Humans have it made in Miami, but it’s just plain unfair to restrict the pleasures of such a wonderful city to one species. So, in honor of National Pet Day on April 11, we’ve compiled a list of things both human and canine can do together in six-legged harmony. The following activities are good all year round, but if you’re looking for something a bit more National Pet Day-specific, bring your pooch to Puplife this Friday, featuring drinks and free poo-poo bags should nature call.
1. Treat yourselves at Doggie Bag Café & Pet Boutique
Is your dog bougie? Have you caught it staring at itself in the mirror before? Does it break into your closet not to eat your Louis Vuitton slippers, but to wear them? If these high-class offenses sound like your pup, bring it to the Doggie Bag Café & Pet Boutique for a gourmet lunch and some leisurely shopping. Start with grass-fed beef sliders or arroz con pollo (for the dog, not you) and pick up a chewable cigar for the ride home or a pillow with your dog’s face printed on it. 7310 Biscayne Blvd (305-710-7266, doggiebagcafe.com)
2. Have a spa day at D.O.G Miami
A dog’s life can be stressful, too. So, if your little buddy’s shoulders have been slightly tense lately, treat him to an afternoon at this trendy Wynwood dog hotel. D.O.G offers an array of services, including grooming, daycare and training for those bad boys and girls out there. Whether it’s a massage (seriously), play time or a nap in a sound-proof room, D.O.G is there to help. 2214 N Miami Ave (786-391-0839, doghotels.com)
3. Get some fresh air at North Shore Open Space Park
The city of Miami Beach currently offers six “Bark Parks” for dogs, where owners and dogs can mingle with mother nature. Bark Beach, located at Collins Avenue and 81st Street, is a local favorite for a reason. With plenty of green space as well as dog beach access, the North Shore Open Space Park is a sure way to tire out your four-legged friend. Warning: he will need a bath afterward. Collins Ave between 78th St and 87th Ter, Miami Beach (305-861-3616, miamibeachfl.gov)
4. Take a stroll at Morningside Park
Over on the mainland, Morningside Park is an often-overlooked little gem of Miami green space. Its sprawling landscape includes options for humans: a playground, tennis courts, a baseball diamond and a gorgeous view of Biscayne Bay. But most don’t realize that it also has a pleasant little dog park. There’s plenty of room to roam, no shortage of things to sniff and other dogs to socialize with.
5. Grab a bite at LoKal (or another dog-friendly restaurant)
These days, there is a slew of Miami restaurants that will let you dine with your dog. But perhaps the best-known ones are owned by beloved restaurateur and noted dog-lover, Matthew Kuscher. His joints Kush, the Spillover and, probably the most dog-friendly of all, LoKal, are all more than happy to bring your pup a bowl of water. At LoKal, a special dog menu features items such as Marmaduke’s Meatloaf, Yeyo’s Chicken and Rice and a non-alcoholic beer specially made for dogs called Bowser Beer.
6. Hit an outdoor mall
Alfresco shopping areas are perfect for dogs–albeit well-behaved ones. The next time you decide to go window shopping at Lincoln Road, the Shops at Merrick Park or even the ritzy Bal Harbour Shops, don’t hesitate to bring your pup, as these outdoor malls are dog-friendly—just remember to keep your furry friend on a leash.
7. Plan a staycation at a pet-friendly hotel
Looking to stay close to home on your next vacation? Forget boarding your pet and bring it along on your staycation. Miami hotels such as the Epic and the Betsy offer plenty of amenities and perks for your pets, from special meals to daily walks to litter boxes for cats—because felines need love, too.
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