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So, one of your best friends has four paws, a tail and fur, and maybe drools a bit. Where can you take him?
Surprisingly, in dog-friendly Miami, the answer is more places than you might think.
There are dog-friendly parks and beaches, outdoor shopping areas and restaurants with patios that will happily welcome you and your fur baby. Miami is also home to many places that will pamper your pup, from simple boarding to a full spa treatment.
Not all beaches welcome dogs, but those that do offer a lot of sand and shallow water for running and splashing.
Haulover Beach Park contains the largest remaining stretch of undeveloped beachfront in Miami-Dade County. Located between Bal Harbour and Sunny Isles, Haulover features white sand shores, open ocean surf and most importantly, the Bark Park! This no-leash dog park, near the south picnic area and accessible through Collins Avenue, has separate enclosures for small and large dogs, drinking fountains, waste containers and plenty of open grassy areas to run and play. General beach access for dogs is between lifeguard towers #2 and #3 only.
Haulover also has a clothing-optional beach on the northern end of the beach, between lifeguard towers #12 and #16.
Haulover Beach Park, 10800 Collins Ave., Miami; http://www.miamidade.gov/parks/haulover.asp
North Shore Open Space Park, north of South Beach, has its Bark Beach, where your dog can splash to her heart’s content during the day. The rest of the park is dog-friendly on-leash, and there are several dog-friendly restaurants nearby. Admission is $5 for residents and $25 for nonresidents with an annual pass available to residents for $20. Proof of current vaccination is required.
North Shore Open Space Park, Collins Ave. from 78th St. to 87th Terr., Miami Beach; http://bit.ly/2CSkTJM
Hobie Island Beach Park, directly off Rickenbacker Causeway on the way to Key Biscayne, is one of the best places for windsurfing in Miami. It’s also the perfect place for smaller dogs that like the water – since Hobie is in the Intracoastal, the waves aren’t as big, and little guys can run around without being knocked over or pulled out by strong currents.
South End (north side of Rickenbacker Causeway), Key Biscayne; http://www.miamiandbeaches.com/beach/hobie-beach-windsurfer-beach-causeway/102557
There might not be a U.S. city that offers more dog-friendly dining spots than Miami, and several of them offer world-class menus for your four-legged companion, too.
After spending a day shopping, strolling and people watching on Lincoln Road, take a break at the Café at Books & Books. While you nosh on sandwiches and salads, Fido can slurp chilled water and chew on complimentary Newman’s Own organic dog treats.
Books & Books, 927 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach; http://bit.ly/2EmpfFo
The Miami New Times called ALL DAY the “#1 Coffee Shop in Miami” in 2017. In addition to the caffeinated offerings on their “Coffee & Not Coffee” menu, and variety of egg dishes, sammies and pastries, ALL DAY gives dogs their due, with bone-shaped treats made fresh daily.
ALL DAY, 1035 N. Miami Ave.; http://www.alldaymia.com/
Interested in a sweet treat? Cielito Artisan Pops in Wynwood has something for everyone, Fido included. With a wide variety of flavors (guava and cheese is popular), it’s hard to not find something to rave about. Dip your pop in milk, white or dark chocolate, and finish it off with one of Cielito’s innovative toppings. “Pupsicle” choices include watermelon carrot and sweet potato.
Cielito Artisan Pops, 2750 NW Third Ave., Suite 20A, Miami; http://bit.ly/2EojAhQ
Miami is full of dog groomers, but several go a step beyond to specializing in truly pampering your pooch.
One of the favorites is Dogtown in Coconut Grove. They’re able to transform the scruffiest of mutts into the absolute Best in Show. Dogtown is an all-inclusive dog hotel and daycare, and as a free-roaming facility – no crates or cages here! – all grooming guests wait for their TLC in luxury suites upon cozy beds. At Dogtown, only all-natural, high-grade products are used.
3210 Grand Ave., Coconut Grove; 305-448-5225; www.barkfetchrun.com
Coming in Spring 2018: Dogtown Brickell, 1100 Brickell Bay Ave., Miami
Poochie on Your Block is another customer fave, offering customized services for any special grooming needs. Poochie on Your Block offers pickup and delivery of your pet and uses all-natural, biodegradable products.
6803 Bird Road, Miami; 305-666-4669; http://www.poochieonyourblock.com/
Neo Pet Spa is adjacent to sister business Neo Nails. While you get a mani-pedi, your dog is getting pampered at the same time. Neo Pet Spa uses top-of-the-line equipment and all-natural and organic products.
426 SW Eighth St., Suite 5, Miami; 305-306-4444; www.neopetspa.com
When you can’t take your four-legged friend with you, doggy day care, dog hotels and dog resorts step in.
D.O.G. (day care, overnight, grooming) aims to make your pet feel right at home. “Boarding your dog at a familiar place with familiar faces and smells will make a difference in how they feel being away from you,” they say. “We want to make D.O.G. their family too.”
D.O.G. offers different levels of service and membership packages for dog owners.
D.O.G. Wynwood, 28 NE 26th St, Miami; D.O.G. Coral Gables, 3160 Coral Way, Coral Gables; http://doghotels.com/
Another service to check out is www.rover.com, advertised as “the nation’s largest network of 5-star pet people.” This site will match you with a local pet sitter who will watch your dog in their home. Rover.com is convenient for last-minute accommodations when a regular boarding facility might be full.
After filling out the online form, you’ll receive a list of possible pet sitters, along with reviews and background checks. “Rover Pack” members are available for last-minute requests.
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