It’s National Dog Day! Originally created to bring attention to the plight of animals around the globe and encourage adoption, the day has become a time to celebrate dogs and dog ownership. And, if you didn’t already know, we love our pups in Central Oregon. While there are many great ways to celebrate your best fur friend here in the High Desert, we’ve rounded up a couple of our favorite dog activities and adventures for you and your dog. 

  • Visit one of our many Bend, Oregon dog parks. We have eight off-leash, fenced dog play areas in Bend, all with a variety of features and amenities. From small open areas all the way up to 17 acres, there are many places to choose from depending on what you and your dog will most enjoy. Those with smaller fur babies can choose from three parks that have small dog only areas (under 25 lbs). There are also several parks with walking trails incorporated (inside approved fenced areas) for parents who like to exercise with their dogs off leash. Check out the link above on the Bend Parks and Recreation website for more information.

  • Take your dog out for a meal. Outdoor seating has become a “thing” around the world as restaurants shifted to keep patrons safe and follow closure mandates during the pandemic. There is one big benefit to this trend for dog owners: most restaurants will allow you to sit outside with your dog at the table. A couple of our favorite breakfast and lunch options for outdoor, dog-friendly dining include The Lemon Tree and McKay Cottage – two entirely different, but very “Bend” restaurant options. For dinner, try the patio at J-Dub downtown or any of our many local breweries that offer outdoor dining.

  • Go for a hike with your dog. We have an abundance of trails in our region, from the popular river trail running through Bend’s Old Mill District to the many mountain trailheads on Cascade Lakes Highway (note: you may need a special Forest Service permit for some of the more popular trails during the peak season). We hear that you can even put your dog in a full harness and take them up the chairlift at Mt. Bachelor for a leashed hike on the mountain’s trail system. While you’re up there, your dog can also play at the only off-leash area at Bachelor, the Ruffwear Dog Park area adjacent to the West Village parking lot.

If you are visiting Bend from out of the area, there are plenty of dog-friendly lodging options, from vacation rentals to hotel accommodations. There’s no need to leave your dog behind in “DogTown USA!” 

Today, and every day, we celebrate our best furry friends in Bend, Oregon. Take your dog for an outing to celebrate National Dog Day! 

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