With thriving dog-centric businesses throughout Charlotte like doggie bakeries and doggie yoga (doga), Charlotteans clearly love their four-legged friends. That love also extends to residents of apartment communities. According to Real Data, 405 out of 470 apartment communities in Mecklenburg County identify themselves as “pet-friendly.”
Even though communities may welcome dogs, the tight confines of an apartment may be difficult for dogs to live in if they aren’t getting enough exercise. Luckily for the dogs of the Queen City, there are plenty of options to keep your dog exercised and happy!
Let Fido run in an off-leash dog park.
Almost every neighborhood in Charlotte boasts a nearby dog park that’s perfect for letting your dog burn off all that cooped-up energy he stored up while you were at work. South Charlotte has William R. Davey District Park, South Park and Matthews have McAlpine Creek Park, Uptown has Frazier Dog Park and University has Reedy Creek Park.
Please note that a couple of rules do apply for your dog to play. He must be up to date on vaccinations (rabies, DHLPP and Bordetella). Animal control may ask to see a rabies tag for proof. You also have to clean up after your dog (which is common courtesy in all scenarios). Failure to comply may result in a fine.
Hike with your dog on one of these dog-friendly hiking trails.
Maybe you have as much energy to burn as your dog does and you don’t want to stand on the sidelines while she has all the fun. There are plenty of area hiking trails and greenways that welcome leashed dogs. For after-work walks or runs, the Rail Trail in South End, the Booty Loop in Myers Park and Little Sugar Creek Greenway in Uptown are convenient options.
For longer weekend excursions, four-legged friends are welcome on more vigorous hiking routes like the trails of the U.S. National Whitewater Center, Crowders Mountain and McDowell Nature Center and Preserve.
Relax at a dog-friendly brewery.
Sometimes after a stressful day of work, you need a cold brew to unwind. With Charlotte’s many dog-friendly breweries, you can do so without neglecting your dog. Most area breweries, unless they have a kitchen, permit dogs in their tasting rooms. Even the Charlotte breweries that do have kitchens – Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, Sugar Creek Brewing and Heist Brewery – permit dogs on their patios. Keep in mind that breweries do enforce a leash rule, though – even dog-popular breweries like Triple C.
Let your dog loose at a dog bar or cafe.
If your dog is anything like mine, the constant pull on the leash to make new two- and four-legged friends with everyone who walks by is quite uncomfortable. Thus, I prefer a dog bar like the Dog Bar in NoDa or Lucky Dog Bark & Brew, where I can allow him to mingle and make friends sans leash.
Catering more towards dogs than humans (they don’t serve alcohol), the Canine Café is another great option. Spoil her with a dog treat from the onsite bakery or order a birthday cake to celebrate her special day!
Drop your dog off at doggie daycare.
Sometimes work gets the best of us and eight-hour days bleed into long nights. The long evening stroll on the Rail Trail isn’t going to happen. In those situations, treat Fido to a day at doggie daycare. He’ll be just as zonked as you are at the end of the day (except his day will actually be fun). Like dog parks, there are doggie daycare facilities in almost every Charlotte neighborhood from Club Fetch in South End to NoDa Bark & Board in NoDa.
Of course, we all want our dogs to be well-behaved when we introduce them to the world at any of the above places. Here are some great tips for properly training your dog!
Think Charlotte might be a place for you and your pooch? Check out this Charlotte apartment locator.