There is a designated area in this large space where your dog can run off leash, and there are also plenty of seats (over 750) for you to relax with a beer.

And if coffee and cupcakes are more your thing, head to one of the best cupcake places in town, Baked and Wired, where you can grab a coffee and tasty treat for both you and your dog on their cute patio. They make specialty cupcakes for dogs, with cheese, bacon, and peanut butter flavors.

Go boating, kayaking, or canoeing

The Key Bridge Boathouse rents out kayaks, canoes, paddle boards, boats, you name it. It’s a great tourist-in-your-own-city kind of activity, and will give you an opportunity to be both active and see the sights. And best part, they allow dogs to come along too! They’ll even provide doggie life jackets. Your pup will enjoy the breeze of riding in the boat, and can always pop into water for a swim if it gets too hot.

Get social at the dog park

D.C isn’t lacking in dog parks, but it’s important to find the right social scene for you and your pet. If your dog is small and has a bit of a Napoleonic complex, definitely explore your small dog options. Shaw Dog Park has a wonderful small dog area that’s perfect for those terrier and Chihuahua types. You’ll be able to make friends with similar dog owners and actually get your pup some much-needed playtime.

If your dog loves all other dogs, the S Street Dog Park may be the park of choice for you. It’s this large green space in the middle of Dupont Circle, complete with tennis balls and all. You almost can’t not meet another friendly neighborhood dog owner here.

Also, both dog parks host events for major holidays and any opportunity to dress up your pet is a good opportunity, right?

Find a dog-friendly swimming pool (yes, they actually do exist)

Ever wish you could take your furry best friend to the pool with you?

Well, you actually can! Places like Shirlington Dog Park have a designated water area for dogs, where they can splash around freely and properly cool off from the DMV’s well-known summer heat and humidity.

Even better, you can enroll your pup in swimming lessons at places like the K9 Aquatic Center. All the pools are carefully cleaned and heated for pet safety, and besides the pure joy of being in the water, there are actually a lot of health benefits to having your dog swim.

At the end of the pool season, the Alexandria Parks and Recreation Department hosts a dog swim at their pools. Small dogs and large dogs are divided into different days, and you do have to register your pet beforehand, but it’s definitely an end-of-summer experience you won’t forget. Your pup must know how to swim (but they’re a dog, so we assume they do…) and must be well behaved (we’ll leave that up to your judgment).

Take your dog to a baseball game

The Washington Nationals has a Pups in the Park Program every Spring/Summer where you have the chance to bring your dog to a baseball game. The dates are all listed on the website and requirements are pretty standard. You’ll need to fill out a waiver with your pet’s information and bring it to the game, where you’ll be seated in the pet reserved area. There will also be attendants on hand to help watch dogs while you hit up the concessions. As an added perk, proceeds from your dog’s ticket go to the Humane Rescue Alliance.

#FrayLife Tip: Many local shops and often furniture stores allow you to bring in your dogs. A great way to multi-task a walk.

Of course, there’s always hiking trails, walking paths, and great parks in our area that are always a good time for both human and canine.

What are your favorite unique and interesting places take your furry best friend in and around the D.C. area? We’d love to hear more ideas, so please share with us in the comments and tag us on social using #FrayLife and #DcFray.

Looking to cool off with your little furry friend during the hot summer? Check out these dog-friendly places by the water!


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