Photo of a pug wearing a lifejacket on a paddleboard with two people swimming

Dating With Dogs Series: 10 Dog-Friendly Date Ideas

Author Icon from Laurel Lewis

Imagine this: You have a dog named Gary. Gary is your best bud and loves to meet new people & socialize. Gary…is now your wingdog.

Dating with dogs can be easy, inexpensive, and adventurous! The hard part is showing up and getting to know the other person. It can be nerve-wracking, uncomfortable, and sometimes cringey.  Taking your dog can put you and even the other person at ease. It can also create good conversation or show you what you need to see about your date. So, we’ve compiled a list of fun date ideas you can do with wingdog.

First, let’s see why taking your dog on dates is a great idea!

  • Dogs can get the conversation going—Taking your dog on a date helps you get to know the other person’s perspective on life with dogs and how they treat animals, which says a lot about who they are.
  • Dogs help to take the pressure off both of you – They just have a way of making everyone feel good! Unless your date is not a dog-lover, then… Thank you, next!
  • Your dog can easily read the other person’s energy, and you can read your dog’s energy – pay attention to what they are telling you.
  • You can always use your dog as an excuse to leave – date not going well? “Look at the time – I need to take Gary home for his favorite TV show, Real HouseDogs.”
  • Taking your dog gives you a lot of fun date options – and that’s where our list comes in!

Here are 10 date ideas that easily include your dog! Make sure to prepare for taking your dog with you by packing extra water, a water bowl, poop bags, a leash, and treats. If you go on a date that includes sitting for a while, try stuffing and freezing a KONG the night before your date, then pop it into your bag for a quick and easy chew treat!

1. Dog-Friendly Patio

A dog-friendly patio is great if you have a social and/or calm dog. This invites others to say ‘hi’ to your dog, which is helpful in creating conversation and breaking up first-date jitters.

2. Take a Walk Two people walking in the mountains with their golden retriever

Take a walk around a lake, on downtown sidewalks, or on a walking trail in a park. This date gives you the option of keeping it short or adding on if things are going well. Before your date, take some time to look at a map to see how long the walk is and options for re-routing (for instance, if Gary doesn’t approve of your date).

3. Take a Hike

Hiking makes a fun follow-up date once you know a little more about the person you are going with. Make sure to research your hike on an app like AllTrails first so you know the trail is dog-friendly and if there is a leash law to follow. You also want to make sure the trail is appropriate for both your abilities & endurance.

4. Standup Paddleboarding

SUP-ing with your dog can be exciting or relaxing, depending on your dog! If you have a dog who just likes to chill on the board, you might try a morning coffee & paddle with your date. Beat the heat and the crowd at the local lake by going early. You can paddle around or sit and sip coffee while you get to know each other. If your dog is wobbly or likes to jump in, skip the coffee and just have fun with it! We suggest having your dog wear a life jacket with a handle on the back so you can pick them up if they are struggling. Take the time to give your dog a few lessons before you go if this will be their first time. This short article tells you how to get started paddleboarding with your dog. You can also take water toys if your dog likes to swim! Try the classic KONG Aqua for water-fetching fun!

5. Puppy or Rescue Dog Yoga

If neither of you has a dog, or your dog isn’t comfortable going places around other dogs or people (reactive dog parents- we see you!), hit up doggo-yoga! If you can’t find dog yoga, try goat yoga. Either way, you won’t be disappointed and you’ll probably share one or many laughs while you’re there!

6. Dog-Friendly Brewery

If your dog is also dog-friendly, hit up a brewery! Pull up a barstool, kick it at the fire pit, and order from a food truck… you know the drill! Dogs are often welcomed in these joints, so bring Gary along with you!

7. Concert In The Park

Many concerts in the parks featuring local artists allow you to bring dogs, and Gary loves a good bluegrass band. Bring a blanket, chairs, snacks, liquid refreshments & dog-friendly bug spray for this one. Don’t forget to pack a frozen KONG in your cooler for Gary, he deserves it.

8. Picnic

Speaking of the park… go on a picnic! Again, don’t just pack your basket for you and your date, make sure to pack a KONG for Gary, too. This frozen KONG recipe “Summer Picnic” is perfect for the occasion. Packing a special treat just for your dog will also show your date just how important including your dog is to you.

9. Rock Climbing or Climbing Gym

black dog running with a KONG frisbee in their mouth

Oftentimes dogs are permitted in climbing areas and climbing gyms as long as they are calm and don’t bark a lot. The last thing you want is your dog’s love for singing the song of its people to cause distraction and injury. Again, you can use a frozen KONG Classic to keep your dog busy or bring a chew toy or food puzzle, as you might not be able to sit next to them 100% of the time.

10. Frisbee in the Park

If your dog loves to fetch, offer to meet up for a frisbee date! We love this date option because it brings the focus to your dog, making the first or second date a little more laid back. Conversation and belly laughs are sure to happen when you’re firing a Flyer back & forth and to your dog. KONG Flyers are great because they are more durable than a traditional frisbee. The Flyer also comes in Puppy & Extreme strengths for dogs with differing bites. Speaking of bite, the Reflex Flyer is made with self-healing running shoe rubber and floats for those lake dates. #sorrynotsorry for the plugs, we just know what a difference a good toy can make!

Taking your dog out socially is another great way to meet other singles. Dog people tend to stick together and chat more with others who have dogs, and you already know that they love animals. So, next time you’re meeting your friends for brunch, brewery, or park time, take your furry bestie with you. You never know who you’ll meet!

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