Sometimes all you need is a day out with your best friend doing things you both love. Of course when your best friend is a four-legged canine your options are limited.
One of the few things Angelenos love more than In ‘N’ Out, organic anything, and a day magically free of traffic is their dog. But you shouldn’t have to feel pigeon-holed in your exploration of the city when choosing to bring fido along an adventure.
The following list includes pet-friendly (on-leash unless otherwise stated) activities, fitness classes, doggie dining spots, hikes and pretty much everything else that your pooch will be begging to do with you. And let’s face it, when your dog begs, we all know you won’t be able to resist that face.
1. The Grove
The outdoor mall often frequented by celebs also offers a few dog-friendly shops. Take a break and enjoy the water works show at the fountain then visit Sprinkles and indulge in a red velvet cupcake (for you) and a sugar-free cupcake for your pup. The Original Farmer’s Market is full of international food options as well as organic produce but round the corner is The Dog Bakery aka doggie dessert heaven.
2. Third Street Promenade
When people think of Los Angeles they probably envision something like Third Street Promenade, a shopping center near the beach. Check out the various shops or enjoy the street artists providing one-of-a-kind performances you’ll only find in L.A. After you’ve worked up an appetite, visit the Blue Plate Oysterette, and get your fill of sea food (with scraps for Fid0).
3. Melrose Trading Post
Shopping at a flea market with your fur baby means you get to have your best friend with you without having to compromise about which shops to visit. This shopping event occurs every Sunday at Fairfax High School and you’re bound to find vintage treasures of all kinds so plan to spend a few hours there. There are food vendors on sight and bring a water bowl as you’ll probably spend more time than you anticipated scouring the vintage book/purse/furniture ( you get my point) collections.
Chill at a Brewery
4. Golden Road Brewery Pub
They’ve been serving up home-brewed beers since 2011 so come for the Point the Way IPA and stay for good eats and dog-friendly atmosphere. They have five core brands and seasonal custom IPAs as part of their 20 revolving taps offerings with pub grub including their GRB Burger and Spicy Pulled Pork. They’ve got an area- the “doggy deck”- that’s perfect for your pup and they provide water bowls and treats made from the grain used to brew the beer so that’s about as close as you can get to enjoying a brewski with your bud.
5. Angel City Brewery
This hipster haven is one of the original L.A. breweries situated in an old industrial building with ample space to enjoy a flight of their beers and chill with your dog. They have a variety of year-round options, as well as seasonal flavors and barrel aged brews and they’ve got limited offerings like Orange and Cacao and Srirachelada which tastes as adventurous as it sounds. They offer free tours along with beer samplings but if you like to have some food in you while you drink make sure you grab some grub from the nearby food trucks.
6. Beachwood Brewery & BBQ
The famed brewpub is home to bleu cheese grits, fried green tomatoes and finger-lickin’ good barbecue whose scraps are dog-worthy. The covered patio is perfect for pets and you can walk the promenade after indulging in good (m)eats.
7. Balanced Fitness BowWow Workout
Work your pooch off alongside your pooch with a fitness program that’s designed to benefit you and your dog. The setting: Runyon Canyon. The workout: focused on stress reduction and strength training (for you), burning off energy and socializing off-leash for your pup. The result: a great bonding experience.
8. Zoom Room
Their indoor dog park is perfect for owners who want their dog to socialize but would prefer a more controlled experience than that at a regular dog park. Trainers are always on hand to make sure dogs don’t get too rowdy plus dogs have free access to their agility obstacles so they can get a little socializing done plus burn off A LOT of energy. Bonus: free coffee for you, free access to the toy chest for your dog.
9. Two Hands Four Paws
There are dogs who love to jump into the swimming pool then there are those who act as though it’s a a liquid monster that must be avoided at all costs. If your dog is the latter fret not because even the most stubborn dog just needs a gentle nudge courtesy of a trained professional. The trainers at this rehab center specialize in swim therapy but for those seeking a recreational day at the pool for their pup they offer “Fun Swims” the first and third Sunday of the month and every Wednesday in half hour increments. While trainers are present, it’s all about owner involvement where you’re encouraged to throw balls and toys for your dog to retrieve. The pool is kept at a comfortable 83 degrees and dogs of similar age, ability, and temperament are grouped together and only four can be in the pool at one time so it’s manageable and still fun. There’s also the added bonus of knowing you helped your dog overcome his/her fear of the “liquid monster” (the same can’t be said of the plastic bag blowing in the wind aka the “flying monster”).
10. Dog Parks of Los Angeles
Think your dog might do well in an off-leash environment? Is he what you might call a “social animal?” Check out this list of some of the city’s best dog parks in locations ranging from the Arts District to Whittier to Redondo Beach.
11. Dog Friendly Hikes
Your dog will love the outdoors as much for the incredible variety of smells and stimuli as he/she will for the exercise element. There are a host of great hikes around the greater Los Angeles area that are good for beginner level hikers/dog owners that I’ve previously catalogued, including Sandstone Peak, the Bronson Canyon Trail, Eaton Canyon, and Runyon Canyon. Check out the full list if you think your pup will love a little outing in nature!
12. The Backyard at the W Los Angeles
For those days when you want to spoil yourself and your fur baby visit this restaurant at the luxury hotel where they’ve developed a menu exclusively for dogs. The six-item menu at Fido’s Kitchen was developed by Chef Dakota Weiss and includes mutt’za balls, seafood goulash, and apple crunch cakes. Gourmet dog menus are right up there with kale smoothies and a decent avocado as things you’ll probably only find in the City of Angels.
13. Morrison Pub
The Atwater Village pub is home to one of the best bread puddings you’ll ever have so it’s a boon when you can bring Fido along and better yet they also have a pet-friendly menu. They offer the classic meat and rice combo variations available just for dogs meanwhile you can enjoy their burgers (I recommend the Bacon Bourbantor) or their daily specials along with a hoppy ale on tap. But seriously, the bread pudding is a must (and breaking off a small piece for your pup is OK too).
More Dog Friendly Restaurants
If you need other ideas for where to eat out with your best-dog-friend, I made a list for that too! There are tons of spots all over the city that are not only dog friendly, but also serve amazing food.
And remember, no matter where you choose to hang out with your bud, the most important thing isn’t what you’re doing, it’s who you’re with!
So what does your dog like to do with you around Los Angeles? Let us know in the comments below!