by Ally Oelerich
Warm weather is upon us, and what better place to be as a ďdoggy mamaĒ than finding pet-friendly places to meet other furry friends and their owners! I adopted an Australian Shepherd Collie mix named Koda a month ago from Project Halo, a no-kill shelter in Charlotte and wanted to find fun places for her to meet other dogs to stay socialized. After doing a little research I found many dog parks & pet-friendly places in Charlotte to choose from.
William Davie Dog Park is awesome! The park has two sides to it. One side is for small dogs from 20lbs on down, and the other is for big dogs from 20lbs on up. Thereís a nice fenced in large area with plenty of water, running room and toys. The parents also have a place to sit and watch their fur-children run wild. Another perk is there are plenty of trees so you can stay in the shade on the many hot days Charlotteans will experience. Iím realizing Koda has a love for sticks and water. Instead of politely taking a sip of water from the large ďbucketsĒ they have, she dipped both of her front legs and entire head in the water. With all that running around with her buddies I guess she was hot! The dog park is open from 7:30 a.m. to sunset.
Koda and her stick
For those that live in Uptown Charlotte, Frazier Park is another great option for a pet friendly dog park. Like William Davie Dog Park, this also has a separate small dogs area from the large dog area. Thereís plenty of drinking water and small tubs for them to take a dip and cool off. Frazier Park is well maintained, and a lot of younger people who live in the city bring their dogs here. So if youíre out going, itís a great place to talk to strangers.
Being a very active girl who enjoys the outdoors, the U.S. National Whitewater Center is also a great place to bring your dog. USNWC is an outdoor adventure center with whitewater rafting, hiking trails, biking, a bar and grill with patio seating, rock climbing and special events from Thursday River Jam with live music to Olympic trials. Dogs on leashes are allowed on the grounds and trails!
Like beer and want to bring your dog to the bar? Kick back and relax while your pooch plays with friends at The Dog Bar in NODA. Even if you donít own a dog itís a great place to check out the other pooches and chat with their owners. Thereís a fenced-in area where the dogs can run around and play as well as walk around near the high top tables where people are enjoying their drinks at. Itís a very chill atmosphere, but remember to give your dog water not beer!
Even though itís only been a month since Iíve owned Koda, itís been a fun journey so far! There is a strong sense of community that takes place when you visit a dog park where you instantly have a connection and conversation starter with a stranger. The people you meet can either be local, visiting a friend or not even own a dog at all but can appreciate a cute pup to watch for part of their day. Whether you decide to bring your pet to a dog park, a dog bar or a rafting center to people and dog watch, make sure to bring treats and be prepared to give lots of belly rubs.
Beer, dogs, and good conversations along the way ... ah the good life. What is your favorite dog spot in Charlotte?