Adorable Rottweiler frolicking in the water at the beach on summer vacation.

How to Find Dog-Friendly Summer Events

Enjoy the Sunshine with Your Furbaby

Summer is the best time to spend with your pets—find out what you can do together!

The summer season is a time of magic, joy, and making memories. It is the few months out of every year when everyone gets a little more excited, and there are so many fun events during this time. Concerts, picnics, festivals, and celebrations all fill the summer calendar, and most of us are happy to seek out these events. With the nice weather and a focus on fun, this time of year has a unique feeling that is all its own. People love it—and pets do too. In this article, we are going to explain how you can find some truly amazing dog-friendly events in your area!

Cavoodle enjoying a stick at the park with their dog owner during summer vacation.
Doggy mommy playdate!

Why Dog-Friendly Events Are the Best for Pawrents

Male dog owner holding up phone out to take a selfie with their dog at the park.
Say cheese!!!

Summer is a time when we all like to let loose and have a good time. We make so many happy memories to look back on during this time, especially with the people that we love—but why would we limit this to the people? Our pets are a part of our family too, and there are so many opportunities for us to make lasting memories with them. Let’s talk through what dog parents gain when they place a focus on attending dog-friendly events.

Allow You to Bond With Your Dog

There are so many ways to bond with our pets, but pawrents are a little guilty of thinking only in terms of “pet moments” rather than moments with our pets. We focus on the moments that we know include pets—the training, the times at the dog park—but we forget that any moment can be a moment with our pets if they are by our side.

Normalizing the idea that our dogs can be featured main characters wherever we go can help us to bond on a much deeper level, transcending standard pet care and moving into a lifestyle where our pets are more like the dogs we see in movies and books. It is all about creating a life filled with balance and equality.

Help You to Socialize Your Pup

Socialization is one of the most important things that dog parents can do with their pups—and this is a lifelong commitment, just like your furry friend! When we take our pets out to events with us, we get them used to being out in the world, and this is very important. It can help pets to get used to being around people, other pets, and unique environments. Frequent socialization can help your dog to be comfortable no matter where they are, and it can do a lot to lessen anxiety.

While this is a good thing, for dogs that are already anxious, you will need to take additional steps. You might want to consult your pup’s vet or a trainer to help anxious pups. However, for dogs that are more or less okay with being out and about, this is a great way to reinforce comfort to help them live happier lives.

Are Fun for the Whole Family

Dog-friendly events are a wonderful opportunity for you to have fun with the whole family—dogs and all. These events make it possible for you to bring everyone in your family unit together to enjoy certain experiences. While not every event will be dog-friendly, it can be a more special experience when everyone gets to tag along.

Going Beyond Dog-Friendly

Adorbale rescue frenchie bulldog Cherie the Surf Dog riding a big wave.
Cherie the Surf Dog hanging 10 🌊🐶☀️😎

Finding dog-friendly events that are right for your pet goes well beyond simply looking for a sign that says dogs are allowed. While some events do allow pets, that doesn’t necessarily mean that these events are good for your pets.

Events that are going to have a high number of people in a small space or that are going to be really loud might not be good for your pup, even if the event says it is dog-friendly. Before you commit to an event, it can be beneficial to do some extra research, so you know what to expect.

Considerations for Dog-Friendly Events:

  • How loud will it be?
  • How many people will be there?
  • Will there be space to give your dog a comfortable spot to hang out?
  • Is there likely to be erratic behavior at the event?
  • Are you prepared to advocate for your pet in public spaces?
  • Is there likely to be a lot of spilled food that might make your pup sick?
  • Will you be able to provide your pup with food and water as needed?
  • What is the temperature going to be?
  • Is the ground safe for dog paws?

Making the conscious decision to be aware of what kind of situation you are taking your dog into can help you to support them and make sure that they have a good time too!

How to Find Local Dog-Friendly Summer Events

Small dog wearing a straw hat, lounging and relaxing on summer vacation.
Or we could just stay in 🤔

Dog-friendly events happen every day, but they get a lot more common during summer. Since this is the time of year when everyone wants to get outside, more places look to accommodate pets in their events. In fact, some events offer specific accommodations for dogs to help them enjoy it! There are plenty of fun and free things to do with your dog in summer. Let’s find out what you can look for in your search.

Look for Dog-Specific Summer Events

Where is the best place for dogs to meet? Doggy events, of course! The easiest way to find pet-friendly events is to look for events that actively market themselves as pet-friendly. There are a surprising number of events that are specific to dogs and their pawrents, like doggy 5Ks or doggy picnics. These events are not human events that also allow pets a lot of the time. They are events that are designed specifically for dogs—and as their pawrent, you can tag along too!

Search for Outdoor Activities

Outdoor events are notoriously dog-friendly, so starting with outdoor events can be a great place to begin in your search. From festivals to runs, outdoor events generally allow pets specifically because they are outside. When it comes to running a pet-friendly event, event hosts always must consider pet cleanup. While most of us try to be responsible dog parents, this isn’t true for everyone, so many places don’t allow pets inside for this reason. However, outdoor events are an easier place to clean up, so they tend to be much more interested in allowing pets.

Join Dog Parent Social Media Groups

If you are a dog parent who really wants to jump into your local pet-friendly event scene, social media is the way to go. Pet parent groups are all the rage on Facebook, and there is a very likely chance that you can find one in your area. These groups always have the latest on pet-friendly events, which makes it way easier for you to find events that are coming up soon.

To make this better, you can meet and connect with other pawrents who are looking for events too. If you can’t find one in your area, don’t hesitate to start a group of your own. You can share helpful information, and other dog parents will chime in too to create a local dog-friendly guide.

Make a List of Events, Then Do Your Research

One great way to find events that you want to attend that are also pet-friendly is to focus on events for you. For the summer season, make a list of events that you want to attend, then hop on the event pages to see if your pet can tag along. Are dogs allowed at the mall? You won’t know until you check.

Research will allow you to get the most out of attending events that you want to attend and enjoy the time with your pup too. If you’ve ever gone to an event and seen someone else’s dog and wished you had thought of bringing your own, this can help you to avoid that situation.

Use Google Tricks

Google is the most powerful tool that most of us have currently, and it is very effective here. You can use all the standard Google search tricks to narrow down your search and find the best things to do in dog-friendly cities.

Try These Google Search Options:

  • [Pet-friendly events near me]
  • [Events in my area for pets]
  • [Events + “Dog-Friendly”] (the quotes around “dog-friendly” are very important because they will filter out anything that doesn’t include it)
  • [Events + “Pet-Friendly”]
  • [Events where I can take my dog]

Follow Up on Your Favorite Dog-Friendly Spaces

A quick and easy way to find events that your dog can attend is to check in with your favorite pet-friendly spaces. If you know that your local brewery allows pets, see what kind of events they are holding. You can do this with beaches, parks, and other spaces too. A lot of the time, places that already accommodate pets exclusively hold events that pets can attend.

The best part about taking this approach is that it allows you to support the places that support your lifestyle. As dog parents, most of us want to see more pet-friendly spaces. When we take our time and money and use it to support places that accommodate this lifestyle, we send a signal to other future business owners that these spaces are welcome and preferred. Even better, you support businesses that are supporting your lifestyle of choice, helping them to stay open and offer more exciting opportunities.

Look for the Signs

When it comes to big events, the signs for them tend to be everywhere—in stores, on streetlights, and online. These signs can tell us a lot about the events, and they commonly say whether or not they are pet-friendly. If you see an event coming up, look at the sign or landing page. You might not have considered the event before, but if it is a pet-friendly event, it might be good to branch out and try something new. Remember, an advertisement that doesn’t specifically say pet-friendly doesn’t mean that an event isn’t pet-friendly, so be sure to follow up with some research if you really want to attend the event.

Ask Your Local Vet

Vet’s offices are notorious for having all the pet gossip in the area. They know what dog parks are having bacterial breakouts. They know when a restaurant never cleans out their dog bowls. And, of course, they also tend to have a pulse on dog-friendly events too! If you are curious about some events in your area, look around your vet’s office for advertisements—or take the time to ask if they have any recommendations. The best part about this is that vets can also do a wonderful job of telling you which “pet-friendly” events are actually pet-friendly.

Follow Local Pet Bloggers or Journalists

Blogging is all the rage, and bloggers and journalists are starting to put a lot of work into pet-friendly events and pet lifestyle content. If you want the scoop on your local pet scene, a local blogger or journalist can really help. When you find a blog or journalist that covers information that you want for your pets, be sure to subscribe to their newsletters!

Consider Virtual Events

An effective way to turn any event into a pet-friendly event is to join it virtually. The number of virtual events available has gone through the roof in recent months—and you might be surprised by how many cool events there are. You can enjoy time with your pup and an awesome event (in your PJs, no doubt!) from the comfort of your own home.

Make Your Own

There is a golden rule of living that says if you can’t find what you want, you must make it yourself. You can make your very own event, even if you just share it with friends and family. Since you will be hosting or planning, you can ensure that pets are absolutely allowed and will have a wonderful time!

The Takeaway

Adorable Rottweiler frolicking in the water at the beach on summer vacation.
Splish splash, no need for a bath!

Local pet-friendly events are happening every day, and you don’t want to miss out on them. Before you spend the summer leaving your pup at home while you go out, look for events that are pet-friendly and enjoy all the benefits of a summer with your favorite dog!

Until next time, thank you for reading!

About the author: Gabrielle is the loving pawrent to adorable pups Willow and Dilla. Growing up surrounded by dogs, she always dreamt of having her own. Willow and Dilla came into her life and changed everything. Now, she's crazy about pampered pooches, and her perfect day involves dancing with her husband, dressing up her furbabies, and cuddling them to sleep. For Gabrielle, life is all about spreading love and joy with her adorable canine companions by her side.